BOSTON (CBS) – With temperatures dropping into the single digits, even the ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ statue had to bundle up. For our living animals, the lead veterinarian for the Animal Rescue League says they won’t be able to take these temperatures for long.
“So I mean the biggest thing is if it’s too cold for us to be outside it’s probably too cold for them to be outside,” Dr. Nicole Breda said.
She says once it drops below 20 degrees pets can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in the matter of minutes.
Beyond The Forecast: Brutal Cold To Stick Around
“We see it, we do see it unfortunately if the body temperature gets too low yeah then their body would shut down just like ours do,” she said.
She says pets with shorter legs who may have more contact with the snow or ice need to be wiped down and dried off and those with older or really young pets should be the most careful.
Above all, she stresses time outside needs to be kept short.
Those walking through Boston Common Thursday afternoon were taking the cold seriously and they weren’t the only ones dressed for the occasion.
“He’s wearing a typical winter coat with a hoodie you can put on,” Javier Garcia said.
Admitting he worries about his dog Tobi when he starts to shiver.
For Kim Brundage and her dog Ollie, she breaks out the coat too.
“I usually don’t put a coat on him a lot of times but under 20 and the wind chill is really cold then I’ll put the coat on him,” she said.
Coats weren’t the only necessity.
“I put this wax on their paws before we go out it protects their paws,” Tim Schwartz said about his two golden retrievers.
Many even wearing boots to protect their paws from the salt and ice.
“They are basically balloons so you can slip on their paws and they can still feel the ground with their paws,” Brundage said.
You’ll also want to check your pet’s paws and keep an eye out for signs your pet is in pain.
“He will cry a little then he will lift up one paw then he will clean it and then he looks at this one … walks two feet… the other one … it’s a process,” she added.
Even though time outside may be short most of the dogs in the Boston Common definitely think it’s sweet.
“I love my dogs and I’m not going to freeze them to death,” Schwartz said.
Dr. Breda says If you see a pet outside for too long or in a cold car, you should call your local animal control officers.
She also advises looking under your vehicle’s hood because cats and other animals can crawl near the warm engine.
She says you should bring cats inside as well and bring your pet to the vet if you notice any signs they may be in pain or cannot warm up after being outside.