WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — With temperatures tremendously dropping in the state of Louisiana next week, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry urges livestock and pet owners to take necessary precautions to protect their animals.

During times like these, it is important to take precautionary measures and to do so safely and correctly. For example, not many people realize the risk antifreeze can pose to our pets. Dogs and cats will drink it if it is left out as it tastes sweet; however, it is highly toxic to them.  If you drain any of the fluid from your tractor in preparation for the weather, be sure to dispose of it properly. These are things we know how to do, but let’s make sure we are doing them the right way.

Commissioner Mike Strain, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Here are some cold-weather tips for pet and livestock owners:

Pets

  • Provide adequate food and water. Monitor water bowls as they can freeze during cold weather.
  • Outdoor cats searching for warmth will sometimes crawl underneath the hood of a vehicle. Bang on or open the hood of your car so any animal in there trying to stay warm can get out before you crank up that engine. Cats can be injured or even killed when the car is started.
  • Provide adequate food and water. Monitor water bowls as they can freeze during cold weather.
  • Keep all companion animals indoors. If this is not an option, make sure there is a dry shelter available and have warm blankets for your pet.

Livestock

  • Owners should check their livestock and look for signs of stress, illness, or injury.
  • Provide plenty of hay, feed, energy supplements, and water.
  • Pay close attention to the young and older animals as they are more susceptible to problems during frigid conditions.
  • Be sure to check water troughs as they can ice over.