Safety Tips for Pets During Extreme Cold

Updated: 01/22/2013 7:51 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

We are not only concerned about people out in the cold on days like this, but pet owners need to be careful, too.

Dogs and cats can get hypothermia and frostbite too. And any dog or cat exposed to these elements for very long can wind up getting hypothermia, even for the brief periods of time.

Dr. Kelly Banning, a veterinarian at Camden Pet Hospital in Minneapolis, says the ones that are at the most risk are the ones that are young, old, very short hair or the really skinny animals.

If your pet begins to shiver or their ears, tail or start to show signs of frost bite - like redness or white patches - bring them inside immediately.

Don't leave your animal alone in the car during cold weather.

Ice or de-ice can cause irritation and can cause illness if they lick their paws.

Also, if your dog goes outside, ice and snow can get caught in between their paws and cause pain. One way to avoid that is take them to an indoor dog park.

Also be careful your pets don't get into anti-freeze. It's highly toxic to pets, and they are attracted to that smell.

Vets also say sweaters will help your animal stay warm but they won't prevent hypothermia. They also say the booties are a good idea to protect their paws.