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Extreme cold weather is settling in across East Texas thanks to an Arctic air blast. This freezing weather isn't just dangerous to humans, but also to our outdoor pets and livestock. It's Texas law now that you must provide adequate shelter for any outdoor pet and to provide them a safe haven from the extreme elements.

It's bad enough that the actual air temperature is going to be below freezing for nearly 44 - 63 hours for parts of East Texas over the next few days, but when you factor in the blowing northerly winds with gusts of up to 40 m.p.h., the wind chill factor is going to well below freezing and any outdoor pet is going to need to have that shelter.

What is adequate shelter for an outdoor pet?

Deborah Dobbs, President of the SPCA of East Texas tells CBS19,

The definition of adequate requires the animal to stay dry. It needs three sides, a roof and a floor. Out of the wind, out of the cold and out of the elements.

This isn't just true for outdoor pets, but for livestock too. If you have livestock, you'll want to make sure that they have a way of staying out of the elements by providing them the same kind of shelter or additional hay that they may lay in for added insulation against the cold. While you can provide this for livestock, it doesn't always mean they'll stay where you set it up because they wander around, but at least it is provided!

Ways to help your pets stay warm:

  • dress them in sweaters and weather-friendly clothing
  • add additional blankets on floor or their favorite resting place
  • add insulation to their existing dog house
  • make sure door of doghouse faces away from the wind direction or there is a weather flap in the front
  • add straw or hay to the inside of their doghouse

These steps will help your pet stay comfortable and warm during this extreme weather. If you see a pet left out in the cold you can contact your local law enforcement or animal control agency and they'll follow up on the situation.

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