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Veterinarians warn new pet owners of dangers of frigid temperatures

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 10:46 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The pandemic has kept veterinarians busy over the last year as more people decided to welcome a four-legged friend into their home.

Now they’re spreading the word about the dangers these subzero temperatures can have on new pets.

“We’re having to play around a lot with her, sometimes taking her out here, but the last few days we haven’t been outside,” said Luci Laluzerne, who brought her 15 week old puppy to the dog park for a short playtime.

“There’s kind of been a pet population explosion. We’ve had a lot of new puppy owners and kitten owners,” said Dr. Becky Krull of Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital.

Krull says she’s seen about 100 new furry patients each month over the last year due to an increase in pet owners. It’s prompted her to educate people about the importance of bundling up your pet this time of year.

“Even on these days, I would say, outside to go potty and back in. When the temperature gets back up in the double digits, then it’s more appropriate to be outside,” said Krull.

Salt, inti-freeze and de-icers can be really great for your cars and sidewalks, but contain chemicals that can be toxic for your pets.

“It can cause all sorts of infections, abrasions, cuts, i see lots of broken toenails in this weather, lots of paw cuts in this weather, the ice is pretty harsh on their feet, especially youngsters,” said Krull.  “Those booties can be really life saving for their feet, make it way more comfortable to be outside together and maybe extend your time outside if you’re interested in doing outdoor activities.”

The best thing to do is watch your pet closely when they are outside to limit their exposure to the elements, but sometimes they have their own way of telling us when they’re ready to go inside.

“Right now, my dog is telling me the bottoms of her paws are full of snow, that’s why we’re about ready to go in,” said Mary Beth Wendt of De Pere who took her dog to the dog park to expire some energy.

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