In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and unpleasant wetness. Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm.

Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no situations should pets be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.

If your dog is outdoors much of the day, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Pets that are outside a lot of time need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.

Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a wet towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.