Residents in the east warned to protect pets from extreme cold this weekend

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Some nights this coming weekend could get extra cold – bringing feels-like temperatures down to the teens and even single-digits – and that means pets need to be protected.

Dog moms and dads could be seen with the furry members of their family at the dog park in Greenville on Wednesday.

They say the cold temperatures didn’t stop them from bringing their pets outside for a day of play.

Alex Sharp says when it comes to her Australian Shepard Gatsby, she makes minor adjustments in extreme weather conditions.

“I protect his paw pads with something like a balm or a salve, something that protects him from the ice or the snow, if we had snow and then usually if it’s really bad or it’s really hot we do the same thing, we put that balm or that salve on, but he also has little booties, if it’s really icy outside, we’ll put his little booties on,” says Sharp.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends, if possible, keep pets inside and limit outdoor time.

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes says residents should be mindful that extreme temperatures can be dangerous to dogs as well as other outdoor animals.

“Cats are going to climb into the inside of a vehicle up in the engine, so before you leave check that out, sometimes tapping on the vehicle or doing a visual look of the engine area and to make sure there’s no cats or kittens in there” says Hughes.

Barbara McNally says she goes by one simple rule for her dogs and offers other pet owners the same suggestion.

“I just think that you have to treat them as members of your family, just like you would anyone else who is a member of your family and you wouldn’t want them outside being cold, so I think you have to treat your pets the same,” says McNally.

According to the WITN weather team, this weekend will bring the coldest air of the current winter season.

The Humane Society of the United States says the potential for hypothermia and frostbite is possible when temperatures fall below 20 degrees.