(Lewisburg, W.Va.) WVVA - With below freezing temperatures you may want to take precaution with your pets. Dr. Patrick McHale is a veterinarian at Seneca Trail Animal Hospital in Lewisburg. He has over 30 years of experience caring for animals. Here are his tips on how to keep your pets safe.
- If the dog or cat is primarily an indoor pet it won’t be acclimated to colder temperatures and should not be left outside for long periods of time.
- Outdoor pets need shelter. Dr. McHale said the best shelter is something small, that will contain body heat the animal produces. Bedding, like straw, will also help keep the animal warm. Make sure the structure's opening is facing away from the wind to protect the animal from wind chill.
- Dr. McHale said pets drink more water in cold weather. If the water dish is kept outside check it to make sure it is not frozen. Check canned food outside too to make sure it does not freeze.
- If your pet does spend time outside in below freezing temperatures, when it comes inside check it’s paws to make sure they haven’t frozen over. If they have ice on the paws, Dr. McHale advises putting the paws in warm water to melt the ice and warm the paw.
- Dr. McHale says for animals that do not have heavy fur coats will benefit from wearing a sweater or jacket.