Keeping your pets safe in the cold
In the dangerously frigid temperatures, people aren't the only ones who are vulnerable.
Many of us attempt to minimize our time outside when the weather drops below zero, but how can we determine when it's too cold for our pets?
"Anything below zero, I wouldn't do anything outside for long periods of time," said veterinarian Ron Thunshelle. "Anything over that, it would depend on breed and size."
The longer an animal can stay outside, the bigger it is and the longer its fur is. Despite their fur coats, pets, like humans, are susceptible to frostbite.
"They'll raise their foot up or shake their head if their ears are impacted, and it can take a matter of minutes when it's very cold," Thunshelle added.
Ice melt on the roadways can cause uncomfortable paws or even illness in your pets, so wipe their paws when you arrive inside.
Even though pets are kept outside all year, they require special attention when the weather turns chilly.
"They require shelter, as well as food and water. "It would be preferable if the shelters they had had some kind of heat source," he said.
Leaving your pet outside might result in not only troubles, but also trouble.
"It might be called abuse or neglect." Neglect is a misdemeanor in North Dakota for the first offense, but it becomes a felony for subsequent offenses. Animal mistreatment is a felony, and a warrant for your arrest and seizure of your dog might be issued, according to Berthold Police Chief Al Schmidt.
Berthold police have zero tolerance for human or animal abuse, therefore Schmidt encourages people to report animal cruelty if they observe it.
"A lot of the time, our citizens are our ears and eyes, and with partnership from our community, we can make it safer for individuals and their animals," Schmidt said.
People can exercise their pets in the winter by teaching them to walk on the treadmill, playing fetch indoors, or taking them for short walks, according to Thunshelle. He also urges people to remember to knock on their cars' hoods and blast their horns if a cat is trying to get out of the cold.