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It's about to get bitterly cold in Lubbock and around West Texas. And while that is bad for us humans, it's also bad for our pets that may spend most of the time outdoors.

According to at least one forecast for the Lubbock area, Thursday's high is supposed to be around 43 degrees, though it could be colder than that as Wednesday's high was supposed to be in the 40's and we didn't get close to that. Beginning Friday, the polar vortex gets angry and the arctic cold will come in.

One forecast I am looking at shows the high on Friday at 29 degrees and Lubbock won't be above freezing again until Tuesday. Sunday, Lubbock will see a high of 12 degrees with a low below zero. Monday Lubbock will get up to 17 degrees. This forecast is from Wednesday night at 8 p.m., so things could change, but no matter what it will be cold. And it also means it will be too cold for pets to be left outside without any shelter.

According to PetMd, your when the weather gets below 32 degrees, it can be bad for both dogs and cats. Of course not all dogs and cats are the same and some are more tolerant towards colder weather. The biggest issue seems to be when the temperature falls below 20 degrees. PetMD says that's when many breeds could develop issues.

In general, cold temperatures should not become a problem for most dogs until they fall below 45° F, at which point some cold-averse dogs might begin to feel uncomfortable. When temperatures fall below 32° F, owners of small breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, and/or very young, old or sick dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s well-being. Once temperatures drop under 20° F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.

The best way to monitor dogs when it’s cold is to keep a close eye on their behavior. If you notice your dog shivering, acting anxious, whining, slowing down, searching out warm locations or holding up one or more paws, it’s time to head inside.

Be a good pet owner during this arctic front and bring your dog inside or at least provide good shelter for them outside.

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