HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - With warming our vehicles and homes during the cold weather, Dr. Paul Calhoun at the Animal Medical Center shared the importance of making sure our pets are warm.
“One of the things we really want to make sure that pets have is shelter," Calhoun said. “Especially if they’re kept outside so that they can be prevented from cold air. They do get colds and they can get debilitated if they have an immune system that’s not very healthy.”
As common and obvious as the next one sounds, its important that we don’t forget it. Keeping our pets healthy and fed is critical as well.
“Food is important, believe it or not, they need to have well-fed food," Calhoun said. “That’s what produced the energy and that’s what fuels their body heat to keep them warm if they don’t have any other areas to keep them warm.”
The doctor said pet owners can even make small make-shift heaters for their pets as well if they’re outdoors.
“A light bulb in a small box that’s very contained will produce a lot of heat when it really gets cold," Calhoun said. “Now those days and nights don’t necessarily get around here like that but it’s also important to remember that the wind chill really changes out the temperatures a lot.”
But to avoid the cold weather all together, house your pet inside with you and the family.
“The best thing to do is bring them inside and in our carport, but a lot of these days our dogs these days live with us so that’s not too much of an issue because they live in our house and they’re members of our family,” Calhoun said.
When putting your pet in tight and confined spaces, it’s easy for the small area of air to get contaminated, so taking medical precaution is also strongly recommended
“We do recommend vaccinating for flu," Calhoun said. “Its not the same strand that you and I get or the one that we vaccinate against for so there is definitely one there for dogs and we recommend that highly.”
Most people typically do well with taking care of their pets during the colder weather, but if you see someone leaving their pet out and in harmful conditions for an extended period, contact local authorities like Animal control or a nearby humane society.