Frigid temperatures during the winter in Montana can be extremely hard on pets. Experts warn pet owners to stop treating their pets like "little humans."

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

If you're a pet owner, you most likely treat your pet like a member of the family. Some people even dress their pets up in costumes and holiday sweaters to help keep them warm.

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According to a new study from Oodle Life, 80% of Montanans admit to giving their pets special treatment during the holiday season. So, what is considered special treatment?

In this case, special treatment means feeding your pets table scraps or dressing them up. Some activities have seen an increase in recent years, such as people putting pets in strollers, spraying them with pet cologne, putting diapers on pets, and giving pets breath-freshening products. All of the practices listed above are discouraged.

Snow Dog

Oodle Life Founder Chris Allen has a message for pet owners that like to dress their pets.

Dressing your dog in a Christmas sweater may impede its ability to regulate its own temperature, so is best avoided. However, when outdoors, even dogs with thick coats can get hypothermia or frostbite in freezing weather, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). If the temperature drops to the mid-40s Fahrenheit, it's definitely time to dress that pet – just not in a human Christmas sweater.

So just remember that while a pet is for life, and not just for Christmas, they are also animals, not people, and it’s important to treat them as such. That way, both humans and pets can equally enjoy the holidays!

Giving your pets human food can also lead to obesity or malnutrition. It's best to just feed them actual dog food.

Check out this interactive slideshow that shows you how to best treat your pets during the holiday season. To learn more about the study, click here.

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