Cold Weather Warning: Bring Your Pets Indoors

The ARL asks pet owners to please bring their animals inside, when possible

Our local weathermen issued a cold weather warning: bundle up this week!

A wave of frigid air hit New England, causing temperatures to plummet 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal around The Greater Boston Area. Overnight temps are expected to drop into the teens and single digits in some of the northern and western suburbs.

Just as you’ll protect yourself with a warm coat, hat, and gloves when you head outdoors, your pets will need the extra protection too! Though they may have furry coats, animals are by no means immune to dangerously cold temperatures. Even rabbits, cats, and dogs that typically live outdoors need extra assistance keeping warm as temperatures drop to alarming lows.

5 steps to keep animals safe during this cold weather warning:

  1. If possible, bring pets or feral cats that you’re familiar with indoors to a garage or basement.

    cold weather warning

    Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DYI cat shelter in your yard. Click the photo for a basic how-to video.

  2. Bundle up your pup in a jacket or sweater during their walk, especially if their coat is made of hair (vs. fur)
  3. Before you start your engine, look under and pound on your vehicle’s hood to wake a napping cat trying to keep warm.
  4. Never leave your pet alone inside your vehicle, which won’t stay warm for long after your engine has turned off.
  5. If your pet MUST remain outdoors, make sure that are in a winter-friendly shelter that has the following components: three-sided enclosure, stands off the ground, contains generous amounts of bedding, and plenty of (un-frozen!) drinking water.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. If you’re concerned about a neighborhood animal outdoors in the cold this week, be sure to contact your local animal control office or authorities.

For more information about winter pet healthy and safety, visit