Cold Weather: Don't forget about your pets, plants, pipes & more

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With temperatures dropping below freezing this week, don’t forget to bring your pets and plants indoors and take precautions to protect your car and home.

Bring outdoor pets inside if possible. If not, make sure they have shelter and a blanket or bedding to keep warm.

Animals at shelters need some extra warmth too. Garland Animal Services is asking for blanket donations for animals still waiting for new homes.  Adoptions are free in Garland for the rest of the month to help those animals find homes faster.

It may be too late but, hopefully, you’ve remembered to protect your delicate plants from the cold weather.

Summer plants must be brought inside, especially those with tender vegetation. If your plants are in a garden or large pot that’s too big to move, you should cover them with a sheet or cloth.

It’s best to water the soil around the plant first.

“Big leaves, lots of water content to them… those are the things that tend to freeze a lot. You want to make sure you water them well before the freeze. So water them this afternoon so they will basically quick freeze. So as they thaw out they will water themselves in the morning and you’ll be good,” said Mark Ruibal with Ruibals Plants of Texas.

Be sure to turn off your sprinkler system to avoid creating any slippery sidewalks.

As far as your pipes go, insulate anything that’s exposed outside of the house. Open cabinets in your kitchen or bathrooms to let the heat circulate and keep indoor pipes warm. You can also let the cold water drip from the faucet overnight to help prevent your pipes from freezing.

Be sure to know where your shut off valve is just in case.

Last, your car or truck might need love too.

If you have a newer model vehicle with tire pressure sensors, they may be lighting up warning you that the pressure is too low. Blame the cold. It reduces tire pressure.

The cold can also affect car batteries. It can take twice as much power to start a vehicle in very cold weather. So if yours seems to be struggling to start, you might have a weak battery that could fail soon.