They may have a fur coat, but your pets can still feel the cold. Nobody knows your pet better than you, so use your judgement. If you think that it is too cold for them, bring them in. Dogs, cats and bunnies can make very good winter lap-warmers for their owners!
Practical tips to keep your pet cosy during chilly weather
- If your pet sleeps in a kennel or box outside, ensure that their bed is waterproof
- Find a dog jacket that covers your pet’s belly, to trap the heat on frosty morning or evening walks
- If possible, avoid trimming your pet’s fur during the colder months because their coat helps insulate them. However be sure to continue brushing your pet frequently to avoid matting during winter.
- Provide a box or bed for your cat that will hold the warmth generated by their own body to keep them toasty and feeling secure.
- Outdoor cats, dogs and rabbits burn more calories in winter, therefore if they’re not overweight, feed them a little bit extra. Monitor this closely to avoid weight gain.
Ways to make winter comfortable for your outdoor pet
Trampoline beds or beds that are raised off the ground will be warmer for your pet while they are snoozing throughout cool evenings. They should be three inches off the floor to avoid drafts. Place their bed away from windows or drafty spots so that your pet it sheltered from the extra chill.
Place a heated pad under their blankets when it’s significantly chilly or when your pet is young (puppies and kittens). Ageing pets are susceptible to inflammation and arthritis, and cold weather can aggravate pain in their joints. Limping or difficulty getting up and navigating stairs can be a tell-tale sign that your older pet is experiencing joint pain. This can be worsened after a night lying in the same position on a cold floor. Microwavable heat pads can be placed under a towel or blanket that your pet sleeps on, to provide warmth for up to 10 hours.
Remember, nothing will warm your pet’s heart more than a belly rub and a snuggle during the cold winter!