Protecting pets from the cold in the Piedmont Triad

On cold days and nights, Fur-Ever Friends volunteers know there's a need to keep outdoor pets warm. That's why volunteer Alice Singh is placing a dog house and wood shavings on her truck. The special delivery will go to a family that can't afford to properly shelter their pet.

"Actually it warms my heart just as much or maybe more to go out and help these people and give them the things they need for their animals," Singh said. "They are very appreciative and thankful."

Meanwhile at Center Veterinary Hospital in High Point, the staff is reminding people not to put blankets and towels in the dog house.

"It will freeze and thaw and they will harbor diseases," veterinarian Dr. Ray Coble said. "We will see mites that will live in old dirty laundry in a dog house."

Heather Helms and her bulldog Riker are visiting Coble. While Riker is an inside pet, Helms takes steps to make sure the bulldog is protected from the cold and wind.

"We use a towel to dry off and we keep warm inside and make sure we put on a coat when we go out," Helms said.

Jeff Idol, with Southside Hardware in High Point, said they sell a lot of dog houses and the proper bedding that goes inside during the winter.

"We sell straw, just not for grass, but for dog bedding and even pine needles," Idol said. "Anything to get the dog off of the ground."

Veterinarians also say owners need to check water bowls more frequently. A frozen water bowl could lead to dehydration. Singh adds dog shelters should be placed in a shelter location away from cold winter winds.

Fur-Ever Friends builds fencing and provides dog houses and bedding for low-income households. If you feel you qualify for assistance, check out Fur-Ever Friends website.

Whiskers Rescue is another organization that offers services. For more information, visit their website.