The ARL posted this reminder about pets outside in the cold.

Pets that are used to being inside need to be kept that way in this bitterly cold weather — while others that are normally outside will need some help to survive.

Doctor Scott Hinders of the Ackley Veterinary Center says cats will have an especially hard time in this weather. “Ears can get to be frostbitten pretty easily in cats. We’ll see a lot of outside farms cats in the spring that had frostbitten ears, the ears are just shorter where the skin has died back a little bit,” Hinders explains. “For those, it is just a matter of getting out of the wind, blocking the wind getting some bedding heat lamps, heat pads and some bedding — whether that be straw or hay something of that nature,” Hinders says.

Hinders says water bowls and tanks will freeze up and you need to be sure the animals will something to drink. He says you should check and provide fresh water to animals outside and livestock will eat more to keep warm. Doctor Hinders says animals will have similar symptoms to humans when the cold air begins to take a toll on them. “Gonna have shaking, shivering, going to be the biggest thing. You can get weakness as things progress where they are down and can’t get up. Or they don’t respond to you, then you have some serious problems and I would get them in and get them warmed up as best you can,” according to Hinders.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa reported today that it rescued two dogs left outside in the snow and freezing temperatures with no access to food, water or adequate shelter. The ARL says the dogs were taken to the shelter. The ARL offers free dogs houses, straw, and other assistance to pet owners.

The cold weather is supposed to continue through the weekend.

(By Brian Fancher KLMJ/KQCR, Hampton)