El Paso

Protect your pets in cold temps

Protect your pets in cold temps

The cold weather is here and many across the borderland are bundled up. But, what about pets?

Many have been wearing jackets, gloves and beanies.

But as silly as it may sound to some -- dogs have to be protected from the cold just about the same.

 "People tend to think because they are dogs ... because they are animals that they are built for this type of cold, rainy,  wet weather and in fact they are not at all," said Luke Westerman.

Westerman is the executive director of the Humane Society of El Paso and an animal advocate.

Last year, in Ohio, he attempted to stay overnight at a park to bring awareness to pets being left out in freezing temperatures.

"It got to the point in the early morning where my body almost went into shock," Westerman said.

Westerman who was bundled up at the time says the same goes for dogs even with thick fur.

"If you're cold, your pets are cold, that's the rule of thumb," Westerman said.

Westerman tells ABC-7 just like people in cold weather, there are areas on dogs bodies that are vulnerable to freezing temps.

"Dogs are vulnerable on their bellies because they typically don't have any hair there as well as their paws," Westerman said.

There's also dogs you have to be extra careful with in cold temperatures.

"Senior dogs, puppies, dogs with very little hair to no hair. These are the dogs that have a very difficult time this time of year," Westerman said.

Westerman says if you absolutely cannot bring a dog inside the house you can always bring them into the garage or maybe a shed.

"If neither of those are an option and you have to use the dog house at least make sure the dog house is insulated. You can insulate it with straw or blankets," Westerman said.

Westermen also tells ABC-7 it's important to keep a dog's bed off the ground anywhere from 2 to 3 inches so the dog won't feel the cold from the ground.

"Our animals are used to warm weather so even though it's not freezing it's still a major temperature swing and just like we are feeling that major temperature swing so are they," Westerman said.



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