If you have outdoor dogs, now is the time to start getting them ready for the cold temperatures. Even if your dog has a thick coat, he’s still vulnerable in the cold weather. To get your outdoor dogs ready for winter, be vigilant and take care he’s prepared.

First, make sure your pet has a kennel or doghouse to sleep in. It should have walls and a roof and be just big enough that your dog can stand and turn around. If it’s too big, it’s harder to keep warm. Try to raise it off the ground a few inches to help keep it dry. Put old bedsheets and blankets in the kennel for your dog—they’re easy to take out and wash. To shield him from biting winds, hang a tarp or some burlap over the doorway.

Your dog uses his own energy to stay warm, so he’ll need extra calories to stave off the cold. To keep that energy up, increase his food serving about 15 to 30 percent and put his food in an easily accessible place where it won’t be blocked by snow. To keep his water from freezing, place a floating ball in the bowl or buy a heated one.

A dog’s paws are vulnerable to the ice and salt that cover the ground, which can get caught between his toes. This can block blood flow and be painful. If you can get your dog adjusted to them, dog boots can help eliminate the problem. You can also wipe his paws with a moist towel after walks in heavily salted or icy areas.

Always bring your dog inside in sub-zero temperatures. If you’re not sure if you should bring him in, stay on the safe side. Just like humans, long exposure to freezing temperatures can result in hypothermia. If you notice your dog shivering, bring him inside and wrap him in warm blankets. Take his temperature every five to ten minutes, and if it falls below 98 degrees F, take him to the vet immediately.

With these tips your dog can enjoy a safe, warm winter and enjoy his snow days.