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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Farm livestock and family pets will need special attention tonight and Friday when a blast of arctic air is expected to drop temperatures to near zero across much of the state, a University of Tennessee veterinarian said Thursday.

 Dr. Hugh McCampbell of the UT Extension Service said livestock will need a place to get out of the wind, nutritious food and free access to water.

 “Sometimes that’s a good grove of trees, a barn or shed — those that are open to the south or the east are the best to protect from the north and west winds,” McCampbell said. “It’s important for them to have good quality feed — a good quality hay, maybe even some grain — to help keep their body heat up.

“Breaking the ice on stock tanks and ponds is really important,” McCampbell said. “Livestock must have free-choice water.”

 Cats and dogs should be brought indoors, or a place found for them on a porch, in a basement or somewhere out of the wind.

 “When in doubt, it’s good for them to come in out of the cold,” McCampbell said. “It’s good if they can sleep on a pad or on an old rug — something that will get them off the chill of the ground.”

 Food and water also are important.

 “They need good intake just like livestock,” McCampbell said. “You don’t realize you use so much fluid in the cold weather — both humans and animals — but you have to keep the hydration up to keep the body processes going.”

 Contact: Dr. Hugh McCampbell (423-974-5566)