Veterinarians across central Kentucky say cold weather can be harmful to pets

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JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - "It is a common misconception that dogs, because they have fur, and cats, because they have fur, are resistant to the cold weather," Veterinarian Elizabeth Banks said.

The cold weather is here and there's no getting around it.

"There are very few breeds that were actually bred to be able to withstand these temperatures and we just don't see many of them."

She has a simple rule of thumb.

"If we've taken on the responsibility of pet ownership then we have to take a certain level of keeping them comfortable and that means if it's too cold for us it's too cold for them."

"Some animals have underlying health issues that go undetected," Banks said. "So kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, those animals are not able to regulate their body temperatures anyway so when you put them outside it puts a lot of undue stress on them."

Our furry friends, much like us, are susceptible to frost bite but there are other dangers outdoors. Both ice and salt aren't good for their paws, and antifreeze we put in our cars is poisonous.

"Weather like we're having right now, just to go outside and go potty and come back inside it probably all that they need," Banks said.

She says if your pets are shivering or whining that's a sign to get them inside, and if not inside then get them to shelter.

"The bottom needs to be raised up off the ground so that it doesn't lose heat to the ground and the bedding in the shelter should be thick."

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