Cold weather is here! Keeping pets and livestock warm this winter

Cold weather is here! Keeping pets and livestock warm this winter



It’s important to know your animals’ limits when it comes to chilly temperatures. Tolerance to the cold can vary from animal to animal depending on coat type and thickness, body fat, medical conditions, age and activity level. Like people, animals can get hypothermia and frostbite. Contact your veterinarian if you have questions about how your pets or livestock may react to cold weather.

County law requires that pet owners provide their animals shelter from the elements, as well as bedding. The best option is to bring pets indoors during cold weather. If this isn’t possible, protection can also come in the form of a sturdy doghouse with warm, dry bedding, or a barn that provides adequate housing for livestock. Raising floors and bedding off the ground helps to minimize heat loss. Additionally, if you care for feral or community cats, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has information on their website for caring for outdoor cats during the winter months.

Cold weather also brings the risk of severe winter weather, which can result in power outages, road closures and supply chain issues. Prepare emergency kits for both the people and animals in your household. We recommend keeping at least a 10-day supply of food, water and any medications your animals need on hand at all times.

You can always call us at 503-846-7041 if you believe an animal in Washington County does not have adequate protection from the cold. One of our Animal Services officers will follow up.


For more information, please visit

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter located in at 1901 SE 24th Ave, Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email