Protecting pets in cold weather - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Protecting pets in cold weather

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The Tennessee Valley got a glimpse of a winter wonderland, and the cold weather is sticking around. A Chattanooga veterinarian urges pet owners to remember the cold air doesn't just affect people, but also pets.

Veterinarian Tony Ashley said some dogs, like huskies, are used to the cold weather. However, other dogs with less fur or that usually stay indoors are not.

He said to remember if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet as well. If your pet isn't used to the weather there are a few tips you can follow.

  • If it's snowing or raining put boots on your dog or make sure you wash their paws when they come inside.
  • Dr. Ashley also recommends putting a jacket or sweater on your dog.
  • And look out for signs of hypothermia, such as lethargy, frostbite, or shivering.

If you do have a dog or outdoor pet that's used to the cold, he has a few tips for you as well.

"If it's an outdoor animal, just make sure they have access to water that's not frozen,” Dr. Ashley urged, “Make sure they have access to get out of the snow, get out of the rain if it's raining, get out of the wind, and make sure they have some sort of bedding."

If you think your pet could have hypothermia, try to warm them up slowly using a warm blanket. If they don't get better within a few minutes, take them to the vet.

Another thing to look out for this winter is salt brine. The mixture is spread on roads and sidewalks to help keep them from getting icy. Dr. Ashley said that mixture could be extremely dangerous for your pet.

He also urges folks to watch out for antifreeze that may have dripped on the ground. It can also be toxic for your pet.

He urges pet owners to keep a close eye on animals whenever they’re outside.

“In general keep them away from any puddles; you don’t know what's in them,” Dr. Ashley said, “And also, they're stepping in a lot of stuff; I'd wash their feet off when they come inside.”

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