Your pets, you love them.
And in the winter months, it's easy to think that they're having a great ol' time outdoors.
I mean, look at these cats, right?
But the truth is, dogs and cats shouldn't be left outside in the cold for long periods, AT ALL.
The cold affects pets much in the same way it affects people, explained Cathy Meeks, an internist with Blue Pearl Veterinary Clinic in Tampa, Florida.
"A common misconception is that because of their fur they can tolerate colder temperatures," she told BuzzFeed. In reality, Meeks said, you should think of a dog or cat's fur as about as warm as a light fleece jacket.
A dog or cat's weight and age can also impact how long they can and should stay out in the cold.
Meeks' rules definitely apply to animals you might otherwise think of as "outside" pets.
Cat owners should be especially careful about their outdoor cats in cold months. "One of the things we see with cats is that they try and find the warmest place outdoors — and that's often under the hood of a car. People will then start their cars and that'll cause a lot of damage," said Meeks.
TL;DR, says Meeks: "If you're getting really cold after ten minutes outside, then your dog or cat is, too."
For more on precautions you can take, check out this list from Blue Pearl.