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DENVER (KDVR) — Dangerously cold temperatures are on the way to the Front Range this week

Local veterinarians say the key to keeping your pets safe in dangerous temperatures is limiting their time outside. Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a veterinarian at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, said a few minutes outside is enough when temperatures fall below 20 degrees.

(Looking to protect livestock from the cold? Read this guide from the Colorado State University Extension.)

“Most people think they’re covered in fur and so they’re going to be more resistant, but they’re not, because they’re not acclimated to the cold,” Fitzgerald said.

How to protect your pet from frostbite

When you bring your pets inside, check their paws, ears and tails for signs of frostbite. Some common signs are discoloration of skin, typically gray, pale or bluish. Other signs include swelling and areas that are sensitive to the touch. Balls of ice and salt can also stick to the paws and irritate them.

“The tips of the ears, there’s just no fat there and blood vessels are exposed,” Fitzgerald told FOX31.

If you’re near a body of water, make sure your pet is on a leash to avoid them running and falling through the ice.

It’s also a good idea to check your car before turning it on. Some animals, like cats, will climb up near the engine to keep warm during the winter months.