Officials: Don't leave pets out in the cold

As frigid air chills the New York area, authorities are reminding pet owners to keep their animals safe from the cold.

"If you feel cold so does your pet," Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.

He added that chaining or leashing or confining a dog outdoors when the temperature dips below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) is against the law in Suffolk County. Dogs and other pets left outdoors in freezing weather can quickly get disoriented, develop frostbite, and freeze to death.

"Cold weather can be as dangerous for pets, as it is for humans," Suffolk SPCA said in a news release from the "Pets have a more difficult time regulating their body temperatures and may be more susceptible to problems from extreme temperatures."

Check your pets' skin for signs of frostbite. It can turn red, white, or gray and scaly, according to Suffolk SPCA. If you think your pet has frostbite, call your veterinarian right away.