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Winter Tips To Keep Your Pets Warm

Mother and daughter with puppy by fireplace
Goodshoot via Thinkstock

With winter weather knocking on our door, it’s important not to forget our furry little friends. So, check out these winter tips to help keep your pets warm.


Bethany Clarke, Getty Images
Bethany Clarke, Getty Images
1

Understand Your Breed

 
 

It’s always important to know what your breed is susceptible to. Short haired breeds might be prone to cold weather, while other breeds actually adapt to the cold air. For instance, a Siberian Husky might be good in the cold, while a little poodle would freeze it’s little paws off. Also, consider your pets age as well.

 
Ian Forsyth, Getty Images
Ian Forsyth, Getty Images
2

Provide A Good Shelter

 
 

If you keep your pets outdoors, make sure they have some sort of shelter to help keep them warm. If you don’t have a shelter for your pet during extreme weather where temperatures are extremely low, it is best to keep them inside. You can always use a kennel if you are worried about them trashing the house.

 
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images
3

Provide Extra Bedding

 
 

Once again, if you just absolutely have to have your pet outside, you’ll want to not only provide them with a good shelter, but also lots of bedding. Old blankets, straw, even old clothes can go a long way to help your pet stay warm. Remember, dogs and cats can get frostbite just like humans can.

 
Jordan Silverman, Getty Images
Jordan Silverman, Getty Images
4

Don’t Overfeed

 
 

Pets obviously need food for energy and warmth, but, if you have an indoor pet, there is no need to feed them extra food or you’ll just make your pet overweight. Now, if they are outside, you might want to give them a little extra, but not too much. Talk to your vet to find out what your pet’s energy needs are. Also, make sure they have plenty of clean, and unfrozen, water. You can buy heated water dishes for your pet.

 
Carma Casula, Getty Images
Carma Casula, Getty Images
5

Groom Your Pet

 
 

Your pet’s full coat is the source for being able to stay warm. So, it’s important that you keep your pet groomed. A matted coat is not a good way of keeping out the cold rain or snow. And, you definitely don’t want to shave your pet’s coat. Just simply make sure they are brushed out and groomed. Also, make sure that you trim the hair around their paws. This will prevent ice or snow from balling up between their paws, which could cause cracking or cuts.

 
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
6

Canine Clothing

 
 

You can get canine clothing for any size dog, not just the little toy dogs. Whether they are store brought or even made, canine clothing will help keep your pet warm. You can even buy special booties for your pet to cover their paws. Also, if you put salt around your house to help with slick spots, remember that your pet’s paws can get irritated. So, it’s important to make sure that you wipe off their paws to avoid that.

 
Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Spencer Platt, Getty Images
7

Take Shorter Walks

 
 

Even when it’s cold outside, your pet still needs plenty of exercise. However, if you are going to walk them outside, make it a shorter walk. You can also play indoor games like tug-of-war, fetch, or anything that will keep them moving to get some exercise. Also, make sure to keep your dog on a leash if you are walking them outside. Dogs can become disoriented, and if they get away from you, it may be hard to track them down. Plus, in some places, it’s a law.

 
Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images
Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images
8

Never Leave Your Pet in a Vehicle

 
 

As always, you never want to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle no matter what the weather is like. When it is cold, your vehicle will pretty much act like a rolling freezer with temperatures becoming dangerously cold.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images
9

Keep An Eye Out for Any Illness

 
 

Just like humans, dogs and cats can catch a cold or other sort of illness from the frigid weather – especially if they are very young or very old. If you think your pet has caught some sort of illness, see your vet immediately.

 
Chris McGrath, Getty Images
Chris McGrath, Getty Images
10

Less or No Baths

 
 

If you routinely give your pet a bath each week, you might think about cutting back just a tad. This will help keep away severe cold problems. If you can’t avoid giving them a bath, just make sure that you use warm water, and you dry them off completely.

 

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