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How to keep your pet safe during cold weather

If it's too cold for you outside, then it's too cold for your pets.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The old adage is true: If it’s too cold for you outside, then it’s too cold for your pet.

As temperatures plummet across West Michigan, experts are sharing the best way to keep your pet safe during winter weather.

Staff at Harbor Humane Society say the size and breed of an animal can determine how long they can tolerate being outside. It’s still recommended to keep bathroom breaks quick and always keep an eye on them when they’re outside.

Know the signs of hypothermia such as shivering, trembling, lethargy, cold fur and decreased heart rate. Pets suffering from hypothermia can also have trouble walking or breathing and have dilated pupils.

RELATED: Staying safe during below-freezing temperatures

“We definitely recommend coats. The booties are great. You know, it protects their paw pads," said Harbor Humane Society director of finance Allison Deters. "And if you're taking them for a walk or something, it can protect them from, you know, like different salts and things that might not be pet safe. Also, if you're using salt around your house, make sure it's a pet safe salt." 

Experts are also encouraging Michiganders to be on the lookout for feral and outdoor cats seeking warmth. If your car is parked outside, it's recommended to bang on the hood of your car before driving to be sure a cat isn’t nestled inside.

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