How to keep pets safe in the cold

Pet owners should take extra precautions to keep their four-legged-friends warm and safe now that winter is here.

Jerry Walls, who is an educator for Amazing Animals in Hemingway, South Carolina, said water, food and shelter are three critical ingredients to keeping pets healthy.

When the temperatures are lower, food and water are more important because dogs and cats will burn extra calories just warming-up their internal temperatures.

When pets exercise on top of that, the reserves in their bodies will deplete even faster.

When it comes to sheltering pets from the winter's fury, Walls recommends keeping dogs and cats indoors.

However, if you have a doghouse or outdoor shelter for your pet he said to keep the entrance of the shelter facing East or South since the sun comes up faster and will warm it up faster.

Walls also recommended placing pine straw or hay, or stringing an infrared light bulb inside a doghouse to help them stay warm.