MADISON (WKOW) --- Cold weather can be dangerous for your pet.
"Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries, and harsh conditions can weaken their immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to illness," says Gayle Viney, Public Relations Coordinator for DCHS.
7 Cold Weather Tips for Pets*:
"Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops," says Viney, "only take them out for shortened bathroom breaks and supervised exercise." Shorthaired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. "No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life," says Viney.
Animals can be outside for short intervals, but make sure to pay attention to signs that they are getting too cold. Some signs include: shivering, whimpering, repeated lifting of paws, and lethargy.
Owners should also purchase a sweater or jacket for their short-haired dog. Fleece coats often make the best choice, as they are lightweight and slim, and offer superior warmth and insulation. Dogs and cats may have their very own fur coats, but that doesn't mean that their bodies can handle extreme cold, snow, and ice.
"You wouldn't go outside without proper gear in the winter, so don't send your pets out unprepared either," says Viney.
The same precautions are being taken at DCHS. Walk times for dogs have been shortened and coats have been provided to each dog in need of one.
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