Keep your pets safe in freezing temperatures

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Ottawa County Sheriff's Office K9 Nero has fun in the snow (Source: Deputy Marc Nye) Ottawa County Sheriff's Office K9 Nero has fun in the snow (Source: Deputy Marc Nye)
(Toledo News Now) -

While everyone will be trying to stay warm next week, a local veterinary practice wants people to remember their furry family members, as well.

The vets at the Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo want to remind pet owners to take extra precautions during the extreme cold temperatures. Canine body temperatures drop rapidly when in trauma, so dogs can succumb to the cold weather very quickly.

The biggest problem for dogs is snow packing into their paws and turning into ice, so be sure to check your dog's paws when they come inside. If they are icy, dip them in warm water and wipe them dry.

Another issue is rock salt. It is very toxic to dogs when eaten, and can also get jammed into their paws, which could lead to it getting in their bloodstream.

And just because animals have a lot of fur doesn't mean they stay warmer than humans in the cold.

"They're used to the warm, cozy house. They're going to suffer outside," said Kittsen McCumber from the Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center. "Especially greyhounds, with the short fur. Of course, your Eskimo-type dogs, they're having a great time playing, but you still do not want to leave them out there unattended. If you can stand to be out there with them, they're okay. Then just bring them back inside with you."

If you have an outdoor pet, be sure to set up an area in a barn or garage with hay and blankets, and make sure they have fresh water and warm food."

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