State vet offers resources to protect animals during upcoming spell of extreme cold weather

With record-breaking low temperatures and snowfall predicted in Colorado late Wednesday through Friday, the Colorado Department of Agriculture urges animal owners to take steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their animals in the potentially hazardous weather conditions.

“Anyone who owns animals should prepare for this cold weather and emergencies that may arise as a result of the low temperatures,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “To the greatest extent possible, Coloradans should ensure all animals have access to adequate shelter with bedding and access to fresh water and plenty of food, as animals typically need more food and water in cold temperatures.”

Owners should consider bringing pets inside the home. Animal owners should make sure they have a way to maintain fresh water and food supply for animals in the case of extreme snow and ice. Cold weather can lead to power outages, which can cause mechanized feeders or heaters to become inoperable, so animal owners should make a preparedness plan to deal with any emergencies.

Severe and prolonged low temperatures can also cause problems for livestock, horses and their owners. Anyone going through a large winter storm for the first time should prepare by providing access to shelter for small farm animals like pigs, goats, and birds. Shelters, sheds, or windbreaks will protect livestock from winter storms and having bedding available can create a warm place to keep horses and livestock off ice and mud.

Additional information on how to prepare for severe winter storms can be found at, including information about protecting your companion animals, livestock, or your farm. Additionally, livestock information can be found on the CSU Extension website.