Pets should never be left outside for long periods of time in the winter. They are happiest when they are taken out for short frequent walks.
Get your dog a jacket. Bundle up!
Windchill can threaten a pet's life. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads is also a sure risk for frost bite if your pet is left outside for longer than 10 minutes.
Further, if you think you look silly becuase you have a jacket on your dog, you're wrong. You will actually look more responsible if you have your dog bundled up.
Leave a little extra food and water in your dog's bowl.
The cold weather depletes a pet's energy just as it does for humans so give them a little extra food in their bowl than you do in the warmer months and make sure their water dish is full as well. And keep your pet inside. I recently saw a heated water bowl for sale on amazon. That is ridiculous.
Remove common poisons… like salt and anti freezes.
Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel with a mild soap before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth. Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas — often when licking it from their paws after a walk. Store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog’s paws, even after short walks. If your dog ingests rock salt, call a veterinarian immediately. Like certain salts, antifreeze is a deadly poison. Keep it out of reach.
If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water.
Do not under any circumstances bring a dog or cat that belongs to someone else into your home and do not take it to a shelter.
For all you know, that animal was maybe in and out several times. Besides it’s not your pet to take and a shelter will just kill it. Instead, speak out and knock on the rightful owners door.