With winter in full swing and the temperature expected to dip within the next week, a lot of pet owners will need to be aware of when their furry friends are getting too cold and need to come inside.

Kristen Caldwell is with Prairie Animal Health Centre in Estevan and Weyburn and have some helpful tips on things owners can do to assure they do not lose their pets in the cold.

At this point in the season Caldwell said there have not been any reported cases of pet deaths or injuries from the elements but wants to make the public aware of vulnerable areas on pets.

"Paw injuries are very common, tips of ears, tips of tails, those are suseptible to cold weather, they're really exposed, often the hair coat is quite thin in those areas so those are areas that we see exposed to the cold most often and are a little more vulnerable."

She continued excplaining different things for owners to look for in their pets that could be tell tale signs that they are too cold.

"How long a pet can stay outside is dependent on their breed, their body condition. What pet owners should be looking for is signs of comfort. So is your pet eager and excited to play outside? Are they starting to lift paws? Are you getting too cold, even if you're wearing toque and mits but you're starting to feel the ends of your fingers or your ears get cold? If you arre covered up and even you are starting to get cold then there is a good chance your pet is starting to get cold as well."

Caldwell then went on to speak on ways that cat owners can keep their felines safe and sound.

"If you do have cats that go outside you're going to want to have an area for them to get up off the snow. So having an area that they are able to perch up on that isn't ice covered, so again, protecting those pads of the feet."

"Their tips of their ears are very vulnerable, they don't have any fat covering and very little fur covering. So for those guys we do commonly see frost bite on the tips of the ears. On extreme cold days please keep them in and if they are going to go outside make sure they're coming back inside in 10 to 15 minutes."

She also said that there are heating pads that you can buy for cats for them to lay on outside to keep warm, and also warns against heating lamps due to the fact that they can burn your cats.

Caldwell aldo wants pet owners to be aware of the water needs of their animals and that they always have access to water while they are outdoors. In addition if your pets are out walking where ice salt is spread on the ground it is important that you wash your pet's feet off as to prevent them from licking and ingesting the product.