Bitter cold puts outdoor pets at risk

Local News
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As temperaturesdip into the single digits this week, being outdoors can get dangerous for you and your furry friends.

Michigan law doesn’t require you to keep your pet indoors, it only requires that you provide proper food, water and shelter.

However, even for the most outdoorsy pets, these cold temperatures can begin to become dangerous.

Pets can get frostbite, particularly on their ears and on their nose. If they’re smaller pets or short-haired pets they can actually get hypothermia where their body temperature drops. Both of those are very dangerous.

If you plan on keeping your pets outside this winter it’s important they have a place to get out of the wind and stay dry.

For this, a dog house does the trick. Just make sure to put straw bedding inside of it, and don’t rely on snow as a source of water for your pet.

Hoping that your pet will get enough water from snow is not adequate, you need to give them unfrozen water. Either change that water frequently, or give them a heated water bowl.

There are also some thing that go with winter weather you may not know are bad for your furry friends.

People are using salt to melt ice and that gets on your pets feet. Both can be hard on their feet and when they lick it off it can cause digestive problems. When you bring your pets in you’ll want to wipe their feet off, and if you’re using salt, get pet-friendly salt.

For those who keep their pets outside during the winter months, the Ingham County Animal Shelter offers free dog houses for Ingham County Residents.

People can come pick up a house at the shelter in Mason, or at the Outreach Center, located of Saginaw. All people have to do is show proof they live in Ingham County.

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