The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Animal Welfare Act recommends that ambient temperature should not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, especially when sick, aged or young animals are present. If it does, plan to supplement the animal’s environment with auxiliary heating and additional bedding. Additionally, animals should always be provided with adequate protection and shelter from the direct effect of wind, rain or snow. Remember that animals in Texas are not acclimated to cold weather so they must be protected from extreme weather conditions accordingly. Allowing pets indoors is a great way to protect them from harsh weather.
If you know or suspect that an animal has ingested any of the above items, immediately consult a veterinarian, animal emergency clinic or poison control center. The Texas Poison Center Network can be reached at 800/222-1222. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 800/548-2423.
Thanks is given to Dr. John C. Haliburton, former Head of Diagnostic Toxicology for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Amarillo, for his assistance and expertise in preparing this article.
1Rosendale, ME. Veterinary Medicine. 1999; August:703..
Pam wilson, LVT, MEd, MCHES, works at the Texas Department of State Health Services in the Zoonosis Control Branch.