Even the indoor pet in your family will need to venture outdoors occasionally during times of cold weather. Take precautions and use the tips below to prepare your dog or cat for winter weather.

For always outdoor pets:

Feed your outside pet more food in the winter months. Animals put on extra body fat in the colder months to produce more body heat.

Your pets’ living quarters should be dry, insulated, and as wind proof as possible without restricting access. Wind chill is a deadly enemy. Newspaper or cardboard make a nice layer of extra insulation.

Keep your pets water from freezing. Your pet still needs water in the winter and if their water is frozen, they might try eating snow or worse, find something that looks to be water called anti-freeze which will surely kill them. Search the internet to find a method that works for you. Don’t use metal bowls that their tongues could stick to.

Check on your pet often. If you see ice or snow sticking to them, make adjustments to give them a warmer and dryer living space. Consider installing a pet door on your garage or storage shed. For you outdoor cat owners, honk your horn before starting that vehicle. Cats will find your car’s engine compartment a nice warm place to sleep.

For the pets that go outside on occasion:

Consider purchasing several items of dog clothing for your pet. Clothes for dogs and cats are becoming more and more popular. Pet clothing stores offer dog shirts, dog sweater, and dog coats to help keep your dog warm. If you have a smaller breed, a collection of cute dog clothes including dog hoodies for winter can be a fashionable and practical investment for your priceless pet.

Extreme cold can lead to frostbite, especially on the shorthair breeds. Check them for symptoms often. If any icy build up is present, give your pet a nice warm bath or use a warm damp cloth to remove the ice. Consider outfitting your pet with booties that will keep those precious paws warm and dry.

Don’t allow them to eat snow. I can contain dangerous objects and/or chemicals.

Use pet clothing, like dog coats or dog sweaters:

Consider purchasing a couple of dog sweaters or dog coats for your pet this winter. Pet clothing is not just for playing dress up with your pet. Dog clothes will help your pet maintain body heat. The large variety of cute dog clothes offered by most pet clothing stores usually include dog shirts, dog or cat bandanas, and designer dog collars, dog leashes, and harnesses. The styles of dog clothes are becoming more trendy and casual. Cute dog clothes with cool screen print and rhinestone designs are becoming more and more popular in the pet clothing industry and with consumers worldwide. Clothes for dogs belonging to the younger generations are also popping up everywhere. With a dual purpose of protecting your pet during cold weather and making them look cute and cool, you really can’t go wrong.

Dogs and cats are actually much tougher than us when it comes to braving the cold, but with very little effort you can make your pet much more comfortable this winter. Use the tips listed above, along with your own, to protect your pet during cold weather. They will love you for it.

It seems that everyone is "going green" these days. You don't have to believe in global warming to go green. Even if global warming doesn't exist, going green is beneficial to your health by putting less chemicals and toxins in our air and water. Recycling means less waste in our landfills. Using natural cleaners is less toxic to our bodies and our pets. You can even go green with your dog. Here's how:

1. Buy eco-friendly dog beds.

There are companies that manufacture dog beds from natural materials or use recycling in their manufacturing process. Some companies use hemp, which is a plant that can be harvested for its fibers and is used to make clothing, dog beds and other things. It has been used for centuries. No pesticides are needed for growing it, and it is almost instantly replenished once picked and grows in near drought conditions. Organic cotton is another natural material used for dog beds. Organic means grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Some companies use recycled plastic soda bottles to make dog beds. They do this by removing the labels and caps and then cleaning and disinfecting the bottles. The plastic bottles are then chopped into flakes, melted, liquefied and then re-engineered into fibers that are used in fiber fill and fabrics. This process can use up to 8 times less energy than it takes to manufacture the same material new.

By buying eco-friendly dog beds, you use natural resources, which are less toxic, and keep garbage out of the landfills, using less energy to make a new dog bed than starting from scratch. Many eco-friendly dog beds are made from high-quality materials and are very durable, thus saving you money. They come in many different styles and colors. Some eco-friendly dog beds, such as a bumper bed, can be customized, meaning you choose the color and pattern of the bed and the cushion that goes inside it. Eco-friendly dog beds are usually stylish and come in eye-popping colors.

2. Buy eco-friendly dog toys.

Your dog loves to play and needs toys. Why not let him go green by buying him eco-friendly dog toys? Some plush dog toys are made with eco fabric that utilizes 85% recycled fibers and are then stuffed with fiber fill made from recycled soda bottles, using the same procedure as the one used for making dog beds. Eco-friendly dog toys also come in modern designs and inspired colors that radiate energy. The more durable "guaranteed tough" dog toys are designed to be recyclable and to create virtually no waste during the manufacturing process. They contain up to 10% post-industrial recycled plastic, along with post-consumer recycled plastic that's received directly from customer returns.

3. Buy eco-friendly dog clothes.

If your dog wears clothes, you and your dog can go green by buying eco-friendly dog sweaters and jackets. You can find dog sweaters that are made from reclaimed cotton. That is, scraps from T-shirts or other cotton garments that are too small to do anything with and would otherwise end up in an incinerator are cleaned and separated into raw fibers and then blended with a small amount of acrylic to make dog sweaters. The fibers are carefully mixed to create cool colors and patterns. In this way, new cotton doesn't have to be grown or dyed, thus saving the earth from more chemicals and saving water and farmland.

There are dog jackets that are made from 100% recycled polyester and are also recyclable once dogs grow out of them, wear them out or the dogs' owners get tired of them.

4. Use natural therapies to treat your dog.

Many flea and tick products are very toxic for your dog and for the environment. You can use herbs, vinegar, some essential oils and other natural therapies to keep the fleas and ticks away. There are websites with "recipes" for flea and tick treatments so you can make your own or you can buy flea and tick shampoo that contains natural ingredients that's available in most health food stores. Your dog will be healthier if it is exposed to less toxins and you will be healthier too. Whatever goes on your dog also goes in your dog and in you if you handle your dog.

There are lots of ways to go green, whether you believe global warming exists or not. Going green is just good -- good for the environment, good for your health, good for animals and pets and just plain makes you feel good doing it. Besides that, going green can save you money by reusing, recycling, using less and staying healthy. And now, going green is not just for humans -- your dog can go green too.