Keep cats, dogs warm this winter: 4 simple ways to protect your pets when it gets cold outside

PHOENIX - Brr!

A storm system has brought some much cooler temperatures to the Valley, even bringing with it snow in the higher elevations.

WEATHER: View current weather forecast on abc15.com.

As the holidays keep creeping forward and the temperatures drop, it's important to keep your loveable pets warm as well.

Melissa Gable with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control offered up a few important safety tips to ensure your pet stays warm and healthy through the winter months.

FOUR TIPS TO KEEP PETS SAFE DURING THE WINTER

1. Bring your pets indoors on cold days and nights, especially puppies, kittens and older animals. If your pet must stay outdoors, make sure their bed is kept off the floor and away from any windy areas. Make sure to give them a warm blanket or cozy bed.

2. Don't shave your pets during the cold months. If you bathe your pet in cold weather, make sure your pet is completely dry before being put back outside.

3. Provide a warm sweater for short-haired dogs, small breeds, puppies and older dogs. A sweater will help keep them warm, but don't force them to wear one if they don't want to.

4. Keep pets away from antifreeze. Antifreeze is a lethal poison. Gable recommends pet owners use products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA

Even though dogs and cats have fur, they can develop hypothermia if they're exposed to frigid temperatures for too long. Here are the symptoms of hypothermia in pets: severe shivering, listlessness and/or lethargy, frostbite on food pads, tail or tips of ears.

Young and old animals are more susceptible to hypothermia in cold temperatures, as well as animals with low body fat, said Gable.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia, wrap the animal in blankets and contact your veterinarian immediately.

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