Yes, it's been cold in North Dakota, but the forecast is calling for even colder weather as we approach the New Year Weekend. There is more seasonable weather after the weekend, but you need to get through the next 5-7 days with sub-below temperatures before the above freezing air settles.

As some of you have heard on my morning show, at the Townsquare Media Broadcast Center, we have adopted a cat, which is too wild to catch or even get close to. Or it maybe better to say, the cat adopted us. To keep the cat safe and warm, I have made the cat a shelter out of a box, and placed soft old tee-shirts inside the box. This way, the cat is out of the wind, and the bedding can help hold the cat's body heat and of course, we've been feeding the cat. I could not just let the cat take care of itself in wind-chill factors of 40 below.

Here are some tips we're using to keep the wild cat warm and safe through the cold-snap, and I am the owner of two dogs, below are suggestions I use and information from the ASCPA  to help keep your pets warm and safe during the winter months.

First, if possible, keep your pet inside. At the very least, do like I did, build of find some sort of shelter to keep the animal out of the wind. In the shelter or box, place some form of padding, even hay to help hold the animals body heat. I came up with the idea of placing hand warmers (the kind you place in your winter gloves) underneath the top layer of shirts. Some hand warmers produce heat for up to 20 hours, this way, Snappy, (that's the name I just gave the cat, "Snappy") Other  helpful, safe hints include

  • Make sure the animal has plenty of food
  • Towel off and dry your animal after playing in the snow
  • place Vaseline (if not booties) on your dogs paws before going out in the snow or ice
  • Let your dogs hair remain long during the winter months and for short-haired dogs, play dress-up, get a sweater.
  • If it is too cold for you to go outside, it's probably too cold for your pets to play outside (duh)

It is very important to check on your animal and be sure they have water, and that their water source is not frozen.

If you should find an animal, as I did, that is in need of help from the cold, do your best to provide some assistance. It's the right thing to do.

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