It’s officially winter, and all of us, including our pets, are finding ways to stay warm. While we bundle up, our pets grow out their winter coat to help protect them from the harsh elements. But they also need help from their human companions to make sure they are happy and healthy during the winter months.

There are several ways that we can help our four-legged friends stay warm over the cold winter months. One of the best things you can do is keep them inside, especially when the temperatures drop. Although not recommended, if your pets are outside, provide them with shelter from the elements. Make sure it is warm and dry and that your pet has access to fresh water and food. Since the water is outside, check it often to make sure it is not frozen.

Senior pets and dogs that have short hair get colder more easily. Having them wear a sweater will help keep them warm while inside and when they go outside for fresh air. Also, have your dog wear booties or coat their paws in petroleum jelly before going out on a walk to make sure their paws don’t freeze.

Keeping them warm and comfortable is very important, but so is making sure they stay healthy. Check your pets’ paws when they come inside and remove any salt or snow if you see any. Salt or snow can irritate their paws, which could result in an unexpected trip to the vet.

Winter is here, and we all need to be prepared for the harsh weather days ahead. Keep yourself and your pets safe this season and be in the know. Help us keep our four-legged friends safe by watching local weather updates and be prepared for all types of conditions this winter.

Photo credit: Devan Bianco, Michigan Humane

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