Outdoor pets can be affected by freezing temperatures

POSTED: 05:52 PM EST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 07:30 PM EST Nov 26, 2013 

The freezing temperatures over the last few days have had many people putting on an extra layer, hats and gloves. Animal caretakers say don’t forget about your pets.

“If an animal is mostly in doors, and only goes outside for a limited period of time to use the bathroom and all of sudden they get stuck outside in the cold freezing rain, it doesn't take long for them to be hypothermic,” said veterinarian and Chief of Staff at Franklin County Animal Hospital, Eric Krauss.

Krauss says outdoor pets tend to fair out better in the cold than those who visit out periodically, regardless of size. He's says overall health of the animal plays a big roll too.

“If an animal is physically fit and is in good health and there's not a lot of other strains on its body it has a lot more tolerance for swings in temperature,” said Krauss.

Animals deal with hypothermia the same as humans. If left outside too long, freezing temperature could cause life threatening results, especially for younger and older animals.

“A couple of weeks ago during a cold snap, we did have some kittens that were brought to us, they were new born. And their only problem was basically they were freezing to death. We had to regulate their temperature and bringing it up slowly throughout the day,” said Franklin County Humane Society Director, Anita Scott.

If you have pets that are typically outdoors, take precautions.

“If an animal can stay out of the wind and stay dry. They general can do a pretty good job at keeping themselves warm,” said Krauss.

Krauss also says some type of bedding for outside pets will also help to keep them warm.