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5 Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe During A Blizzard

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Chances are, if you live in the Northeast, you're hunkering down for a new blizzard every winter season.

Here are a few tips straight from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to keep your dog safe during harsh winter weather:

1. Keep pets indoors.

Pets should stay indoors as much as possible during winter months, but this is especially true with the impending storm - please bring them inside immediately, and limit their time outside for brief bathroom trips through the duration of the storm.

2. Prepare your pets for the elements.

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When they do go out, make sure they're prepared: depending on their breed, coat thickness and size - they may need a coat. If they have sensitive paws, make sure they're wearing their booties. And ALWAYS walk them with their leash, collar and ID tag in case the unthinkable happens.

3. Keep your pet extra dry.

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Once you've brought them back inside after doing their business, clean them off. Make sure to towel dry your pet right away, paying special attention to their paws, paw pads and the spaces between their toes.

4. Store weather products safely.

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Winter walks can turn dangerous quickly if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off legs and paws. Be sure to secure winter weather products like anti-freeze and ice melts, keeping them out of your pet's reach.

5. See something, say something.

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If you see a pet in distress, report it. If you're in NYC and you see an animal without adequate shelter, food or water, please call 311. If you see animal cruelty in progress, call 911. Those outside of NYC should contact their local law enforcement or animal control, depending on the municipality.

As Dodo commenter Ana Luisa Luque M pointed out (thanks!), you can help animals who don't have a home by setting out sturdy boxes. (Lining a box with straw or shredded newspaper is preferred in lieu of blankets, which can freeze once wet.) And even when staggering amounts of snow aren't falling, it's worth remembering that dogs need a hand dealing with extreme cold, too.