The moderate fall temperatures are beginning to decline and the frigid, winter feel is creeping in. Much like humans, our animal friends can struggle as our climate turns cold. Sidewalks can freeze and be covered in salt, which poses a serious risk to our dogs’ paws, and winds can whip at a bitter rate causing a lot of distress when outside.

To avoid the pitfalls winter weather can pose for your dog, consider these four dog-approved winter weather essentials:

1. Dog boots/paw protectors

Have you ever stuck your bare hand in the snow and held it there for a few moments? It’s not a great feeling. So imagine how your dog feels when he’s outside in the snow or going for walks along a frozen sidewalk. Cold and freezing ground, especially when it’s covered in snow-melt salts, can be just as hazardous to a dog’s paw pads as the blistering hot sidewalk in summer. Luckily, dog poots and pad protectors are an easy solution to this problem.

There are a variety of dog boots, some elastic rubber and some more like traditional footwear, that protect your dog’s paws from the salt, snow, and ice while still providing traction and insulation. A lot of dogs will need time to adjust to wearing boots, but if he’s struggling to use them then try to peel-and-stick paw protectors that can be purchased from major pet retailers in-store and online.

2. Sweaters and Coats

Half the fun of owning a dog is being able to dress them up. Combine the best of both worlds by using fleece-lined sweaters and wind-breaking coats to keep your dog warm and fashionable this winter.

With no shortage of designs, patterns, and fits, you’re sure to find something comfortable and cozy for your dog. Again, some dogs may need time and patience to adjust to wearing a sweater.

3. Heated beds and blankets

If you don’t know the magic of a heated blanket in winter, you’re yourself and your dog at a disservice. Heated and warming beds are a growing trend in the pet industry, primarily for those in colder climates.

There are two options, heated and warming beds or blankets. The first is the electric blanket/heating pad. These products will quickly warm up a cold dog and provide long-lasting warmth. The second is a heavily insulated bed or blanket that captures the dog’s body heat and recycles it back to the dog. This is a slower way of warming your dog, but you don’t run any of the danger risks of electrical heating sources. Both options are also wonderful for senior dogs and young puppies who may struggle to regulate their body temperature.

4. Paw balms

Just like our lips can get chapped in the winter, dogs can chap their paws and noses. All-natural balms that are safe for dogs can help heal and soothe cracked pads and noses. For best results, put the balm on the paws/nose before and after exposure to winter conditions.