SIOUX FALLS, S.D. When looking out for yourself and your family during these cold temperatures, it's important that you don't forget about your pets. You need to be very careful when bringing them outside in the snow and ice.
Any time temperatures dip below zero, it can be fatal for pets. Keeping a close eye on your pets after any walks or bathroom trips is important to making sure they don't get frostbite or hypothermia.
Sweaters and dog boots are great ways to protect your smaller pets who tend to lose heat faster. Huskies and Saint Bernards are made for this type of weather, but are still affected by the cold.
Vets recommend bringing your animals outside for no longer than 5 minutes at a time to prevent any damage. Pets won't show if they have hypothermia, but there are some signs to watch out for.
"First thing you're going to see is them just starting to shiver a little bit, you know, kinda shaking when they're trying to walk. When they shake when they're trying to walk, you know that they're getting cold and things aren't working like they're supposed to and their temps are getting low," All Animal Pet Hospital Veterinarian Dayton Williams said. "The other thing is that they kinda start hanging their head down, looking lethargic and stuff."
If your pet starts to show these signs, it's best to do everything you can to warm them up. Things like rubbing their bodies and some nice cuddling are the best ways to raise their body temperature.