Governor Pat McCrory and First Lady Ann McCrory are encouraging North Carolinians to take additional steps to ensure their pets are safe this winter.
“For Ann and I, pets are part of our family, and they need extra care when temperatures drop or the state is covered in snow, sleet or ice,”
said Governor McCrory.
“Remember to have an emergency plan and supplies kit for your pets just as you would for the rest of your family,”
First Lady McCrory said.
“Determine what your pet needs during cold temperatures and add it to your emergency plan.”
North Carolina’s central region averages six to 12 winter weather storms annually with measurable snow, sleet, freezing rain or cold rain. The coastal regions typically experience less than four events, while the mountains can see 12 or more snow or sleet events annually. North Carolina’s proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Stream and Gulf of Mexico means it can experience a variety of winter weather patterns that provide a mixed bag of precipitation.
“North Carolina winters are often unpredictable with combinations of snow, ice and rain,” said Mike Sprayberry, N.C. Emergency Management director. “The past few years have reminded us that the south is not immune to winter storms. Take time now to gather items your pets would need and talk with your veterinarian about the risks your pets face.”
Include in your pet’s emergency supplies kit:
- Enough canned/dry food and water for three to seven days plus feeding dishes;
- Proper identification including immunization records;
- Muzzle, collar and leash;
- Medical records (in a waterproof bag), first aid kit and two-week supply of medicines;
- Pet beds, blankets, toys and disposable litter trays/toweling; and
- Pet traveling bag or sturdy carrier, ideally for each pet.
To keep your animals safe, be sure to
- Ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar, updated identification and contact information.
- Bring pets inside when temperatures drop below freezing. Like people, pets are susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration and other medical conditions.
- Check underneath your warming car for roaming animals like cats.
- Shorten your dog’s walks and check paws for signs of cold-weather injury. After walks, wipe down your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove any chemicals (antifreeze).
- Move livestock and other animals into sheltered locations with sufficient food and water.
The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCDMVA) reminds that pets should be monitored around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and space heaters. These can cause severe burns.
Cold, damp weather can aggravate your pet’s arthritis. Arthritis is common among older and overweight pets, and those with a healed bone fracture. The NCDMVA recommends owners consult their veterinarian for medications and dietary supplements that can help relieve arthritis pain. Giving a pet human medications without the advice of a veterinarian, such as Tylenol™ and ibuprofen, can be deadly for pets.
“If you have any questions, talk to your veterinarian,” said Sprayberry. “Cold, wet, winter months can make pets nervous and uneasy. Planning ahead and including pets in your family’s emergency plan will ensure they are safe should weather conditions deteriorate.”
For more information on how to prepare for winter storms, download the free ReadyNC app, which provides real-time information on traffic and weather conditions plus open shelters and items needed in an emergency supplies kit, or visit