Fur coat not enough for pets in the cold - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Fur coat not enough for pets in the cold

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

If you think your pet's fur coat is enough to get that so-called "outside dog" through this cold, think again.

In fact, leaving your pet out in this kind of cold could lead to criminal charges.

You hear it all the time, "well my pet is an outdoor pet," but in cases of extreme weather, like what we are seeing now, that is no excuse, according to The Humane Society.

Monday at Pets Fur People in Tyler, all of the outside dogs had been brought in and the heat was turned on to a warm 75.

Animal neglect is a misdemeanor. An owner can be charged if a pet doesn't have adequate food, water, or shelter.

The water in the dog bowls outside is frozen solid. The Humane Society states that the definition of adequate shelter for outdoor pets is protection from the elements or extreme weather. So, in below- freezing conditions, even outdoor pets should be brought inside.

"They're mammals just like us, they're probably not very acclimated to the cold because we're not a cold weather climate," Dr. Marcus Alexander, a veterinarian, said. "Now, some dogs obviously have longer hair coats, which are beneficial, but my Siberians come in at night. They don't want to be out there when it's cold."

One of the staff members at Pets Fur People said, "Look at it this way: if it's too cold for me to survive outside, it's too cold for my pet."

Veterinarians are saying anytime the weather is uncomfortable for you to be outside, bring your pet in. There is no magic number that reveals when a pet should come in.

They tell us leaving your pet out could make it sick or even kill it if it's very young, very old, or if it already has health issues.

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