PAWS Humane gives safety tips for pets in cold weather

PAWS's community cat house with heat lamp.The heat lamp keeps pets warm and cozy in this weather. (Source: PAWS Humane)
PAWS's community cat house with heat lamp.The heat lamp keeps pets warm and cozy in this weather. (Source: PAWS Humane)
(Source: PAWS Humane)
(Source: PAWS Humane)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – PAWS Humane wants to help you ensure your pets stay warm and safe in colder conditions this winter.

"Pets in this area are not acclimated to the cold temperature and precipitation and can experience hypothermia or frostbite, therefore, we recommend to bring your pets inside these next few nights," Dr. Robby Wrighten, PAWS Humane Lead Veterinarian says.

As inclement weather approaches the Columbus and surrounding areas, PAWS Humane would like to provide tips to pet owners to keep your pets safe:

  • If you can, first and foremost, bring your pet inside, even if it is just for the next few nights. With the temperatures down here in Columbus, most pets are not used to this kind of freezing weather. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside.
  • Know the limits of your pet. This can depend on their coat of hair and any medical issues they might have. Thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection.
  • If your pet has a short coat, consider putting a sweater on him/her. Just make sure if it gets wet to switch them out.
  • Although we strongly recommend bringing your pet inside, if you are unable to do so, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter to keep the wind out. Providing hay, or some type of bedding is a plus as well.
  • Listen to your pet. If your pet is whining, shivering, slows down or stops moving, please get them to a warm place as soon as possible. They could be showing signs of hypothermia. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Dr. Wrighten also says, "If you absolutely cannot bring them inside, your garage is an option that will block out wind and rain."

"If it is too cold outside for you, it is too cold for your pet," said Dr. Nicky Pettry, PAWS Humane Veterinarian.

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