CINCINNATI -- Winter weather in the Tri-state can be dangerous for domesticated pets. Last winter, a dog died at a local animal shelter when he was left outside overnight.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe when temperatures drop:
1) Limit outdoor time. Even for pets who stay outside often, some winter weather conditions are not safe for humans to stay out in for an extended period of time. Exposed skin on pets' noses and feet are especially sensitive and can easily suffer permanent damage. Also, animals with short hair will likely want to wear something warm when they go outside, like a dog sweater or vest.
2) Be generous with food and water. No, they're not hibernating -- it takes make energy for animals to keep themselves warm during the winter, so they'll need to consume more calories and stay hydrated.
3) Watch out for salty sidewalks and driveways. If your pets come in contact with rock salt be sure to wipe their feet with a wet towel when they get home. This will keep the sensitive paws from becoming irritated and it will keep them from licking their paws clean (and getting a belly ache).
4) Be wary of antifreeze; it's good for your car, but deadly for your pet. Antifreeze tastes sweet, so animals will lap it up if given the opportunity. Replenish your car in a gas station parking lot and be sure to keep jugs of the chemical out of reach.
5) Horses need extra protection, too. Make sure your horses have access at all times to a warm, dry shelter to serve as refuge from the cold. Not all horses need to be blanketed, but these go a long way to helping your horse preserve body heat.
All tips come from the Humane Society of the United States.