ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The Humane Society of Missouri is urging pet owners bring pets inside during the cold weather.
They say if the weather is too cold for a person, it's too cold for pets. Even if thermometers show one temperature, the wind chill can make it feel much colder outside. Time outdoors should be limited for pets, and owners should check for frostbite on ears, tails, and feet.
Pets spending a lot of time outdoors should be acclimated to the weather instead of exposing them to extreme cold all at once.
Adequate shelter for pets is mandated by law, and if a dog lives outdoors, a well-insulated and draft-free doghouse should be accessible.
Owners should also beware of antifreeze and rock salt, which can accumulate on driveways and roadways. Antifreeze is poisonous to pets, and rock salt can irritate the footpads of animals. Pet-safe ice melts can often be found at pet stores.
Wet pets should be towel or blow-dried, and it is important to keep paws dry and clean to prevent tiny cuts and cracks.
Pets need extra food to provide energy and regulate body temperature in cold weather. An adequate water supply is also needed. Snow is not a substitute for water.
For more information on how to care for pets during the winter months, visit the Humane Society of Missouri's website.