MISSOULA - Temperatures are dropping across the treasure state and Animal Control is urging people to protect their pets from the cold.
In the city of Missoula, there is a dog house requirements ordinance that details if your pet is outside, they must have a proper shelter in place. From now until March 31st, that shelter must also have a windbreak at the entrance to help insulate the shelter.
The ordinance also says the structure must be moisture proof and windproof, a suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. The shelter must be made of durable material with a solid, moisture proof floor or a floor that is raised at least two inches from the ground.
The structure must also have a sufficient amount of bedding material like hay, straw, blankets or the equivalent. This will help your to protect your pet from the cold and dampness. It will also help your pet retain body heat.
Also ensure that your pet has plenty of water and more food than usual.
During frigid temperatures, your pet could also be at risk for hypothermia. If your dog is shivering, whining, anxious, or unusually slow, they could be at risk for hypothermia. If you suspect your pet may have hypothermia, Animal Control advises people to take their animal to the vet.