HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With colder temperatures approaching, it is important to remember that your pets will also be enduring the cold along with you.

The Pennsylvania State Police are reminding pet owners that not properly providing their pet with basic needs can result in animal neglect and/or cruelty charges.

“Basic needs include the proper sustenance to maintain a healthy body weight, as well as clean, unfrozen water to avoid dehydration,” said Corporal Michael Spada, PSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation Animal Cruelty Officer. “Animals need just as much water in the winter as they do in the summer for their bodies to process food and help keep the natural metabolism working.”

According to the PSP, animals must have access to an appropriate-sized shelter that provides the animal with protection from the weather, keeps the animal dry, and allows them to retain their body heat. Their shelter must also be clean and sanitary.

Animals who are in need of medical attention must be provided with veterinary care.

If you are tethering a dog outside there are certain requirements that you must meet, according to Title 18, Chapter 55, Subchapter B of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

The PSP also reminds pet owners (or potential pet owners) that purchasing a pet as a holiday gift can be a big decision. You’ll need to consider the animal’s breed and inherent behavioral traits, its size as an adult and its needs as it gets older, as well as the overall costs to care for the animal, including veterinary expenses.

If you are looking to adopt a pet, consider supporting your local shelters and rescues. You can even adopt an older pet who needs a loving home.