Safety reminders for people and pets in bitter cold

Puppies in Cold on December 20, 2017. (WLUK/Mike Moon)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- As we prepare for a cold snap next week, we have some reminders for cold weather safety for you, your family and your pets.

The time of year has come when bitter cold temperatures set in.

At the Oshkosh Fire Department, John Holland told FOX 11 News people need to remember to dress smart if you're going outside.

"Dress in layers so you can keep that heat in, hat, gloves, you can get frostbite very, very quickly," he told us.

Holland said it's also important to have supplies in your car in case you break down or get stuck. He recommends a full tank of gas, charged cell phone, blanket, shovel, water, snacks and jumper cables.

"Just common sense things that you think, 'well, what could I possibly need if I get stuck?'" Holland explained.

It's already been cold, so you've likely turned the heat on at your house.

However, Holland said if you haven't, get your furnace and any fire places and chimneys checked.

He also warned to please be safe with space heaters and have a carbon monoxide detector.

"Any time you are burning fuel you are creating carbon monoxide and without a carbon monoxide detector you're not gonna know you have it," said Holland.

The cold doesn't just affect us humans.

Joni Geiger at Oshkosh Area Humane Society says the temperatures hit pets hard too.

"Pads of feet can freeze, ears can freeze. It's really important to think about salt, that chemical can, obviously, burn through pads," she explained.

And Geiger advised for dogs with a little bit less fur a jacket or sweater is a good idea, even if they're just going to be out for a short period of time.

"You might wanna think about boots as well," she added.

If your pet lives outside there are laws that require a safe shelter.

"There has to be insulation. It has to be off the ground," Geiger told FOX 11.

Geiger told us there have been cases of pets freezing to death or being seriously injured.

"We're always telling people if they see pets outside and they see them out for an extended period of time, call the authorities," she said.

Above all, the experts said, this time of year use common sense and be safe.

If you know anyone who is home-bound, Holland says you should check on them during the cold snap.

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