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Tips to keep pets safe in frigid weather

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The frigid air is not just a problem for people. It also presents serious hazards for pets.

We call them our furry friends, but with single digit temperatures and subzero wind chills even a fur coat cannot keep them warm.

"They haven't had time to adjust to this type of temperature. Last night it was 54 degrees and today it's 10," said Megan Goble.

Goble fosters dogs for Dumas Rescue Group in Floyd County but does not have enough room to keep them all inside

"When funds are limited we have to do whatever we need to do to keep these animals warm," she said.

She covers outdoor kennels with plastic and wood to keep frigid wind out, puts straw in to hold in warmth, and keeps them on a regular feeding schedule.

"If you take hot chicken broth with rice and mix it in with their dog food that adds extra carbs to be able to keep them a little bit warmer so they can withstand the temperatures," said Goble.

Limiting the amount of time your pet spends outside is key.

Officials say putting them in things like dog sweaters actually does help them even if you think it looks a little silly.

They also say if you are not used to these cold temperatures your pet probably is not used to them either.

The Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA) says recognizing hypothermia symptoms is easy.

The KVMA website says, "If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia."

Frostbite though is harder to pinpoint in animals and may not be detectable until days later, but they say if in doubt, always call your vet.

Officials also say when you walk your dog avoid walking it on ice and check the pads on its feet for dryness and cracks.

A detailed list of cold weather pet tips can be found at the link above.

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