(ARA) – Winter weather can cause challenges for humans, but pet experts say we also need to think about what winter means for our pets, especially those that spend a lot of time outdoors.

“The rule of thumb is simple,” says Dr. Stephen A. Brammeier of the Kingsbury Animal Hospital in St. Louis. “If winter is hard on you, it’s also likely to be hard on your pets. If your dog and cat are accustomed to warm temperatures indoors, you’ll need to make sure they are ready for colder outside temperatures. And be gentle with your elderly pets – dogs and cats with arthritis can experience more pain and dysfunction during colder weather.”

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