Take precautions to keep yourself and pets safe during days of extreme cold

With extreme cold temperatures expected all week, Minneapolis City officials want to remind everyone how to stay safe. In dangerous cold, frostbite can happen in just minutes. And everyone should remember: if it’s too cold for them, it’s probably too cold for their pets.

Tips for extremely cold weather

  • Stay inside as much as possible and limit time spent in the cold.
  • Dress in layers and keep clothes and footwear dry.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia, and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, a blanket and flashlight, and keep the fuel tank above half full.

Pets get cold too

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds residents that their pets feel the cold, too. Here are some reminders from Animal Control:

  • Keep pets in proper shelter and out of direct exposure to the elements.
  • Never leave pets unattended in a parked car for any period of time.
  • Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Leaving pets outside in the cold can result in citations of $500 or more, seizure of the animal, or the death of the animal from the cold.
  • Anyone who sees an animal outside without shelter or in an unattended car can call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control immediately – in Minneapolis, that’s 311 (612-673-3000). If they believe the situation to be life-threatening and the animal is nonresponsive, they should call 911.

More information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures can be found on the Health Department’s webpages and www.ready.gov/winter.