Keeping Pets Safe in Cold Weather

(NECN: Kristen Carosa) – As Allie Tellier walked her dog in the snow Tuesday, she said in the winter months she’ll keep walks short to five to 10 minutes max.

"In the winter time, you want to watch for hypothermia and really be diligent about how about how long your pet is staying outside, a good rule of thumb is if you are cold, your pet is cold," said Tellier, who is the executive director of the Worcester Animal Rescue League

Tellier says freezing temperatures can be deadly to dogs, and adds you can put a protective jacket on your pet – but that only goes so far, since the wind chill can be a threat to pets.

"Temps are so cold today, it will be below freezing tonight, even flirting with the freezing line, especially for pets, especially for short haired dogs, you really need to be careful," Tellier said.

Tellier says the winter months not only bring frigid temperatures, but also brings dangerous chemicals such as anti-freeze. She says to always store them out of reach and clean up spills.

"It's very inviting for them, the sweet smell, the sweet taste, it welcomes them right in and can be very dangerous, within minutes ingesting the chemical can harm a pet," Tellier said.

Cars can be a threat too. When traveling with animals never leave them in the car, especially at night.

Tellier says cars act like a refrigerator by holding in freezing air.

"In the summer, temps can ride to 110 - 120 degrees in the car in a very short time, and in the winter, it's the same thing, they can quickly drop," she explains.

Tellier says again when it comes to the winter keep walks short and always remember to use a leash.

"Keep them on a leash, if they were to ever run onto a lake or pond, the ice may not be thick enough to hold them, that is one of the saddest things that we see, just as you wouldn't let your child do that you don't want to let you pet do that either," Tellier said.

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