Tips to keep pets safe in freezing temps

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As the cold weather drives people inside, animal experts say pets may need a little help weathering the frigid temperatures.

Robin Sawyers says she is guilty of giving her dogs too much attention.

"Both of em are rotten as can be," said Sawyers.

The owner of Bed Bath 'n' Bonz, Sawyers says this extra attention is necessary for all dogs when extreme temperatures roll in.

"My Min Pin stays curled up on the couch," said Sawyers. "My border Collie pretty much could care less but I make him come inside."

Veterinarians like Dr. Mike Maris agree with Sawyer's tactics. Small indoor dogs should stay inside when temperatures drop. But, it is OK for larger, outdoor dogs with thick coats to stay outside.

"When you get extremes, though, you have to protect them from the wind and wet," explained Maris. "So have a shelter where they can stay out of the wind and be dry."

"Use old blankets or old comforters and shove them in the dog house," said Sawyers.

Proper shelter is the first step. The second is fresh food and water.

"The biggest problem with outdoor dogs is their water freezing," said Maris.

And, while these toasty tips should be sufficient, there are more.

"If you have a short haired pet, you can always put a sweater on them," said Sawyers. "As far as their feet go, they do make this stuff called Paw Wax and it acts as an insulator."

"Be careful about putting lights to warm them, because it is very easy to get a burn," said Maris.

If your own pets are taken care of, look out for animals in need around you.

"I want to take them in the house but my husband won't let me cause then I'd have all the dogs in the neighborhood living with us," said Barbara Tice, owner of two golden retrievers.

"I personally would probably go wander up some old blankets and ask them if I could put it in the doghouse," said Sawyers.

Maris says talk to your neighbors first. If you think it is a case of animal abuse, call local law enforcement to evaluate the situation.

We want to hear what you would do if your neighbor's pets are left outside unprotected. Answer the poll question below.

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