Winter in Montana can be extremely harsh for not only humans, but pets as well. When temperatures drop down below zero, prolonged exposure can lead to frostbite and other health problems for humans and pets alike.

On Sunday, Facebook user Hannah Padula posted the following question on the Ask Bozeman Facebook page.

Hi all! We just relocated here and our dog went through a weird situation today. I’m thinking her paws got numb from being too cold.. I’m really not sure, and will be contacting her vet first thing tomorrow morning. Anyway, I’m wondering what people around here do to protect their dogs from the harsh cold weather conditions.

One of the most important things you can do for your pets during the winter is not leave them outside longer than they need to be to handle their business. Avoid going on long walks with a lot of snow on the ground. The snow can get packed in between your dogs paws and cause them a lot of discomfort.

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Many pet stores in the area sell dog boots and coats that you can use to protect your dog during the winter. Some pet owners us dog paw balm or dog paw wax for shorter outdoor excursions. Some long-haired dogs breeds are adapted to being in the cold, but many are not.

As a dog owner, I prefer the dog boots. My dogs don't really mind wearing them, and they're easy to put on and remove. Most importantly, the best way to protect your pet is to limit your time outdoors.