Extreme Cold Has Vets Sending Out a Warning to Pet Owners

CHARLOTTE, NC — The extreme cold has vets sending out a warning to pet owners. The freezing temps can be deadly for your furry friends.

“So if you think of a dog as a person with a coat on, with no hat, bare feet, then you can relate to how comfortable they’ll be,” says Veterinarian Nan Saye.

For the Bergmanns, their four pups are like family. Going on their daily walk in the frigid cold, they treat their dogs like so.

“They stay inside, but if we take them out, these guys have little jackets,” says Malena Bergmann.

The cold, cutting their walk short. According to Dr. Saye, the Bergmanns have the right idea. Pets who live in the Carolinas aren’t as acclimated to the colder temps.

“A dog that lives outdoors in Ohio is better prepared than a dog that lives outdoors in North Carolina,” she says.

Dr. Saye says for outdoor dogs, if it’s below 45 degrees, bring that dog inside. Or else they could get hypothermia or freeze to death.

“The tips of their ears will sometimes freeze and there’s a stiffness at the end of the ears. Don’t let it happen.”

Saye says a dog house or cedar shavings won’t cut it in this cold. They need an exterior heating source, like an animal heating pad. A heat lamp or old fashioned light bulb will also do the trick, so that when the sun sets and the temps drop, it’s not deadly for your pet.

“And at that point the heart rate slows, the breathing slows, and they simply go into a hibernation mode, which they cannot come out of,” says Dr. Saye.

Some other tips from ASPCA: never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, and bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Also, feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories for them to handle the cold.