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Published January 11, 2011, 09:09 PM

Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe in Extreme Temperatures

As the snow piles up and temperatures drop, people aren't the only ones at risk for frostbite. Vets say this time of year they see animals with frostbite and sometimes even hypothermia.

Going for a walk can be chilly this time of year as temperatures drop below zero.

Wearing layers and bundling up can help us, but what can you do to keep your pets safe?

As the snow piles up and temperatures drop, people aren't the only ones at risk for frostbite.

Vets say this time of year they see animals with frostbite and sometimes even hypothermia. There are several things you can watch for.

"Whatever a person can take on their bare skin is probably all the longer you want to have a puppy or short-haired dog outside for that length of time," veterinarian Clay Seright said.

Those furry friends like to go for walks and play in the snow, and they may not show they are cold but if you are feeling a chill, chances are they are too.

"Pay particular attention to the extremities: the ears, the nose, tip of the tail, and the feet are areas where you can see frostbite that can occur if they are outside for prolonged periods of time," Seright said.

Meteorologists say mid-January through mid-February are when we see longer periods of time where the temperatures drop below zero. With the drop, it's important for families and their pets to be prepared.

"It's like with small children or anyone being aware of the difference between 5 or 10 degrees above zero and the 10 or 15 below zero or those conditions with strong winds you have to limit that time," National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Gust said.

If you do want to take a little walk with your pet this weekend, make sure to watch them once you're indoors if you think they may have frostbite.

"Any of the extremities will be cold and stay cold, they won't warm up and if it's prolonged, you're going to see narcosis or death of the tissue, discoloration." Seright said.

If your pet is showing signs of frostbite or hypothermia they should be seen by a veterinarian.

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