Freezing weather can be harmful to your pets

- Given the forecast of freezing temperatures overnight, County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser issued a Cold Weather Alert for the Antelope Valley.

With that alert comes this warning:

"Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps. Extra precautions should be taken to ensure they don't get too cold when they are outside."

Whenever there is a cold snap that drops temperatures below freezing, we are always told to pay extra special attention to the very young and very old because freezing cold endured for a long period of time can be very dangerous.

That's true with pets as well. Dr. David Gantenbein at Antelope Valley Animal Hospital says it's particularly true of old animals that might go outdoors and forget to go back inside because of something like dementia.

He admits most pet owners have their pets inside their comfortable homes, so in most cases they're fine. But, he says, just sleeping on cold tile can cause hypothermia.

There's also this: Strays that have no warm place to go.

At AV Veterinary Center, we found a 12-week-old kitten and 18-week-old pit bull that was brought to the hospital. They were just out on the streets. Had they not been brought into the center and been outside during the coldest period, workers say they might not have survived.

Thanks to Amy, Kristen and everyone at AV Veterinary Center for sharing their story about the kitty and puppy.

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