Winter will be here in just a few months. If you have dogs, you'll need to give them some extra attention during the cold weather. A lot is said about the dangers that summer can pose for your dogs. However, there are a lot of risks associated with winter as well. Here are three steps you can take to protect your dogs this winter.

Don't Leave Your Dogs in the Car

If you have dogs that like to travel with you, make sure you never leave them in the car alone during the winter. You know that leaving them alone during the summer can be deadly, but the same can be true for the winter. The temperature begins to drop inside a car as soon as the heater is turned off. Once you open the door to exit, an extra burst of cold air is going to be added to an already chilly car. Leaving your dogs in the car alone could lead to exposure, which can turn deadly quite quickly, especially with small dogs. Avoid the risk of exposure by either taking your dog inside with you or leaving them at home when it's cold outside.

Cover Up Your Short-Haired Dogs

If you have short-haired dogs, they need to be covered up whenever they go outside, especially in the snow or the rain. If your dog is going to go out in the snow or rain, make sure your dogs are bundled up in a waterproof canine cover-up. For maximum protection, the cover-up should cover your dog's full body and chest. That way, the vital parts of your dog are protected against the cold. If your dog has ears that stand up, you should also invest in a hat that covers its head. The added head protection will prevent cold air, snow, and water from getting down into your dog's ear canals. It can also protect the delicate ear tissue from the dangers of exposure.

Keep Your Dog on a Short Leash

If your dog enjoys running ahead of you and jumping into snowbanks during the winter, it's a good idea to maintain a short leash. Running ahead can cause your dog to suffer serious injuries if it slips on the ice while running ahead. Jumping into snowbanks could cause your dog to come in contact with something that could also cause serious injuries. You never know if there are sharp objects, or other hidden dangers, buried in those snowbanks.

With winter on the way, it's time to start thinking about ways to keep your dogs safe and healthy during the cold weather. Use the tips provided above to help protect your dogs this winter. Don't forget to start the winter out with a trip to the animal hospital. A thorough checkup will help ensure a happy, healthy winter for your dog.