MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesotans endure the coldest temperatures seen in decades, it’s important to remember the need to keep our pets safe from extreme temperatures, too.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says winter’s dry, cold air isn’t just uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for humans, but exposure to the elements is also detrimental to the health of our furry companions.

Our pets rely on us to keep them safe and comfortable, so to help prevent injury, the ASPCA offers tips to keep them safe.

RELATED: Vets Urge Pet Owners To Protect Animals From Frigid Temps

The best way to make sure your pets stay safe and warm is to keep them indoors as much as possible. The ASPCA reminds us, if it’s too cold for us, it’s probably too cold for our pets. This also applies to leaving pets in a car, that if left improperly heated, could be fatal.

If your dog ends up stir crazy indoors, you can check out indoor daycares around your area. For example, Downtown Dogs in Minneapolis offers a 15,000-square-foot facility where dogs can socialize with other dogs, while getting much-needed exercise. You can drop your dog off just for the day or board them overnight. Hourly rates and day rates apply.

If you do bring your pets outside, it’s essential to feed them enough to keep up with the extra energy they burn trying to stay warm. By feeding them a little more during winter months, you’ll provide them with enough calories to compensate. By upping water intake, you’ll also provide enough hydration to help with dry, itchy skin.

After exposure to the outdoors, the ASPCA says you should wipe your pet’s feet to remove snow, ice and chemicals from its pads and in between toes — even better if you can massage petroleum jelly or other paw protectants on their feet, or have booties that will provide more coverage. Speaking of covering feet, sweaters, jackets and neck warmers are also good options for protection.

Additionally, it’s important to remember to thoroughly clean any chemical spills from your car like coolant or anitfreeze to avoid ingestion by your pet, which could prove to be lethal.

For more information on keeping your pet safe during the winter, visit the ASPCA’s website.

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