Keeping your pets warm in chilly weather: It it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them

Protect your pets in the cold

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In the cooler temperatures, veterinarians say it’s important not to forget about your pets.

They say there is a big rule for having your pets outside in chilly conditions.

“If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them outside,” said Germantown Animal Hospital co-medical director Angie Zinkus.

She said the time your dog should spend outside depends on its breed.

“Long-haired breeds like the Huskies and Malamutes -- they can stay out a little bit longer because that's what they're bred for,” she said. “But your dachshunds, I would only keep them out for a few minutes to use the restroom.”

Zinkus said if dog owners have short-haired breeds, they can put a sweater on them to keep them warm.

She added that if your dog gets too cold, it can be dangerous.

“Their body temperature can drop, and it can be very difficult to warm them up,” she said. “Keep in mind a lot of times this year we're using antifreeze, so if they get into that it can be a bad scenario.”

Warning signs to look out for in your dog are shivering or acting lethargic.

Zinkus said you should also check your pets' paws, as the cold ground can crack them.

If you see any of these signs, it's safest to take them to the vet.

Zinkus said another precaution to take in the chilly temperatures is banging on the hood of your car, in case a cat crawled in looking for a warm place.

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