Cold Temperatures Could be Deadly for Animals - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cold Temperatures Could be Deadly for Animals

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RICHLAND, Wash--  It's something that veterinarians don't see that often--household pets left out in the cold for too long.

"Most people are pretty good about providing their animals that live outside with a decent environment, but occasionally we do see animals that have too low of a body temperature," says Jennifer Corwin, associate veterinarian of the VCA Animal Center.

It does happen.  Like Jiffy, an eleven-year-old collie in Wisconsin that was found frozen to a sidewalk after being left outside overnight in single digit temperatures.  Now the owner is facing animal endangerment charges.

"Young animals and very old animals don't tolerate the cold weather nearly as well," says Corwin.

Jennifer says any temperature below freezing puts your pet at risk.  And here's why: water gets freezes and body temperatures drop.

"Especially when you add in a wind chill affect that can lead to things like frostbite."

And if you have to leave your pooch outside, there are some safety tips.  Constantly check water levels.  Keep your pet away from any chemical-based de-icer.

"Especially like antifreeze, it doesn't take very much at all to get them sick."

Jennifer also recommends staying away from wind, using a doghouse, the garage, and watch out for heat lamps; animals roam around and chew through wires, making it a fire hazard.

And make sure your pet has plenty of food--remember, they'll need more when they're outside.