WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- The weather can be dangerous for four-legged family members, whose fur coats can't stand up to this cold. That's why the treadmill is extra busy right now at the Humane Society of West Michigan in Walker.

Workers put some of the shelter's more active, younger dogs on the machine so they can get in their daily exercise without battling the cold.

"Just like people aren't spending a lot of time outside, I think most dogs aren't either," says Lyndsey Kubik, an enrichment specialist at the Humane Society. "This is great, especially in the winter months when we have dogs that are outside for two minutes and they're already lifting their paws because it's painful."

Humane society employees say it is possible to train your dog to run on a treadmill, with the proper research -- but not every dog likes it.

There are other ways to keep your pet safe as temperatures drop:

  • Consider coats or sweaters for short-haired dogs.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a car.
  • Make sure your companion has a warm place to sleep.