LUBBOCK, Texas — Officials said to think twice before leaving your pet outdoors over the next few days as temperatures drop below freezing. Lubbock Animal Services Director of Operations Steven Green said the same way humans get hypothermia and frostbite animals can too.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dogs left outdoors during the cold weather conditions can freeze to death, become disoriented or injured.

If it’s under 32 degrees, officials recommend bringing animals indoors. If that’s not an option, there are ways to keep them protected.

“You really have to have a good doghouse and we don’t recommend using blankets for something to lay on because those can get damp and lead to more hypothermia,” Green said. “If you are going to have a dog in a doghouse in these kinds of weather you want to imbed it with some straw or some hay, and that wicks away the moisture and keeps the heat in.”

When taking your dog out to use the restroom monitor the time spent based on the amount if fur they have.

Never shave your animal’s fur completely off in the winter months, and if you have a short haired animal use coats or sweater for extra warmth.

“You want to be careful if you have salt on your side walks that you want to clean their paws when they come in, so they don’t lick that and ingest it,” Green said.

Massaging petroleum jelly or protectants on paws can also help protect them from salt and chemicals on the grounds.

“If they are getting lethargic and acting confused these are all signs that you need to get them in and get them warmed up. Especially the lethargic just wanting to lay down and not move that’s a pretty deadly sign,” Green said.

If you see an animal outdoors that needs to be checked, you can call the animal services field at 806-775-3357 operations.