HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - With fall in full swing, winter is just around the corner. As the temperatures drop, we are not the only ones adjusting to cold weather.
"Just because they have fur doesn't mean that they don't get cold," said Dr. William Hagans, a veterinarian at the Appalachian Animal Hospital.
Hagans says it is important to remember that animals also need shelter and warmth during the colder months.
"Leaving them outside definitely exposes them to those colder temperatures," said Hagans.
Every year he sees the impact of not properly taking care of your animals. He recalls that last winter, a mother dog had puppies and the owners thought it would be safe to have them live in the car.
"They figured that was a warm enough area for them to stay, well they went out the next day and there were a few puppies that had actually gotten frostbitten the next day on all of their feet," said Hagans.
He says the easiest way to avoid that is to simply bring your animals inside. If you can not bring the animals in, building a proper shelter is the second best option.
"They should have a house or some shelter that has a small opening, small enough for them to get in and out of with some sort of warm bedding that they can stay in," said Hagans.
The entrance to the shelter should be small to block the cold winds. Hagans says the winters at times are much colder than the actual temperature outside.
He also says to make sure they have a constant supply of thawed water.
"Water does have the tendency to freeze, so if they don't have water that you're checking every day and you leave them outside they might not have water at all," said Hagans.
Just general care of your pet can go a long way as the weather cools down.