LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's important to be thinking of your four-legged friends when winter weather is in the forecast, especially when temperatures begin to drop.
The Kentucky Humane Society offered these tips for pet owners to keep their furry friends safe and warm this winter.
Bring them inside
As the old saying goes, if it's too cold outside for you, it's too cold for them.
When temperatures are predicted to drop, don't leave your pets outside for extended periods of time or outside overnight.
"It doesn’t take long for a pet to get frostbite in subfreezing temperatures," the humane society said on their website.
Keep them warm
Cold weather is the best time to stay inside snuggled up with your fur-babies.
Bring their beds to a warm part of the house and maybe give them an extra blanket to sleep with overnight.
KHS also recommends not shaving a dog's fur down in the winter months as the extra fur gives them more protection in the cold.
And if you have a short-haired breed, consider buying them a small dog coat to keep them warm.
The humane society said puppies and small dogs may not tolerate the cold as well as larger, adult breeds. You may need to train puppies to use the bathroom on paper pads inside rather than going outdoors.
Avoid salt, harsh chemicals
If you're heading outside to enjoy the snowfall, be sure to watch out for any harsh chemicals that could hurt your pets.
KHS warned pet owners to watch out for spilled anti-freeze, which can taste sweet to pets and may entice them to taste it, but it's highly toxic.
"Also, watch out for salt and chemical melting products," KHS said. "Wipe down your pet’s feet carefully when you return inside to ensure no chemicals cling to his or her fur and get ingested."
Going outside? Leash up!
When you do go outside with your dogs, make sure to keep a leash on them.
Especially during snowstorms, snow and ice can cover the ground and dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.
If you are a caregiver for community unowned cats it's important to think of them too during winter weather events.
And before you leave for work in the morning, tap the hood of your car a few times or honk your car horn.
"Outdoor cats sometimes find the engine block of a car warm and will curl up to sleep in your car," the humane society said. "Give them warning before you start your engine."