FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An arctic blast is expected to push into Northwest Arkansas later this week, with wind chill temperatures well below zero. With these extreme temperatures in mind, Fayetteville Animal Services is encouraging pet owners to prepare now. 

In order to avoid any harm to your pet and any citations being issued, Fayetteville Animal Services Superintendent Justine Lentz encourages residents to bring their pets indoors for at least Thursday night through Saturday.

“A doghouse might provide protection from regular winter weather, but these extreme low temperatures will require that pets have access to better protected shelter,” Lentz said.

Temperatures are projected to fall below zero degrees.

Valerie Henley, Animal Services staff veterinarian, said, “The actual temperature is just part of the equation. You also have to consider other contributing facts, like wind chill, precipitation and whether it’s sunny or cloudy.”

The windier, wetter and darker it is outside, the colder it will feel—and the more danger your pet may be in, according to Animal Services. In addition to proper shelter, keep in mind that pets need access to fresh water, which will freeze quickly in below-freezing temperatures.

Animal Services has a limited number of free doghouses available to anyone in need. These are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and are sitting out in front of Animal Services at 1640 S. Armstrong Ave.

“If you have a doghouse you’re no longer using, please feel free to drop it off any time, and we will pass it on to someone in need,” Lentz added.

For more information about Animal Services, go to: https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/525/Animal-Services.