By: Ashley Spivey
It is important to protect your pets and give them the right care when freezing temperatures hit the Midlands.
Erin Smith, with the Humane Society, says if pets are left in extreme temperatures, especially without food and shelter, they are at risk of hypothermia, death, and frostbite. Smith says to make sure animals stay warm by keeping them dry and out of the cold weather, preferably inside.
"It is important that the owner feed their pets regularly," Smith says. "Animals are burning a lot of calories in order to maintain their body heat so they need more food to keep themselves healthy."
Smith also says some people commonly make the mistake of using blankets in outdoor crates to keep pets warm. However, blankets absorb moisture and become very cold or even icy.
"Owners can sometimes put their animals in unsafe weather conditions without even knowing it," she says.
Smith suggests pet owners substitute straw for blankets. Also, keep food and water out of the cold because that can become icy as well.
"Short-haired dogs need a high collared coat to stay warm," Smith says.
Pets paws are also very sensitive to cold temperatures, so apply a dollop of petroleum jelly to their paw pads before going outside.
Lastly, outdoor cats love to sleep under cars during the cold or even crawl up into the warm car engine, so always check before you start your car.
Visit American Veterinary Medical Association to get more information on how to keep your furry friends safe. If you feel that someone is neglecting their pets by keeping them in unsafe weather conditions, contact law enforcement.