We don't have to tell you that your pets shouldn't be outside at length as Winter hits its peak of misery, but they do need to step out occasionally. Area veterinarians and pet owners are warning of a risk you might not have thought about.

KCRG reports on a pet owner named Tara Armstrong who recently experienced a dicey situation with her pooch, Walter, after taking him out in recent icy and snowy conditions.

He came back in with his paws bleeding. Her vet told her the grass shanked Walter and cut his toe. Bandage it, watch it and call if there are any signs of infection, the doctor told Tara.

Steven McGinty is an associate veterinarian at Peterson Pet Hospital and says these scenarios are quite common. There are other winter-related issues to keep in mind, such as the ice melt you harmlessly spread in your yard, driveway, and sidewalk. It's toxic to pets unless you look for the pet-friendly versions he recommends.

Shovel areas where the dog goes, keep them on a leash and maintain a first aid kit. Finally, wipe their paws when they come in, for their safety as well as keeping a clean house. Maybe even cover their feet with a stylish pair of warm booties.

Just make sure they have a safe and warm Winter.

[Via KCRG]