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Animal Leader: Pets Are Vulnerable to Frostbite In Current Conditions

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Animal Leader: Pets Are Vulnerable to Frostbite In Current Conditions

Your animals can be victims of frostbite in the cold weather we are experiencing this week.

Overton County Animal Awareness Association President Vicky Smith said failure to provide an animal with appropriate shelter and enough water is animal cruelty and can lead to legal charges.

“If you’re letting your dog out and they come back in, make sure you try to get that ice or snow that’s in their paw pads in between their toes out,” Smith said. “You want that out of there as soon as possible, because that can cause an issue if they’re outside too long. That can cause frostbite on the paw pads.”

Smith said people should winterize their pet houses. She said one easy option is to cut a hole in a Rubbermaid container, insulate it with a styrofoam, and fill it with straw.

“If you see a dog that’s chained up that has no shelter or water or any food, and especially in this cold right now, you need to contact the Sheriff’s Department or the Police Department because that is definitely an animal cruelty situation,” Smith said.

Smith said owners should remember to cycle new bowls of fresh water for their outdoor pets as well. She said it does not take long for it to freeze, leaving your pet without water.

Smith said though they still need shelter, some breeds do not mind the cold. She said the Association had a border collie for several months that, regardless of how hard they tried, had no interest in being in a dog house, but rather opted to lie in the snow. She said before people adopt or buy a pet, they should research the breed’s needs.

“If people are getting a puppy or an adult dog, they’re adopting or something, they really need to look upon that breed and what the breeds like and stuff like that,” Smith said. “That’s the biggest thing, is investigating or, you know, learning about the breed.”

Smith said the issue of animals left outside in the winter exists year after year. She said people should be mindful of stray animals that they see searching for shelter from the cold.


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