Pets, plants affected by the cold weather

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NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 08: Dogs at the Animal Haven: Shelter Opening Celebration on June 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/FilmMagic)

As the temperature start to drop, the staff at Cara’s House is prepping for what’s to come.

“When it gets down to the 30’s or below then we have someone stay overnight and they run jet heaters to keep [the animals] warm,” Reagan Daniel, president of the animal shelter, said. 

Along with those heaters, Daniel says they’ve stocked up on blankets and extra food and their main priority is keeping the animals safe.

“We do the best that we can to keep them warm,” she said. The ones that are skinny or missing hair we’ll put an extra jacket on them.”

Small dogs and cats are kept inside while the bigger dogs are kept outside. Daniel says during the winter she constantly urges people to adopt or foster a pet.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control & Rescue Center has advised all pet and animal owners to take extra precautions with their animals during the current freeze advisory.

The city of Baton Rouge provided the following recommendations to protect the health and safety of your animals:

  • Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. If this is not an option, make sure there is a dry shelter available and have warm blankets for your pet.
  • Outdoor pets use more energy to keep warm so they will need more food when it’s cold.
  • Check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
  • Provide a shelter with a blanket and raised floor that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat.
  • Consider a sweater for your short-haired dog.

“It’s just a way to cut our numbers down and try to be able to keep everyone as warm as possible,” Daniel said. 

Something else that needs protection are your plants. Most summer plants have started to die off, but some can be saved if they’re covered.

“You can use anything from an old bed sheet to something that we call frost cloth that’s specially made,” Liz Morgan, supervisor at Louisiana plant nursery, said. 

Morgan says plants like pansy’s, viola’s, petunia’s and snapdragons can handle freezing temperatures.

“Pansy’s and viola’s will keep their blooms through freezing weather, whereas snapdragons and petunia’s may lose their bloom, but the plant will stick around,” Morgan said. 

Though it’s getting colder outside Morgan says the best thing to do for the plants is to continue to keep them watered and to surround them in mulch. 

Cara’s house says they are accepting donates for blankets and animal beds. 

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