With temperatures dipping into the teens during the night this week, it is critical any outside animals will have a warm, dry place to take refuge.
Larry Hostetler of the Animal Shelter in Muskingum County said making dry shelter for outside animals is key.
"The first thing you need to do is to make sure they’re kept dry," said Hostetler. "They have to have a place to get out of the elements. The dogs and cats can withstand the cooler temperatures, but if they get wet and they have to lay there all night, and it’s freezing temperatures, and they can be in harms way then."
Hostetler said keeping pets warm and dry is inexpensive. A bale of hay or an old blanket won’t cost much at all. But, if you can spend a little more money on your pets, a sweater can help keep them warm as well.
"Sweaters do help the dogs, especially the shorter-coated breeds," he said. "And you have to take into consideration the fact that the animals who live indoors aren’t accustomed to being out like dogs or cats who live outside."
Hostetler said it is also important to check the pads of dogs and cats feet for snow and ice, which can cause frostbite.
Rock salt can also irritate the pads of their feet.
Additionally, Hostetler said it is critical to make sure pets have water that is not frozen at all times.