Cold Weather Care for Pets

By: Mary Pulley
By: Mary Pulley

As you think about bundling up for the cold weather, don't forget about your outdoor pets. If you don't, you could get a visit from law enforcement.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham SPCA says just because your pets have fur doesn't mean they can stand some of these chilly temperatures, especially if your pet has short fur.

The SPCA suggests bringing your pets inside when it's cold, but if you must leave them outdoors, make sure your pet is off the ground and has plenty of blankets.

You can also use straw to give your pets some bedding outdoors, but if you do, make sure your pet isn't eating it. You should also make sure their dwelling is turned away from the direction of the wind.

"Stay away from things such as metal barrels or cages, because metal actually conducts the cold. Make sure that your pets water is not frozen. In the winter, particularly in the cold like tonight, make sure you feed your pet a little more. They generate their energy and warmth from their food," says Anne Anderson, the executive director of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham SPCA.

The group is handing out free blankets if you need them.

State law requires outdoor pets to have proper shelter, so if you spot an animal that you think doesn't have proper shelter, you are encouraged to call animal control. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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