(KPLC) - As the temperatures continue to drop across Southwest Louisiana, be aware that cold weather poses serious threats to your pets' health.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cold weather may worsen some medical conditions, such as arthritis. Just like people, pets' cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. The organization has the following recommendations for pet owners during freezing temperatures.
- Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather.
- Make some noise. A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it's deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine.
- Check the paws. Check your dog's paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding
- Play dress-up. If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also recommends feeding your pet a little extra during cold weather months, because pets burn extra energy trying to stay warm in the wintertime.