There’s nothing like tossing snowballs into the air for your dog on a beautiful winter’s day, but it’s important to remember that despite the fur coat, pets need to be protected from the whole blast of wintry problems.

DAYTIME COLD: Some dogs, especially short-haired, may need a coat to help keep them warm. Shorten their walks as the temperature plummets.

OVERNIGHT: Any dog that stays out of doors for many hours needs to have a good shelter from the cold, wind and dampness. The shelter should be elevated off the ground, insulated, ventilated and cleaned regularly.

ROADS: Your dog may need to wear protection (boots made for canines) to protect their paws from ice and especially salt. If they’re not into boots, be sure to clean the pads of their paws after each walk to remove salt that can cause irritation. MOLLY MAID Home Cleaning Professionals recommend wiping paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

YOUR SIDEWALKS: Choose a pet-friendly, non-corrosive de-icing compound (available through many retail outlets) for your steps and front walkway.

GARAGE: Be careful with antifreeze, which is lethal to cats and small dogs. Ask about pet-safe propylene-based antifreeze instead of ethylene glycol antifreeze.

WARM CARS: Cats and other wildlife will warm themselves under hoods of cars during the warm weather. Be sure to check – or carefully bang on the hood of your car – to avoid an incident.

WEATHER ADVISORIES: Experts recommend keeping all companion animals inside during weather advisories. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise.

Tracking Salt Inside?

The home service professionals at MOLLY MAID know that salt is bad news for hardwood floors because it is corrosive. You don’t want salt on your floors for long – gently sweep up salt pieces and wipe salt stains up as soon as possible. Then wash the floor with clear, clean water and dry-mop to finish. To prevent salt from getting inside in the first place, place a mat at the door to trap dirt and salt before it gets tracked in. Also, make it a rule to wipe pet paws and have everyone remove footwear before walking through the house.