Pets Fur People offers advice for keeping dogs safe in colder temperatures

Igloo doghouse used at Pets Fur People in Tyler for their dogs that stay outside. (With the...
Igloo doghouse used at Pets Fur People in Tyler for their dogs that stay outside. (With the cold temperatures coming, all dogs will be inside.)(KLTV)
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:20 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act has been in effect for almost a year. The law outlines how dogs can be kept outside, from adequate shelter to restraints they’re kept on.

Gayle Helms, the Executive Director of Pets fur People in Tyler, said they use Igloo dog houses and inside those houses are, “Lots of fresh, dry hay, or they have lots of dry blankets inside. They really need to be, those dog houses, lifted off the ground a little bit so it’s not going to be quite as cold as they would be if they were sitting on the ground.”

The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act says dogs must have “adequate shelter.” They define that as a clean and sturdy structure that allows the dog protection from rain, hail, sleet, snow, and sub freezing temperatures.

“For the dogs that are outside here, we have big plastic tarps that we put around the fencing around their cages just so they’ll have some break from the wind,” Helms said. “But during this weather, when it’s going to be so cold, all of our outdoor dogs have been brought inside in the heated kennels.”

The law said the dog can’t be left unattended unless it has adequate shelter, shade and drinking water.

“Then they need to be fed more than once a day because they have to have more food so they can generate heat to stay warm. Then also, check their water buckets. If they’re frozen they can’t get water and they need to have that water,” Helms said. “People can’t be out in it safely and neither can the animals.”

Helms said winter weather preparations and consideration doesn’t only apply to pets, but also for ranchers with cows and horses.