(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Extreme cold and freezing wind chills can not only impact your health, but also the health of your animals. As the cold front approaches, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) advised pet owners on how to keep their pets safe.

“With this crazy cold weather coming up…. the biggest thing we recommend is bringing your pets inside. Even if they’re outside, it’s still going to be cold on Thursday,” said Cody Costra, Public Relation Manager for HSPPR. “So, if you can bring your pets inside that’s the best thing you can do. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s probably too cold outside for your dog as well.”

One piece of advice Costra shared was bundling up a pet with a sweater or booties to help them in the cold and to keep bathroom breaks quick.

“If your dog likes to be out in the cold, then maybe you can be out a little bit longer to go on a walk and give them that exercise,” Costra said. “You can also have other ways that you can give your pet exercise inside the house. You can use enrichment toys like snuffle mats, stuff like that to kind of keep the brain going and keep the pets occupied.”

Other recommendations include removing common chemicals like Antifreeze, which is poisonous to cats, dogs, and wildlife. Also, even if a pet is a winter breed, they may not tolerate the cold temperatures.

“Well, with this cold weather, it’s important to remember that you know, each animal is different,” Costra said. “So, you have to know their cold tolerance. A Chihuahua is going to be different than a Husky. So, if you have a dog that likes to be outside in the cold, you know, you can go for a little bit longer to let them use the restroom.”

Puppy available for adoption at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Another piece of advice, to keep an eye out for stray animals.

“If you see a dog that’s outside, say it’s like a neighbor’s house or something like that, you can give our animal law enforcement team a call if you suspect that they’re possibly being neglected or that they’re in immediate danger outside, just give our animal law enforcement team a call and they can go out there and check it out,” Costra said.

It is not just domestic pets than can be impacted by the cold, but also livestock.

“If they’re cattle producers, cattle is their livelihood,” Executive Vice President for Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Erin Karney, said. “And so, once this forecast was released about two or three days ago, cattle producers were out prepping for this storm…they’ve been putting up shelters, putting up windbreaks, as well as, you know, feeding a little extra feed to cattle just to make sure that their ruminant and their increased calories to make sure they have the body heat for this cold weather coming in.”

To keep cattle healthy in this weather, Karney said cattle producers can increase feed to help cattle maintain body temperature.

“It’s making sure they have access to feed because those extra calories keep their rumen functioning, which creates the body heat and making sure they have body heat,” Karney said. “And a lot of the livestock producers out there will give them a little extra feed just to get a little extra warmth.”

When it comes to keeping healthy cattle in the cold weather, Karney gave a piece of advice.

“If you see snow on the backs of cattle…it’s showing that they’re kind of insulated and they’re keeping their body warm,’ Karney said. “But [if] it’s melted that’s when cattle are losing their body heat. So that’s one of my favorite tricks to know how cattle are functioning and which ones are the healthy ones out there.”

On Wednesday afternoon at HSPPR, pets were inside and Costra said they would go outside only to use the bathroom.

This holiday season, many pets are available for adoption. Once a pet is taken home, an ornament with the pet’s name is put in the lobby area as part of their Home for the Holidays campaign.

Tree filled with ornaments with the names of adopted pets

“I think the holidays are a great time to bring home a pet. Just make sure that, you know, the whole family is on board and please do not get a pet as like a surprise gift for somebody,” Costra said. “Make sure that they know the commitment that is coming up the responsibility that comes up, you know, for the next ten to 20 years of owning that pet.”