by Chris Martin
Here are ten suggestions for making sure that your furry friends stay warm throughout wintertime.
1. Raise their beds. Inspect the places where your pets sleep. Is there at last two or three inches of padding or space between your pet’s body and the surface on which the bed rests (especially outdoors)? If not, you pet will feel the cold emanating from the floor or ground.
2. Heat their beds. There are plenty of products on the market that can safely provide artificial warmth for your pet. So place a “snuggle disk” (a plastic frisbee-like object that can be heated in a microwave) or a hot water bottle in your pet’s bed for some extra heat while they sleep.
3. Check outdoor doghouses. Make sure they are free of drafts by sealing any openings through which wind may blow. If the doghouse isn’t already waterproof, cover it with a waterproof coating or tarp. And face the doghouse’s opening away from the wind.
4. Seal your home. Just like doghouses, human homes are susceptible to drafts. So caulk any cracks or openings around windows and doors, and repair or replace cracked weather-stripping. This will also lower your heating bills.
5. Limit time spent outdoors. As the mercury drops, you’ll want to pay more attention to the length of time that your pet stays outside. That means taking shorter walks and calling dogs and cats to come inside relatively quickly – especially if they are small and/or have short hair.
6. Limit grooming and bathing. If you like to groom your pet, consider reducing the frequency of these sessions during the winter months. Your pet will need its fur to keep warm. Also, never bathe pets outdoors in cold weather – and be sure to dry them thoroughly before they go back outside.
7. Make a “tent.” Cats especially will gravitate to warm places in your home, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to create these types of areas. Some blankets underneath a few towels or throws supported by small rods or poles will make a comfy “tent” for your cats.
8. Consider pet clothing. Pet sweaters and jackets do wonders when it comes to keeping pets warm in the winter. In some climates where it is extremely cold, this pet apparel could be a necessity when your furry friends are outside.
9. Get booties. If your pet spends a lot of time walking in snow in the winter, booties are a good investment. Since animals regulate temperature largely through their paw pads, these booties can keep paws warm and dry when pets walk on snow, ice, or wet ground.
10. Consider a space heater. There are lots of small, inexpensive heating units that can be placed in a room or area where your pets like to congregate. You can even invest in a heated floor that pumps warm liquid through tubes underneath the flooring surface.
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites about a variety of topics such as heating maintenance, how to lead a healthy lifestyle, and pets. In addition, he is the proud owner of two dogs and two cats.