It’s Frigid for Furry Friends, Too

SCRANTON -- The National Weather Service warns that frostbite can form in less than 10 minutes in this extreme cold but what about our furry friends?

Those who needed to be outside on Courthouse Square in Scranton kept themselves covered up. Wind chill warnings from the National Weather Service warn that exposed skin could develop frostbite in mere minutes.

Our friends with naturally occurring coats can get cold, too.

Veterinarian Keith Dorton at the Scranton Animal Hospital says he has not seen any cold-related cases so far during this snap.

"Most pets should be kept inside as much as possible in these conditions, Very few breeds of dogs can tolerate this extreme cold," Dr. Dorton said.

Dr. Dorton says walks should be no more than 15 minutes for most dogs. If they're uncomfortable, they'll typically tell you.

"They turn back around and run back to the house pretty quick. Some of them, if they're uncomfortable with their feet, they'll pick a paw up or just kind of be dancing."

Veterinarians say dogs, in many ways, are better equipped for the cold than we are, except for one specific area -- their feet.

"Don't forget that dogs sweat only on their feet, it's the only place they have sweat glands. When you're inside, their feet are moist, you go out, what happens? It's like sticking your tongue on an ice cube tray."

Dr. Dorton suggests socks or booties for your pup and most pet stores sell wax products that can protect bare paws in this weather. Those nice long walks may have to wait a while.


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