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      Pet safety a top priority as frigid temps move in

      Columbia (WACH) -- As the coldest air of the season heads towards the southeast, many people are being reminded to bring their plants and pets inside.

      Many people wonder why animals cannot adapt to the sudden change in weather since many live outside all year.

      Like people, our four legged friends need to adjust to sudden changes in temperatures.

      When there is a sudden drop in temperature, animalâ??s bodies will work to protect its organs.

      This can leave a petâ??s legs and paws vulnerable to the cold due to lack of blood flow.

      Even if you have an outdoor pet, precautions need to be taken when there is a sudden change in temperature.

      Dr. Tracy Duffner of Cornerstone Veterinary Care encourages pet owners of outdoor animals to provide a covered, insulated area for their pet.

      If you do not have an indoor area you can bring your animal then placing things like towels and blankets which can absorb body heat and help keep your pet warm during a cold night are a must.

      Something like an infrared heater for outdoor pet pens is a great investment.

      â??They can provide needed warmth, and do not pose a fire danger,â?? said Duffner.

      Also worth noting, heaters can actually burn animals seeking warmth.

      Some animals will lean on a heater causing it to receive burns.

      It`s important to make sure any type of heater is positioned somewhere the animal cannot come into direct contact with it.

      Dr. Duffner is also quick to point out, â??A cold snap doesnâ??t mean that pest, like flees, will go away. You can freeze a flee for a year and it will survive.â??

      This cold snap is going to be short lived.

      Warmer temperatures return to the Midlands by the weekend.

      Get your complete SkyWACH Weather Forecast by visiting the weather page here on