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Local animal refuge gives tips on ways to keep animals warm during the cold

One animal refuge in Walton County shares how they keep their animals warm during cold spells....
One animal refuge in Walton County shares how they keep their animals warm during cold spells. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 10:36 PM CST
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We all bundle up when it gets cold outside, but some animals like dogs need resources and other preparations to stay warm too.

"A lot of people don't think about it but if you were to take your shoes off and walk outside they'll feel what it's like for an animal to walk on the concrete,” said Alissa Parsons with Alaqua Animal Refuge.

Parsons said they take in many rescue dogs including several with pre-existing conditions and leaving them out in the cold is dangerous.

"They do get sick. They get kennel cough, they get different kinds of colds, upper respiratory infections. It can cause them the same thing as people and they can get ill, sick and die from it,” said Parsons.

However, Parsons said they take a lot steps to keep their rescue dogs and cats warm like heating their facilities, providing plenty of blankets and more.

"Taking short walks. Maybe more of them than longer walks just to help from keeping their pads from being on the concrete,” said Parsons.

They also say it's important to keep livestock warm too.

"They can lose weight. The biggest killer of horses is colic and dehydration is the number one cause of that and not being able to access water is a big component,” said Alaqua Animal Refuge Horse Trainer Kelly Douglas.

Douglas said they pad their horses, put heat rocks in their stables and give them plenty of food.

"They're furnaces in their stomach pretty much. So the more that we feed them the warmer they can maintain and the longer they can maintain that,” said Douglas.

Douglas said they also make preparations and provide resources for cows, turtles and other rescue animals in their facility.

Parsons said putting sweaters and other winter clothes on your pets can also keep them warm, if you have a pet that will allow that.

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