TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The first day of winter is Wednesday, and it will certainly feel like it with some areas seeing single-digit temperatures on Friday. 

There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to pets, people, pipes and plants.

When you’re cold, so are your pets.

 “If they’re out in the wet wind, and they just have you know a cardboard box or a piece of plywood leaned against a tree and I’ve seen those things be considered shelter, that is not complying with the state law now,” said Deborah Dobbs with the SPCA of East Texas.

It’s vital you provide your animals with some warmth and be reminded about the new laws in place.

“Now the laws have been very well defined, and I’m really excited because there’s no question now about what’s supposed to be happening,” explained Dobbs.

Dobbs said the best place for your pets is indoors during these freezing days.

She added some East Texans are scrambling to find it.

“We’re moving as many of our foster babies out as we can and trying to make a place for some of these homeless folks to go ahead and go into the shelter, but they don’t want to leave their animals out so that’s a project we’re working on right now,” added Dobbs.

Dobbs said digesting food can help your pets generate warmth. She recommends splitting up meals to feed them twice a day this week.

Also, don’t forget to check the water bowl.

“If you leave for work in the morning and their water bowl is sitting there frozen, they’re gonna go all day without water. And so, dehydration is a real factor,” explained Dobbs.

There are also people in search of a warm place to stay.

Places like the Salvation Army in Tyler want the public to be aware they are open.

“We’ll see more people come in and we have our inclement weather nights where we just open it up and let people come in so that they can stay out of the weather. We don’t want anybody being cold at nighttime,” said Captain Michelle Walker.

When it comes to preventing your pipes from freezing, there are a couple of steps you can take:

You can turn on your faucet to let the water drip.

“Run the faucet that’s the furthest away from the water meter, so that it’s pulling water through the whole system and not just one area,” said the owner of Rub-A-Dub Plumbing, Brent McDonald.

You can also insulate them using pipe insulation or anything you have on hand to trap in the heat.

Something else to keep in mind if you haven’t done so already is to bring in any potted plants and cover the ones you have outdoors.

Also, be sure to give plants extra water before the freeze. It can help keep your plants alive in these frigid temperatures. 

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