With temperatures expected to plummet into the single digits this week, pet owners need to take the proper steps to keep their pets safe and comfortable by bringing them indoors, according to a local veterinarian.
Dr. Amanda Castle of Town and County Animal Hospital in Mount Olivet said a good guideline to follow for bringing dogs, cats and other animals inside is when temperatures dip below below the freezing point.
Castle said while pet owners obviously need to still take the time to allow their pets outside to relieve themselves, any prolonged exposure to temperatures below the freezing point isn't advised.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Pets like Bentley should not be exposed to extreme cold temperatures for extended periods of time, as temperatures are expected to dip into the single digits in the Ohio Valley by early next week.
"As cold as it is going to get ... over the next few days, I wouldn't recommend any prolonged exposure to the outdoors," Castle said.
"Frozen water bowls are a big concern, as well as not having adequate access to shelter. We worry a lot about frostbite and hypothermia as well as any common discomfort that humans may experience while exposed to extreme temperatures."
"When we're outside we bundle up - they can't bundle up ... and they can suffer from the same issues being exposed to prolonged cold temperatures like frostbite and hypothermia ... and they can be life threatening."
Additionally, Castle advises that after pets returns to the indoors, there should be a close inspection of paws for any cuts they might experience from walking on ice or salt.
She said it is a good idea to get in the habit of wiping their paws off, as salt or any other product used to melt ice can be very irritating. She said small ice balls can also sometimes form between the pads of their paws, especially those pets with longer hair.