People advised to protect pets during cold temperatures

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YAKIMA Wa. -- A winter storm will be hitting Yakima this weekend and many pets will be needing extra care to stay safe.

People are advised to keep all pets indoors and avoid taking them for walks but if you must take them out you should try to keep them warm by providing a coat and booties to protect their paws.

Amalia Akhei says she left her dog Lili outside for only two minutes and later came back with broken toes.

“She was only outside for like two minutes and we think that she got it caught on the wooden deck that we have we asked our vet and he said that’s a very common injury with little dogs,” said Akhei.

This likely was not caused by the cold but the Yakima Humane Society Volunteer Programs Coordinator Mary Wilsey says it’s important to never leave your pets unattended when they’re outside especially during these cold temperatures because they can suffer from serious illnesses or injuries.

“They can get frostbite also they can get hypothermia which both of these things are pretty severe in dogs it can really damage them,” said Wilsey.

Wilsey says if you can’t bring your pets inside for some reason you should provide a warm insulated shelter for them with plenty of dry blankets or towels. Try to avoid heat lamps as they may catch on fire.

She says people should also try to limit the amount of walks they are giving their pets and remove ice from their paws and bellies right away before they try to lick it off.

Salt or chemicals in the snow can be toxic for pets.

“There’s antifreeze also that can leak out of cars this time of year so if you believe your animal ingested something get it to the vet,” said Wilsey.

Anyone with farm animals can also help protect them from the cold.

“You can make sure they have proper water at all times. Make sure that you buy a heating element for your water trough you can also buy trough’s that have a heating element already in it. You also want to up their feed as well because they need to build the calories that they need because they’re going to be outside,” said Wilsey.

People who neglect any animal or leaves them unattended for more than 24 hours without adequate care can be subject to fines.

If you see any animal being abandoned or in the streets Wilsey says you should call your nearest animal control or bring them to the Yakima Humane Society as soon as possible.

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