Out in the Cold: Cold Weather Tips for Pets

We often bring up this topic this time of year not because we want to bore our readers by being redundant, but because it’s extremely important! Winter can bring some harsh weather conditions including freezing temperatures, gusty winds and wet weather. Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe this winter:

  • Brrr! With the weather likely to get colder than what it is now, it can be very dangerous for our pets to wander outside without a warm place to stay. Keeping your pets indoors is highly preferred, but sometimes this isn’t possible. At a minimum, your pet should have a space that will remain dry and out of the wind. Add blankets to this space to keep them warm.
  • Layers, layers, layers! Some dogs have dense fur coats and can handle the frigid temperatures, but there are many who do not. Dogs with short coats or toy dogs should not be kept outdoors. To help them stay warm as they go outside, whether to play or do their business, consider getting a warm and durable jacket or sweater. Just be sure they enjoy wearing the extra layer of clothing first.
  • Freezing water: If you keep a water bowl outside, be sure the water doesn’t turn to ice. There are commercial water bowls you can buy at pet stores that have a heating element in the bottom and keep any bowl warm and unfrozen. Just make sure the electrical cords are not in a place that a bored dog could chew on them.
  • Diet: It’s important for your pooch to maintain a healthy weight, however keep in mind that your dog will burn more calories in order to stay warm. This doesn’t mean you should overfeed your pet (pet obesity is already an issue), but your dog shouldn’t lose weight during the winter either. Keep a close eye on your dog’s weight and you can save the diets for spring.
  • Cats and winter weather: The dry air that winter brings affects our cats, too! This can make their coats dry and even become itchy. Keep a humidifier running in the house in order to maintain the right moisture balance. As with dogs, cats should stay inside. If this can’t be done, provide a dry place that is out of the wind.

What tips do you have to help keep pets safe and warm in the winter weather?

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