Caring for animals during cold weather


By Robin Young | PREVIEW Columnist

“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. 

Upcoming classes

Please visit our Facebook page and website to register.

Jan. 23 — Cottage foods online certification, 1 to 5 p.m.

Jan. 31 (six weeks) — Colorado Building Farmers online class. This class will help you build a business plan.

Feb. 8 (six weeks) — Seed to Supper. A growers guide to low-cost vegetable gardening in Archuleta County, 6-8 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association conference room.

March 2 — Livestock and Forage Growers Online Update. A Western Slope outlook.

March 18 — Seed Class and Swap, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Look for upcoming classes on the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension — Archuleta County Facebook page.

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 246-5931 to register.

Visit online

Visit us on the Web at or like us on Facebook and get more information: and