Tips for keeping your pets safe in cold weather

ORLANDO, Fla. — Freezing temperatures are rare in Central Florida, but when cold weather does roll in, it’s important to know how to prepare your animals.

The ASPCA released the following tips for keeping your pets safe during cold weather conditions:

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Dry your pet with a towel as soon as he comes in from the cold: On the rare occasion when frost hits Florida, make sure your pet’s feet are free of any ice or frost.

Don’t shave your dog in the winter: A longer coat will better insulate your dog. If your dog is a short-haired pup, consider a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck. Also, make sure the coat or sweater covers your pet from the base of its tail to its belly.

READ: 9 tips to help your outdoor plants survive cold Florida weather

Use petroleum jelly or other protectants on paws before going out: You can also use booties to protect the paws.

Feed your pet a little more during winter months: Make sure your pet has enough to drink. Pets burn extra energy trying to stay warm. The extra water can keep it hydrated and its skin less dry.

READ: Cold weather shelter to open in Brevard County

Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep: Make sure your pet is off the floor and away from drafts. The ASPCA suggests using a pet bed with a blanket or pillow.

If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your pet: Pets left outside can freeze, or become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or even killed. And don’t leave them in a car. Cars can act as refrigerators, according to the ASPCA. They can hold the cold in and cause animals to freeze to death.

READ: Here’s when temperatures will drop into the 30s & 40s

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