PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Everyone who has been outside during Thursday’s arctic weather can agree on one thing: it’s cold. Although pets can’t talk, the extreme temperatures can affect them as well.

“Just as heat can be dangerous for pets without proper care, cold weather can also lead to serious health risks, including frostbite and hypothermia,” Multnomah County Animal Services said.

Along with that, the American Veterinary Association reports that an animal’s cold tolerance is dependent on factors such as their coat, activity level and overall health. For pets with pre-existing health conditions like arthritis, this week’s low temperatures pose an even higher risk.

Here are a few tips for protecting furry family members from the cold, according to the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  • Even if pets prefer the outdoors, they should be kept inside in cases of extreme temperature.
  • Longer-haired dog breeds can keep a longer trim in the winter to stay warm. Short-haired breeds may need to sport extra layers and wear a sweater or coat.
  • Leave your antifreeze and rock salt out of the animal’s reach.
  • Keep dogs on a leash during snow storms, when they’re more likely to lose their scent and sense of direction.
  • Some smaller animals curl up in car engine compartments to feel the heat. As a preventive measure, hit your car hood before starting the car to warn any small critters.

Additionally, Multnomah County Animal Services enforces the adequate shelter laws under the Oregon State Statute.

Adequate shelter is defined as, “a barn, doghouse or other enclosed structure sufficient to protect a domestic animal from wind, rain, snow or sun that has adequate bedding to protect against cold and dampness and maintained to protect the domestic animal from weather and physical injury.”

Call (503) 988-7387 to learn more about emergency services for animals.