Cold winter can mean trouble for furry friends

TUPELO – As the temperature drops, the chances of your outdoor pets freezing to death increases.
Despite being equipped with fur coats, dogs and cats are just as affected by the cold weather as humans are. But unlike their owners, pets can’t verbally tell you when they are too cold. Veterinarian Dr. Sara Nelms at Dilworth Small Animal Hospital said even though pets can’t speak, they still can tell you when the cold weather is getting to them.
“Just like us, they shiver when it’s cold and they show discomfort,” said Nelms. “We can get hypothermia and so can they. That’s why when the temperature drops below freezing owners, have to go through every precaution to make sure their outdoor pet is warm and dry.”
Nelms said providing your dog or cat with a dry area, stuffed with blankets or hay, is a good way to make sure it is warm. Also checking water bowls to make sure they’re not frozen is important.
Dogs will die of dehydration before they die of starvation. And if your pet has a short coat of fur, just go buy it another coat. Animal coats can be purchased at pet stores.
Tupelo-Lee Humane Society Director Debbie Hood said it’s important for inside pets to remain inside when it’s cold.
“If a pet has always lived in the house, then its body is not acclimated to cold weather and it is more likely to freeze,” she said. “So people should not leave their house pets out for extended periods of time.”
She also said puppies and small breeds of dogs should be kept inside at all times during cold weather.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal