Temperatures are plunging dangerously low across the Treasure State, and Missoula City-County Animal Control says pet owners need to take a few extra steps to help their furry friends through the winter.
The shelter says temperatures that are 10 degrees or lower can mean danger for your pets. They recommend indoor pets be limited to 10 to 15 minute trips outside during those conditions.
Animal control says pets accustomed to outdoor living should have an insulated pet house with a door flap, extra hay and bedding, plenty of water and more food than usual to help them stay warm. Missoula City-County Animal Control supervisor Jeff Darrah reminds pet owners that their animal's safety depends on making responsible choices.
"Pay attention to your pets. It's cold," Darrah said. " They can't do anything for themselves. They need your help. They rely on you for food, warmth shelter."
Darrah says Missoula has an ordinance about dog house safety rules. He says when the shelter gets a call about a pet outside in the cold, they respond to ensure the owner is following those guidelines.
A list of Missoula's pet safety requirements is available here.