Protect pets when temperatures turn frigid

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Pet Project is urging pet owners to bring their pets inside and out of the frigid cold temperatures.

Imagine walking outside with bare feet in this weather. Our pets do it year round, but when it gets as cold as it is outside, every pet owner should take some extra precautions. Some dogs can't get enough of all this snow, but the bitter cold is another story.

"Just the cold air in general it hurts their lungs it's harder for them to breathe," said Teresa Johnson, the CEO of KC Pet Project.

Johnson said when the weather turns bitter the shelter sees dozens of animals being brought in daily.

"We're seeing a lot of animals that are coming in from the general public and in particular from animal control because animals are being left outside," said Johnson.

Johnson said if it is unbearable for you to be outside, then it is for your animals too.

"Hypothermia can set in when it's 32 or below, so just like people if it's too cold for us to be outside without coats and boots and gloves on, it's too cold for dogs to be outside as well," said Johnson.

Johnson said when the temperature drops below freezing all animals, even those outdoor dogs, should be brought in.

Make sure they have access to adequate water that is not frozen. Limit walks for you pets, and make sure to check their paws for ice or debris afterwards. Rinse or wipe their paws when they come inside, especially if you put down salt or ice melt.

"Especially if you're going to use ice melt you should use pet safe ice melt, so the salt doesn't burn a dogs feet,” said Johnson.

Lastly report suspected abuse. If you would report a dog locked in a hot car, Johnson said you should call in an animal left outside in the freezing cold with nothing.

"When it's this cold especially when it's going to be below zero wind chills dogs should not be outside at all if you can't for some reason bring your dog inside try to put it at least in your garage," said Johnson.

The Kansas City Pet Project said if you have no choice but to keep a dog outside and need resources like a shelter, hay, straw or blankets to keep them warm, call them at 816-513-9821.

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