It's Too Cold For Pets To Be Outside! (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 7:18 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – This bitter cold means there are some steps you should take to make sure your animal is safe when it's this cold outside.

The executive director of the Allen County SPCA says the most important thing to remember is that if you're cold, your animal is cold.

The excuse that your dog or cat already has a fur coat doesn't cut it.

If it is absolutely not possible to bring your pet inside, Jessica Henry says your animal needs to be out of the wind, no matter what.

Your pet needs to have access to fresh water, not frozen in a dish, which can happen quickly in these temperatures.

And you need to have plenty of straw for your animal to make a nest inside its shelter.

“Access to a wind break, access to warmth, definitely having straw. Putting a coat on the animal. You can easily pick up coats at a pet supply store for animals. But give your animal every opportunity to be warm this year. Certainly you wouldn't want to be cold, and they certainly don't, either,” Henry says.

People have outdoor cats, too, or may see one in the neighborhood.

Henry says one of the cheapest and easiest things you can do is get one of those Styrofoam coolers, turn it upside down, put some straw inside it, and cut an entrance for the cat, so it can crawl inside out of the wind. Prop it against something so it doesn't blow over.

Or again, allow a dog or cat to be in your garage with fresh water and straw so it's out of the wind and cold.

You can get a free bale of straw at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control.

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