Some dog and cat breeds are built for winter weather, but others simply aren’t. If you happen to have a Husky or a Himalayan, you probably don’t worry much about keeping them warm in the winter. Breeds with a thick undercoat seem to come to life in cold weather. Their energy is boundless, and they might even stop shedding for a little while. It’s like a winter miracle!

If you have a short-haired or medium-haired pet though, you’ll need to take some extra steps to keep them warm in the winter. Remember that what’s warm enough for some breeds will be too cold for others and vise versa. Cold tolerance varies among breeds and can even be individual from pet to pet.

It’s pretty easy to keep pets warm when they’re inside, but it gets a little tougher when you take them outside. Dogs still need exercise all year, so as pet owners, it’s up to us to keep them warm when they go on walks or go outside to do their business. If your pet primarily lives outside, you’ll have to think through your winter plan a little more thoroughly.

5 Tips To Keep Pets Warm In The Winter

  1. Shelter

Providing shelter is by far the most important part of keeping your pets warm in the winter. Ideally, just bring your pets inside the house with you to keep them warm. If it’s too cold for you to sit outside for long, it’s too cold for them to sit outside for long.

If you have a pet that prefers to spend as much time outside as possible, it might be tough to convince them to stay inside even when it’s cold. You might need to take some extra steps to provide shelter for your pets if they demand to stay outside. If that’s the case, provide shelter like you would for an outside pet.

For outside pets, winter temperatures can get dangerous. If you have outdoor cats or if you’re worried about the stray cats that live in your neighborhood, you can create a shelter to help them stay warm. Find a sturdy box that won’t blow away and add some towels and blankets to it. Wood is better than cardboard for the box, but cardboard will do in a pinch. Place the box in an area that blocks the wind to help it stay as warm as possible. Change the towels and blankets frequently to help keep them clean.

2. Bedding and blankets

Even if you have an indoor pet, you need to make sure that they have somewhere warm to curl up. This is going to be especially important if you don’t have central heat or if you don’t leave heaters on when you’re gone. If you’ll be using the bedding year-round, consider buying a washable pet bed. They’re durable and designed with cats and dogs in mind.

If you will only be using the bedding for the cold winter months, you can get away with using blankets and towels to create a snuggly spot for your pet. Make sure that you use washable materials so that you can clean the bedding regularly.

3. Clothing

We tend to think of pet clothes as just fun and festive costuming, but winter pet clothes can make a huge difference for your cat or dog. If you have a dog who doesn’t naturally generate much heat, they might need a sweater when you go on walks or when they go outside to do their business. Smaller dogs, older dogs, and very short-haired dogs likely need a jacket when it gets too cold.

Similar to dogs, some cat breeds could benefit from wearing a sweater in the winter. Fluffy long-haired cats tend to do pretty well in cold temperatures, but short-haired cats don’t fare as well. However, you might not need a sweater for your cat if it lives indoors. For indoor cats, it’s easier to just make sure that they have a warm snuggly sport to curl up.

If you live in an area with snow and ice, consider getting booties for your dog. It might take them a little while to adjust to wearing the booties, but it’s worth it. Dog booties help save their paws from extreme conditions. If the ground is cold enough that you wouldn’t want to touch it barefoot, consider getting some dog booties for your pup.

4. Food

Make sure that your pet is eating enough when the weather is cold. Just like humans, dogs and cats burn more energy when their bodies are trying to stay warm. So in the winter, they’ll need to keep their energy up by eating. Don’t go on a feeding frenzy, but make sure they’re getting enough calories.

If your dog goes on walks and runs with you in the winter, they’re going to need even more calories. Make sure that they’re eating enough quality food to keep their energy up and drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make dogs get cold faster.. Eating quality food and drinking plenty of water will help them stay warm during their exercise times.

5. Preparation

If you live in an area that’s prone to winter storms, make sure that you’ve done your winter prepping in advance. Buy enough pet food to ensure that your pet won’t go hungry if you can’t drive for a few days. Even though it’s pretty easy to keep your pets warm in the winter, the situation gets more complicated if you’re taken by surprise.