(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — “If you’re cold, they’re cold.” We’ve all heard it, but it’s true and should be heeded in severe weather like the storm blowing over Southern Colorado on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on its website, “Pets get cold too! Check your winter forecasts often and ensure your pets have adequate shelter and access to water that has not frozen over. The best way to keep your pets safe and warm is to bring them inside. If you have a dog, it’s also important to wipe their paws after walking them outside. Ice melting chemicals can make them sick.”

Don't forget your pets NOAA
Courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Weather Service lists these tips to protect pets from the cold and other risks during severe weather:

  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags. 
  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. 
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. 
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. Keep pets indoors in possible, especially if they are sensitive to the cold weather due to age, illness, or breed type.