How to keep your pets safe in winter weather

MARION COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - When it's cold outside, it's common sense to wear a jacket before going out.

But you also want to think about how to keep your furry friends warm during the winter season.

Frankie Spatafore is the owner of Marion county humane society and she says that the consequences of cold weather on animals can be deadly.

Like humans, prolonged exposure to the cold temperatures can lead to serious medical conditions such as frostbite.

"Consequences to leaving a pet outside is of course frostbite on the ears, the pads and death if it does become bad enough," Spatafore said

Even if your pet doesn't live outside, exposure from walks and road salt can cause problems for your pets feet.

"So a good idea if you do walk your pets is to bring them inside, make sure to soak there feet in warm water to get all the salt off and just check them every day to make sure they're not developing any type of sore or wounds,"

When the temperature drops below freezing it's best to keep your pet indoors, but if this isn't possible there are other steps you can take to ensure your animal's safety.

"You can always provide some type of insulation to the dog house, whether that be with hay or with some actual insulation for housing," "You can also provide heated dog bed or some type of protective structure so that the elements don;t hit the animal as hard,"

And if you notice an animal in not being taken care of there are steps you can take to make sure they get help

"If you do see somebody that's not taking care of their dog or you see a dog out that does not have adequate shelter, you should contact the Marion county animal control officer immediately,"

So as the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall remember to take precautions to keep you furry friend safe.