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Humane Society of Southeast Texas shares tips on how to keep pets safe, warm during the cold weather

Taylor Westphal is also encouraging owners of indoor pets to keep an eye out for them getting overheated.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Humane Society of Southeast Texas is sharing tips so pet owners can prepare for cooler temperatures and keep their animals safe amid the approach of the winter months. 

Staff at the Humane Society have reported an uptick in calls concerning pets who live outdoors.

The shelter's director, Taylor Westphal, said while they do not have legal grounds to impose fines for animal abuse, Humane Society staff do what they can to make sure those concerned have the resources they need.

"All of that has to be done through local animal control," Westphal said. "A lot of the calls that we do see are in Beaumont, so we direct them to Beaumont animal control. They can actually reach them if you're a resident by dialing 311."

Outdoor pets should not be on heavy chains and their leashes should be at least 10 feet long to give them enough room to access water and shelter, according to Westphal. 

"Make sure if they have the appropriate shelter, maybe, you're lining it with hay as an insulator, checking that water to make sure that as temperatures are dipping through the night, it's not freezing," Westphal said.

Outdoor pets are not the only concern this winter season. Westphal is also encouraging owners of indoor pets to keep an eye out for them getting overheated.

"If they are doing a lot of panting, extreme salivating, kind of drooling a lot, you can check their gums," Westphal said. "So, if they have bright red gums the membrane they could be overheating labored breathing. You just need to monitor those situations." 

The animal expert also said people have to be wary of what they feed their pets regarding Thanksgiving leftovers. He recommends no turkey bones or cranberry sauce, instead, he suggests feeding them mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey skin.

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