Pet care in cold weather

Despite their fur coats, even your four-footed companions need shelter from the cold. Pets can die if left in extreme weather. Cats might sneak under the hood of a car to warm up. A dog let off leash in a storm can get lost.

Jhana's nose in the Sandias

Take Care

The Humane Society and the ASPCA ask owners to:

  • Keep pets inside during cold weather.

  • Let longer-haired dogs keep their warm coats, and consider investing in a sweater or coat for short-haired breeds.

  • Keep poisons, including antifreeze and rock salt, away from animals. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

  • Wipe a dog’s paws to rid them of rock salt.

  • Bang the car hood to warn small critters that may curl up on the engine to keep warm.

  • Leash dogs during snow storms, when dogs can lose their scent and get lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure pets wear an ID tag.

Get Help

Animals left outside in extreme cold are at risk of hypothermia and even death. Their owners may also be at risk of breaking the law.

In Multnomah County people who own animals are required to provide proper shelter during extreme weather. Failing to do so might be considered neglect, and Animal Services relies on the community to report when animals are being mistreated.

If a person sees animals in a situation they feel is unsafe, some may feel comfortable bringing those concerns to the owner. If not, or if the owner is not receptive, or if a person is uncertain whether a situation is a case of abuse or neglect, Animal Services control officers can help make the determination.

Multnomah County Animal Services responds, 24 hours a day, to animal emergency calls. Just call 503-988-7387.