January 30, 2019
In response to the extreme cold temperatures forecast this week, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is reminding animal owners to plan for cold, dangerous conditions that may impact the health and well-being of their pets and livestock.
"Both pets and livestock are affected by these harsh conditions and it’s imperative that owners take the extra steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of their animals," said Dr. Nora Wineland, MDARD State Veterinarian. “Michigan law requires owners provide an adequate supply of feed and water for their animals, shelter from the wind and other severe conditions.”
As a reminder, dogs, cats, and other companion animals living inside homes may not be able to tolerate outdoor winter temperatures for long periods of time. Guardian dogs and barn cats that live outside still need dry, clean, enclosed spaces such as dog or cat houses that help retain body heat.
Other winter precautions for companion animals and livestock include:
MDARD’s Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for the Care of Farm Animals (GAAMP) have specific guidance on cold weather care for livestock species. Some general precautions include:
For more information on GAAMPs, visit at http://www.michigan.gov/gaamps