As the temperatures start to drop into the 30’s in Georgia, don’t forget to protect the four-legged member of your family.

The Humane Society has some easy ways to protect your pets this winter season.

Make sure your pets are sheltered, bundled up, and out of any common winter-used poisons like rock salt. If your animal lives outside, make sure they have a warm shelter. The Humane Society said under no circumstances should animals be left outdoors when the temperature drops.

If your dog is primarily outside, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should also be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

You want to make sure they have plenty of food and water to stay energized. You’ll want to continue to check their water to make sure it is fresh and unfrozen. It is best to use plastic food and water bowls when the temperature is low because your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal, according to The Humane Society.

One of the final points the Humane Society made was to keep chemicals away from your pets. Dogs are at risk of salt poisoning during the winter. They can become poisoned after licking it from their paws after a walk. The Humane Society said to store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog’s paws, even after short walks. If your dog ingests rock salt, you’ll want to call a veterinarian immediately.

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