DENVER (CBS4) — We survived the snowiest November in Denver in 25 years. And there’s another snowstorm on the way. So, how long is too long for your furry friend to be outside with just its own fur coat? We asked the experts at the Denver Dumb Friends League.

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Coats are recommended for short-hair breeds going outside “for anything longer than a potty break,” said Maia Brusseau, with the DDFL.

There’s no specific temperature guidelines or amount of time spent outside — but Brusseau said wwners should base judgement on their own comfort in the elements.

“If it’s cold for us, it’s cold for them. They can get hypothermia just like we can,” Brusseau said.

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Very young or very old dogs will need more protection from the cold weather, as they have more difficulty maintaining body heat due to their metabolisms.

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What about those booties that make dogs look adorably awkward? Experts say even dogs that don’t need an extra coat may benefit from wearing booties.

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“Even long hair dogs can get balls of snow stuck between their toes. It’s painful. And paw pads can be ripped by sharp ice,” Brusseau explained.

More importantly, booties are extremely helpful in protecting dogs’ paws from road and sidewalk chemical treatments. Icemelt or snowmelt products can be licked from paws and tummies after walks.

Brusseau said it’s very important to wipe down your dog’s paws and belly with a towel after a walk to prevent them from ingesting these products.

Another important reminder from the experts at  the Dumb Friends League — do not bring a pet with you and leave it in a car if it’s very cold — just like when it’s too hot!

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