Frigid winter temperatures can easily demotivate even the most dedicated fitness devotee from going outside. But what should you do about your dog when temperatures plummet? Rocket still needs to go outside, and he still needs exercise. But as with many New Year’s resolution-makers, cold weather often forces dog people to confront a common dilemma: stay inside and gain weight, or venture out into the ice and snow?

For all the important safety practices to keep in mind this winter, and how to make sure your pooch stays healthy and fit all season long, we talked to Mark Verdino, D.V.M., the senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, NY. (Full disclosure: It’s where I adopted a Lab-mix puppy in the fall.)

Here are Verdino’s suggestions for keeping your dog safe, happy, and warm in the winter.