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Keeping your pets safe during cold weather

The Capital Humane Society said if the temperature is below 20 degrees it’s best to keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 9:25 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Even though Nebraskans haven’t seen as much snow as normal in January, below-zero wind chills make it dangerous to go outside. This goes for pets too.

Shortening walks is the best way to limit exposure and keeping time outside to under five minutes. For pets that stay outside, the Capital Humane Society said proper shelter and water are critical when temperatures are below freezing. Outdoor cats are attracted to any place that is warm, like car engines, so be on the lookout for animals before morning commutes. With colder temperatures comes the risks of hypothermia and frostbite, which can both happen to your pets too.

“If you have a smaller dog and there’s more snow on the ground, make sure there’s a clear path for them to get out and go to the bathroom and get back in,” Matt Madcharo with the Capital Humane Society said. “Keep an eye on them the whole time and if you notice any symptoms of hypothermia get them to a vet right away.”

The Capital Humane Society said if the temperature is below 20 degrees it’s best to keep your pets indoors as much as possible.

Uncontrollably shaking, drooling and stumbling are all signs of hypothermia, while blisters and swelling can be signs of frostbite. It’s important to check paws when there is ice and snow to be sure there is nothing that could cause injury and frostbite, as well as harmful ice melt and chemicals. It’s a common misconception that because animals have fur, they’ll be able to brace the cold temperatures, but that’s not true for all pets.

“If it’s cold for you it’s cold for them. Obviously there are some breeds that have thicker coats like Huskies and Malamutes, and they tend to enjoy the cold a bit more,” Madcharo said. “But leaving any pet outside in the cold right now puts them at risk for hypothermia and frostbite and all sorts of things.”

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