It’s getting mighty chilly out there. And there will be many more brr-isk days to look forward to this winter season.

Raleigh Pawz knows your dog just can’t resist frolicking in all that mysterious, magnificent white stuff. If you have a cat, however, they probably won’t be quite so thrilled.

Whether your pet loves or hates wintertime, it is just as vulnerable as we are to frostbite, hypothermia, and other dangers of the season. So how can you be sure your pet is safe?

There are no guarantees your pet will be 100% protected from the elements. The same is true for humans. But we can take precautions to make sure our pets have the safest experience possible.

Get out the winter gear

Suit Fido up in a well-insulated coat that won’t restrict their movement. if your dog has a thin coat, this may be a necessity on colder days. Some breeds, like the Siberian Husky and the Malamute, are built for colder weather and don’t need as much protection as other breeds. As for getting a coat on your temperamental cat, we wish you the best of luck. You’ll need it.

Protect your pet’s feet

If you can get some boots on your pet’s feet, you’re golden. Not only will the boots keep your pet’s feet warm, they will prevent snow and ice from becoming caked in between its pads, which can quickly lead to frostbite in colder temperatures. If your pet refuses footwear, check its feet frequently and clean off any ice, snow, dirt, salt, and other potential dangers.

Get your pet nice and dry

After a romp in the snow, dry your pet off with a nice, fluffy towel. It might take more than one. Make sure they have plenty of warm blankets to nestle in. If your pet will let you, give them a salon treatment with a blow dryer. Drying your pet off will reduce their chances of catching a cold or other illnesses.

Create a warming hut

Invest in a heated dog or cat house with a safe heating element and easy-to-operate door. This will give your pet some relief from the cold the very moment they need it, instead of having to wait for you to come to the door to let them in. Having an inviting den will also encourage them to rest when necessary instead of having to keep moving and overexerting themselves just to keep warm.

If you can’t afford the heated variety, an unheated shelter will still help. Make sure it is not sitting directly on the ground and is well insulated. Line it with plenty of warm blankets, changing them frequently as they can get wet and freeze. Bonus points for hot blankets, fresh out of the dryer.

Never leave your pet out in subzero temps

Your dog or cat may whine and think you are the meanest person in the universe because you are keeping them imprisoned against their will. But no matter how much they may protest, don’t let them outside on their own. Cats are particularly vulnerable because they may go on a hunting spree and get lost. Keep Fluffy safely inside with their litter box. If your dog must “use the facilities,” only let them out in a secure, fenced-in area or walk them on a leash. The risk is simply too great to do otherwise.

Never let your pet stay out all night

When you’re warm and safe inside, you may not be aware of sudden temperature changes taking place outdoors. While it might have been a tolerable 40 degrees when you headed for bed, sometime in the night, a cold front moved in and the temps plummeted. The next morning, you could wake up to a tragedy — a tragedy that could have been avoided. Don’t risk it.

Don’t leave your pet in the car

Just the way temps can quickly rise in a parked car on a hot day, they can also plummet on very cold days. A quick grocery trip could leave Fido waiting in the cold, increasing their chances of illness or worse. Leave your pet at home, where it’s nice and cozy.

Get on automatic delivery

If you heat your home with oil or propane, it can be a struggle to keep your tank filled when temperatures drop. You just filled your tank, it seems, but it’s already low again, just a few weeks later. That’s because in subzero temps, these fuels are used up at an alarming rate. And sometimes homeowners can underestimate how much they will need to keep things running.

Many people who work have no choice but to leave their pets home alone for extended periods. But what happens if the oil runs out shortly after they leave? In subzero temps, the temperature inside an unheated home can drop unbelievably fast. So take out the guesswork and make sure you have the fuel you need.

Invest in a home temperature sensor

While you are at work, you can check up on things at home on your smartphone to make sure Fido or Fluffy are still safe and toasty warm. This gives you vital time to make an emergency trip home to rescue your furry loved ones should your furnace fail.

Be aware

The best defense of all is to always be aware of winter dangers. Monitor your pet frequently and protect it from the dangers of the season. Fido and Fluffy are counting on you!