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    04/23/14 05:41:15 AM

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Freezing Temperatures Dangerous for Pets - Eric Alvarez

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NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Just because pets have fur doesn't necessarily mean they can survive the night outside in freezing temperatures, experts say.

Veterinarians at 5 Points Animal Hospital urge pet owners to keep an eye out for shivering pets and pets that appear to be sleeping too much because exposure can lead to a dangerous drop in body temperature.

In severe cases, it can reduce blood flow to the animal's brain and heart that can sometimes lead to unconsciousness or death.

While letting your pets out for a short time is usually okay, veterinarians suggest bringing them inside for the night or at least giving them some protection from the elements.

"Even though cats and dogs are covered in fur coats naturally they can still be affected by cold weather," said Dr. Angela Stewart, veterinarian.  "If it's too cold for you to be outside with a jacket or coat on it's too cold for them to be outside. They need to be brought indoors or  into a shelter where they're not exposed"

Stewart also warns that ice melt and salt on roads and sidewalks can hurt your pet's paws.

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