Caring for critters in cold weather conditions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Caring for critters in cold weather conditions

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

As temperatures begin to drop into the single digits, now is the time to make sure your pets are properly protected from the winter weather.

According to Executive Director of the Spokane Humane Society Dave Richardson, there is a common misconception that because dogs and cats have fur, they will be fine if they are left outside. However, pets can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite just like humans. 

"Animals left outside especially those not accustomed to being out overnight in the cold can be injured or even die from exposure to extreme temperatures," Richardson said. 

While certain breeds such as Huskies and Malamutes are better suited for extreme winter weather, all outdoor pets need help getting through the season safely.

Bringing your pets inside during the severe cold is the ideal option. However, if that is not possible, provide your furry friend with an adequate shelter to shield them from the wind, rain, and snow. It is also important to provide them with insulation and extra food for energy to maintain maintain their body heat. 

Dogs still need their exercise in the winter time. When walking in the snow, be sure to check your dog's paws for ice buildup between their pads. Dog booties offer protection to those pets willing to tolerate wearing them.

Pets who walk on sidewalks that have been de-iced are prone to dry and chapped paws, which can be very painful. To avoid this, rinse off your pet's feet after an outing with warm water. 

When walking, watch for anti-freeze. Just a few licks can be fatal. Avoid walking your dog in parking lots that may contain puddles of it. 

Following these tips can help you and your pet safely enjoy the winter weather. 

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