Veterinarian Dr. Karri McCreary, co-owner of the Greenville Animal Hospital, says preparation is required to take proper care of pets in the cold. Dogs tend to suffer dehydration in the winter when their water bowls freeze over. Warm bedding, for example, hay or wood chips, is important to keep them off the cold ground. Dr. McCreary says small plastic boxes with a hole cut in the side and bedding inside is good for outdoor cats. She says there are differences in opinion on the value of blankets for horses, but her husband, a large-animal vet, does not believe they're necessary.