Copper the K-9 officer with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department has a few reminders for pet owners in these bone chilling temperatures.
First he and his handler said to try to limit pets time outdoors. They understand people do have outside dogs, so if that’s the case and you can’t bring the dog inside, make sure they have shelter and straw to bed down in.
“Straw is where they can bed down and their own body heat will keep them warm,” explained Sheriff Dave Lucas. “If they don’t have the straw with the wind and everything, they’re a mammal, hypothermia can set in.”
They recommend also giving your dog something like a bed or blanket if they are inside and on concrete or cold surfaces often.
Also, take extra time to make sure your pet’s water isn’t frozen so they don’t dehydrate.
The Belmont County Sheriff’s Department gets an average of five calls a day from people concerned about dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals.
“We have to take some extra time and send people out and check on these animals,” said K-9 handler Deputy Jason Schwarck. “Usually we speak to the owners if there is something that stands out to us and advise them.”
Something else to keep in mind, pay extra attention to the dog’s paws. Keep them dry, especially before heading outside, so they don’t freeze.
“We have a towel laying by the door, so when we bring the dog back in we wipe off their paws,” said Sheriff Lucas about taking care of his furry friend.
He also advised using how you feel in the cold as a gauge.
“If it’s unbearable for us outside, imagine what your dog is going through,” Sheriff Lucas continued.
The Sheriff’s Department added that once you have a pet, it’s your responsibility to take care of it.