When subzero temps hit, the cold doesn't just have negative health effects for humans. Dogs, cats and other animals can also suffer injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite.

You can still do most of the normal things you do with your pet in the winter that you do during the rest of the year, but there are several things to keep in mind when temperatures are at extreme lows.

According to Kim Strong of Lainey's Army, one of the most important things to remember is not leave your dog outside unattended. If you do let the dog out to do their business, wait until they're done and immediately let them in. "Watch for lifting paws it means pain."

Strong also says that walks are acceptable, but keep them to shorter distances when it is below zero. When you do take your animal out on a walk it's important to make sure they have plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent their skin from becoming dry.  "Wipe dogs paws off when you return from a walk. The road salts and ice melting chemicals are not good for dogs to have on or lick from their paws."

There are several indicators to look for to see if you're pet is starting to suffer from one of these cold weather conditions. For instance, if the dog does get cold you want to make sure you warm it slowly to prevent frostbite. "If your pet gets lethargic be sure to contact the vet immediately," says Strong.

Strong also wishes to remind folks if they see an animal in danger, they are encouraged to contact proper authorities. "If you see a dog left outside call your local SPCA, police and local legislators. This truly is an important issue to keep in mind during the colder winter months."

One more thing Strong recommends is tapping on or knocking on your vehicles hood before starting your engine. There may be the possibility of a small animal sleeping or burrowing in there to keep warm.

Basically, use common sense. If you are cold then odds are you're animal is just as cold.

Winter Weather Preparation:

  • Keep your cell phone charged and make sure you know where your backup power supply is.
  • Make sure all your flashlights have fresh batteries.
  • Fill your gas tank. You can use your car to keep warm and recharge devices.
  • Have some food available that you don’t need to cook.
  • Download the STATION App. You’ll receive local alerts, weather reports and more with push notifications.

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