ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Being outside can be great for any pets physical and mental health but what about when freezing temperatures occur?

Elmira has seen icy, snowed roads, and low temperatures in the single digits. The wind chill factor also comes into play. Weather.com explains wind chill is how cold the air feels on our skin when the wind is factored in. Bitterly cold wind chills increase your risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia. Although our furry friends come with fur, wind chill affects them the same as anyone else.

“It’s recommended that dogs should not be outside longer than 30-minutes in under 32-degree weather, said Breanna Kyle of Animal Care Sanctuary in East Smithfield Pa.

“People think that if you put a coat on your dog and you let them go outside. Say if you tie them out or put them in an outside run adobe OK but just like with humans, you know a coat only goes so far.”

Kyle suggests monitoring your dog’s activity outside, if they’re in good spirits, periodically check on them and check their paws for cracks. Owners know their pets best so if you feel your dog can last longer than 30-minutes that’s fine. If you cannot house a dog Kyle suggest buying straw because blankets and other materials could freeze and that could be trouble for your pet.

The Humane Society of the United States offer a few tips as well:

  • If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
  • Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.