DALLAS (KDAF) — As Texans prepare for colder temperatures this week, it is important to recognize that you are not the only person bearing through the chilly weather; your pets are as well.

Protecting our furry companions can help them stay safe and warm as the temperature drops. That’s why Operation Kindness, the leading lifesaving shelter in North Texas, is offering their top winter safety tips to support families and their dogs and cats during the colder season.

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  • Be prepared. Have a kit ready with food, water and medicine to last your pet at least five days. Make sure you are supplied and ready to take care of yourself and your pet if you were without power and water for several days. 
  • Keep pets indoors. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Dogs and cats live healthier, longer lives as indoor pets. Supervise your pets when they are out of doors, especially during inclement weather. 
  • Provide a cozy bed. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. Place their bed and blanket away from doors or windows to avoid drafts. 
  • Bundle up. A doggie coat or sweater can help keep your pet warm outdoors. But remove clothing if it becomes wet from rain or snow because it will make them colder. 
  • Avoid haircuts. Don’t shave down their fur. Instead, keep your pet’s coat longer during the winter for extra warmth. 
  • Provide shelter. You can help community cat colonies who live outside in winter. Consider building a warm, dry shelter or search for pre-built options online, like this heated option from Chewy.com
  • Honk your horn. Community cats and strays may seek shelter under the hoods of cars to be near the warm engine. Honk your horn or tap on the hood before starting your car to give animals time to get out. 

For more information, go to operationkindness.org.