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Tips for keeping animals safe in winter weather - KOAM TV 7

Tips for keeping animals safe in winter weather

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

With such cold temperatures, we have to worry about our pets. There is still a dusting of snow at the Joplin Humane Society and temperatures clocked in around 17 degrees Sunday morning.    

Officials say that if possible, all pets should be brought inside. But if they have to stay out, they need adequate shelter. Dogs and cats need houses that are water and wind proof, and they should be raised off the ground so that the bottom isn't wet or cold.

“It needs to be appropriately sized, some people don't think about that, they want to make something that's going to be a  castle, huge but that's not the way dog houses are supposed to work. They really should just be big enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down because when they're that size, the body heat from the dog and the straw all snuggled inside the house will help keep the dog warm,” says Lysa Boston, shelter manager.

And she does say to fill it with straw; hay can get moldy and make animals sick.

Even if you have an indoor dog, be cautious when you take them out for a walk.

“When you're walking your dog, if there’s been snow and people have put down the ice melt, that can definitely be toxic and hard on their feet, it can burn the pads of their feet. If you do have pets and you need ice melt, there are some safe alternatives just make sure that it says its safe for pets and then you know you'll be good,” says Boston.

And even in cooler weather, all animals need access to drinkable water so be sure to check that it hasn't frozen.

Larger animals like livestock process body heat a little bit differently and don't have as hard of a time staying warm but should still have a barn or 3 sided shelter.

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