As temperatures drop to dangerous levels, don't forget pets - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

As temperatures drop to dangerous levels, don't forget pets

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - In sub-zero weather conditions, people can crank the heat or nurse a steaming cup of joe to stay warm -- but what about our furry friends?

Along with people, pets need to stay protected from the extreme cold. Medical Technician Vania Warns with the Cedar Bend Humane Society said when people start to shiver, the pet is most likely just as cold.

She said negative air temperatures can be just as dangerous for pets as they are for people.

"If they're out too long they can get frostbite," Warns said. "Some of the things you have to watch out for with frostbite are some redness around their ears and the tips of their paws."

Warns said it's preferable for pets to be indoors when temperatures are below zero. But, for pets that do stay outside, Warns advises having the right shelter.

A proper dog house:
  • One or two feet off the ground, so the dog can step into it
  • Facing away from the wind, so cold air doesn't blow inside
  • Insulated with straw rather than blankets, as blankets can trap moisture
It's also recommended to keep rubber or plastic food and water dishes outside as opposed to metal bowls, as an animal's tongue can stick to metal.

Adoption Supervisor Caitlyn Evans said cats will sometimes hide under cars near the engine where it's warm. Evans suggested tapping on the gas a few times before driving, ensuring there aren't any animals hiding underneath.
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