pet friendly winter tips

Just like us, our pets are affected by the changing seasons and the impending and chilling cold of winter weather. For some pets that are older or who suffer from particular diseases and other ailments like arthritis, the winter cold can be especially devastating. Thankfully, here are five good tips on how to keep you and your pet warm and happy during these upcoming cold winter months.

Pet-friendly Winter Tips

First of all, make sure that the pet you welcome to your home is the right breed for the climate that it’s going to be living in. For dogs especially, this is key. For areas in which cold winters are long and bitter, choose a dog breed that is used to this type of weather. Examples include Alaskan malamutes or Siberian Huskies. In terms of cats, choosing a cat breed with long hairs as opposed to a short-haired cat is a much better choice. Choosing a breed that can handle colder climates if that is where you live is the first step in keeping your pet warm during the winter.

Milla The Puppy

In addition to this, during the winter months, pets should be kept indoors. Most cats are better off indoors anyways but for dogs, this is slightly different. Dogs need to be outdoors at some point during the day, to do their business and to have some exercise which is key to keeping a dog healthy.

However, if previously in the warmer months the dog or cat has been sleeping outside, make a space inside the home where they can sleep instead during the winter and colder months. A space near to a heat source is a good spot for your pet to sleep and keep warm during the winter months. Some pet owners even decide to use jackets and sweaters for their pets to keep them warm while this is not always that effective.

In other instances, some pet owners prefer to make their pet a housing space beside the house. If using an outside pet house, make sure it is properly insulated, has plenty of warm and fluffy bedding for the pet to make a bed out of and also adequate food and water sources. This sort of outdoor housing is usually only a viable option for slightly warmer climates, keeping in mind that in terms of extremely inclement winter weather, the best place for your pet to stay warm is within the safety of your home.

Also keep in mind the temperature when you let your pets outside to play. In the winter, consider both the given temperature and the wind chill factor. For dogs, the ability to regulate temperature exists in their feet or paws. With snow or other winter mixes covering the ground, this capacity becomes diminished and the dog may end up damaging his or her paws. Keep in mind that rock salts are very damaging for your pet’s paws (it can thin the pads on the bottom of their paws and severely burn them). It will take months for their paws to return to their original shape, but for some they are too far gone. Choose pet-friendly rock salts for around your home, but if you are unsure of what kind your neighbour uses make sure your pet does not walk on it. Consider using booties to protect and keep your dog’s paws warm. 

There are many ways to keep your pet warm and comfortable during the cold months and these are just a few. Please feel free to leave your tips for keeping your fur-children warm this winter in the comment box below.

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