One thing is for certain, the extremely cold weather we are experiencing now is not fit for man nor beast.

Exposure to these sub-zero temps can land you and your pet with a case of frostbite in no time flat.

If you're a normal humanoid, chances are you have no desire to be out in this deep freeze. Your pet feels the same way. Especially if your pet is accustomed to spending the majority of its time inside the comfort of your warm, cozy home on these ridiculously cold winter days.

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Trust me, all 42 of your dog's teeth will be chattering just as fast as yours if they spend any quality time outside in this polar paradise that can be South Dakota.

When we encounter these bouts of below zero temperature days, it's extremely important to limit the time your pet spends outdoors.

Chris Friedel, a veterinarian at Northwest Veterinarian supply in Parkston told Dakota News Now, “If they’re out there, five minutes or so you definitely want them to get back in.”

Just because your pet appears to have a nice fury warm coat doesn't mean they're well suited to be in the extreme cold for extended periods of time.

Think about it this way, look how many times you have layered up to go outside in this arctic weather, then remember how quickly your extremities get mind-numbing cold in just a matter of minutes. The same thing applies to your dog and cat.

Your pet can succumb to frostbite just as easily as you can. Experts say frostbite is capable of setting in on exposed skin once sub-zero temps hit in about thirty minutes. Once temperatures reach -15 below, with even just a hint of a wind, frostbite is possible in as little as just 15 minutes.

So, what should a person do if their pet is exposed to the severe cold for an extended period of time? Friedel recommends you try and warm them up slowly and steadily in order to avoid a temperature shock.

He told Dakota News Now if your pet's cold weather injuries are severe, you need to call your vet right away.

According to Friedel, if your pet is not able to be inside your home, find a warmer place for them to stay, such as a barn or a garage. Keeping some straw on hand is also a good idea. Straw works well for insulation.

The good news, according to our friends in the Dakota News Now Weather Center, Mother Nature is going to ease off on this bitterly cold weather and have us back into the '20s for high temps by the end of the week. What's scary, that will feel rather tropical!

Until then, do your best to keep you and your pets warm and safe.

Source: Dakota News Now

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