KNOXVILLE (WATE) – There are several things you can do to protect your pets when the temperatures drop.
If your animal primarily lives outdoors, you can bring them into the garage. Make sure all antifreeze and other toxic materials are put away and any spills are cleaned.
Also, don't use space heaters or heat lamps to keep those areas warm. Only use specially licensed heat mats for animals.
When you take pets out, make sure to wash their paws with a warm cloth. Long-haired pets are in danger of ice balls forming inside their paws. You can help prevent this by trimming back the hair and washing their paws.
Dogs or cats may walk where de-icing agents have been used and can develop chapped paws. Or, they can lick their paws and possibly digest some of the chemicals. So, be aware of treated areas around your house.
If your dog stays in a house, line it with straw or blankets. And make sure it faces away from the wind.
Also, check your pet's outside water, in case it freezes.
Animal control workers advise checking your car's engine before starting it. Many times, animals will find shelter in a warm motor.