The winter months may be beautiful, but they bring a chill that can be dangerous for your furry friend. It’s important to stay knowledgeable about winter safety so that you and your dog can live comfortably and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Here are a few guidelines to abide by in order to keep your pup safe:

1. Never Leave Your Dog Outdoors

While it’s OK to let Fido out to do his business, it’s not OK to leave him outside to wander for a long period of time without supervision–especially when the temperatures are chilly. Your canine companion is better left indoors. When you do take him for a walk, however, if he is a short-haired animal he may require a sweater to take away the chill of winter. That extra layer of protection may seem unnecessary, but it actually helps him remain comfortable when he’s out in cold temperatures.

2. Wipe Fido’s Feet

Not only does wiping your dog’s feet prevent your dog-friendly apartment from being covered in snow, it protects your pup’s feet too. When you take your dog for a walk, he picks up salt from the sidewalk on his paws. That salt can actually cause the paws to dry out and become irritated. By wiping Fido’s paws clean after being outside, you can help keep them healthy and pain-free.

4. Consistently Fill His Water Dish

The cold temperatures dehydrate your dog and deplete his energy reserves. In order to keep Fido his energized, happy self, make sure that his water dish is always full. Opt for a plastic bowl instead of metal. In cold temperatures, your dog’s tongue could potentially stick to the metal surface of the bowl.

4. Puppy Train Indoors

If you just brought home an adorable new puppy, winter can make it difficult to train it. Puppies don’t stand up to the cold as well as older dogs, which is why it’s better to paper-train your pup inside until the weather begins to warm up and Fido appears less sensitive to the extreme temperatures.

5. Keep Your Dog in Your Sight

Never leave your pup unattended when outside. There could be dangers nearby that you wouldn’t want Fido getting himself into. For example, if you live near a lake, you wouldn’t want your dog wandering into those icy waters. Keep your canine on a leash. If for some reason your companion escapes, it’s important to have a collar on him so that he can be safely brought back to you.