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Winterizing Your Pets: How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Warm in the Winter Cold

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Jack Frost is stirring, and the weather is getting a little crazy. Pet parents need to bundle up, but dogs and cats need to be winter-ready, too! Protect your four-legged loved one from extreme weather conditions and all the hazards that come with the cold.

Remember: Not all dogs are huskies. Help your pet stay warm. Pets should be brought indoors or kept inside as much as possible. If your dog's hair is groomed short, let it grow longer. They were lucky enough be born with their own fur coat... let them use it!

Humans, however, need to use heaters and furnaces to stay warm. Be careful, though: These heaters can be dangerous for your pets! During extreme weather conditions, pets love curling up next to anything warm. Keep an eye on paws or tails near coils, flames or hot areas. Cats might curl up by your car engine. Make sure to check beneath your car or make lots of noise before turning it on.

Even in the most extreme weather, your dog has to go outside. Pets can get ice, salt, and chemicals melted to their paws. Wipe your pet's paws when they come back in to avoid chaffing or getting raw and to prevent your pup from licking the salt off his paws. You can buy a pair of pup booties, but don't force the issue -- not all dogs like booties.

Even though summer is long gone, your pets still need to rehydrate while they are outside. Make sure your pet has a full water bowl outside. Check outdoor bowls often because the water can freeze. Break the ice so your puppy's or kitty's tongue won't to stick to it. Make the investment in a heated bowl or a bowl that has a heating element for dogs that are outside.

One last thing to keep in mind this winter season is that older pets or pets with health conditions need extra care this time of year. The cold can leave their joints stiff or tender, and they might move slower or more awkwardly. Make sure your pet has a soft, warm bed, and keep a closer eye on them when they're outside or playing.

Now you can go out and enjoy all that winter has to offer for pets and pet parents!

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