CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As a surge of cold weather moves into the Lowcountry, the Charleston Animal Society is reminding the public to prepare animals for the drop in temperatures.

Charleston Animal Society says that domestic cats should be brought inside, and a warm shelter should be provided for outside/feral cats. To create a simple shelter, “simply take some kind of container, such as a storage bin, cat or dog carrier or even a sturdy box and provide it with insulation,” such as a blanket, pillow, towel, Styrofoam or hay.

It is also important to remember that outside cats often seek shelter in car engines, so it is crucial to bang loudly on the hood of a car before starting it. Cats taking shelter in the engine “can be injured or killed by the fan belt” when a car is started.

Pets should never be left alone in a car during cold weather (or hot weather). Temperatures tend to intensify inside of cars. This can cause pets to quickly freeze in the winter and overheat in the summer.

Puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to extreme temperatures than young adult dogs. Extra precautions should be taken, and owners should consider spending less time outside with puppies and older dogs during extreme weather.

Antifreeze is commonly used during the colder months, and owners must remember to keep it out of reach of pets. It has a sweet taste, attracting animals, but even a small amount of antifreeze can be lethal.

If you see an animal left outside in the cold, call local animal control or law enforcement officers.