Protecting pets in bitter cold temperatures

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MINOT, N.D. - The Souris Valley Animal Shelter says that if the weather is cold enough for you to bundle up, your pet should be bundled up, too.

With temperatures in Minot reaching roughly 15 degrees below zero, we decided to visit some animal experts at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter to find out what you need to know about keeping your pet warm through the bitter cold.

Most people would say they consider their pet as a member of the family.

As temperatures drop, The Souris Valley Animal Shelter says it's the pet owner's responsibility to keep a close eye on their animal.

"You think that a dog has its own coat, you don't have to worry about it, but we need to think about our pets too when it gets this cold. Basically if you're going to be bundled up outside and you're uncomfortable, there's a good chance that your animal is going to be uncomfortable, too," said Justin Anderson, outreach coordinator.

Anderson says that some dogs love the snow and the cold, but that doesn't go for all animals. He says that the cold can irritate some breeds of dogs, and if it does, they will show you signs of it, such as drinking more water than usual.

"Make sure that they have plenty of water to drink because when they get too cold they're going to start drinking more water and they're going to need that water. If they're outside and their water bowl is frozen, that's not doing them any good," said Anderson.

Anderson also says that pet owners should make sure to dry off the pads on the animal's paws, and warm them up when returning from the outdoors.

"If they don't seem happy, if they're whimpering, if they're sluggish, if they're lifting their paws up and seem pretty tentative in their steps, these are signs that they could be cold and uncomfortable where they are outside" said Anderson

Anderson says that if you notice that your pet is sluggish, or experiencing frost bite, you should contact your vet as soon as possible.