The simple solution to keep your pets healthy during freezing weather is to bring them inside. When that is not possible there are precautions you can take.

getty Images/Paul Zimmerman

With freezing conditions later this week now is the time to plan for pets. If you can't bring them inside ... the Humane Society recommends a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

It is also important that outdoors animals have plenty of food and fresh water. Use plastic dishes to keep the animal from getting stuck to metal buckets and make sure the water dishes do not freeze over.

It also seems that every year we hear about an animal that was keeping warm under a car's hood and the animal was injured when the engine was started. This can be avoided by banging on your hood before starting your engine. Animals seek heat and an engine that has been running will attract them.

You can help feral cats, possums and raccoons in your neighborhood with shelters.

Horses should have a barn or three-sided run-in available with fresh unfrozen water and lots of forage available. For more details visit the Humane Society web site.

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