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Veterinarian offers tips to keep animals warm

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison spoke with a vet about the risk of pets in cold weather and how pet owners are taking precautions.

THROOP, Pa. — It's a cold day in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, and you shouldn't find many dogs hanging out in their dog houses or going for long walks.

Dr. Eric Wallis, a veterinarian at Memorial Veterinary Hospital in Throop, says too much time outside is dangerous for pets when it's so cold, and pet owners should look for signs of frostbite.

"If you notice a discoloration in the ears, you want to get them inside. You want to call your local vet or an emergency vet if it's after hours."

When conditions are this cold, people say it might be hard for those who have pets that enjoy being out in it.

"She loves it. She loves the snow, so it's hard to keep her inside, but this, you have no other choice," pet owner Westley Smith said.

"For some of the larger breed dogs that are built for the snow, like huskies, and that they also certainly stay out there all day if you let them. General rules is under 10 minutes or so, especially if you're in freezing conditions," Dr. Wallis advised.

Dr. Wallis also recommends putting a sweater or coat on your pet.

Susan Moore says her dog Sasha doesn't go on walks without one in the winter.

"I'd like her to have it because even though she has long hair and stuff, I'm sure she still feels too cold. but you know, she also looks cute."

Stray animals are also in danger in the winter. Dr. Wallis says you can put out a container or bin with straw in it for them and also be aware that animals may be in places that are warm.

"Always checking your car to make sure that there's no animals inside of it, in the muffler, or hiding in the engine," Dr. Wallis added.

Also, if you have concerns about any animal being outside too long in the cold, call and report it to animal control or your local police department.

See more pets and animal stories on WNEP’s YouTube playlist.  

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