Just like us when we feel the chill on a winter morning, our pets do too. While we can easily pop on a jumper, pull on our UGG boots or snuggle up to a fire, our pets need a helping hand, especially if they are outside dogs or cats. So how do we keep our furry family members warm and safe in the chilly months? We've put together some of our favourite ways to keep dogs and cats warm in winter.
Our top winter warmer tips
Even with a lovely big coat of fur, our pets can really feel the cold too. Certain breeds of dogs like chihuahuas and greyhounds need more warmth than others, along with older pets, or ones suffering with arthritis and other medical conditions. Rug up with our top tips to keep your pet warm in winter.
- Warm clothing (coats and jumpers)
Nothing warms our hearts faster than seeing a puppy or kitten in a super cute jumper. In reality, they provide some much needed warmth, particularly for our short coated friends. There are so many options nowadays when it comes to coats and jackets for our furry family members. Have a favourite football team? There's a dog jacket for that! Want to make a witty statement? There's a cat jacket for that! Just make sure your pet has ample space to breath, the coat isn't too tight, and doesn't have dangling cords or buttons that can be easily swallowed.
If you're lucky enough (or unlucky enough depending on how you look at it!) to live in a part of Australia that sees regular frost or even snow, snow booties may be in order for your beloved pooch. Always remember to introduce these slowly. Booties are a foreign concept to most dogs and can sometimes take time to get used to.
- Insulated shelter and soft, heated bedding
Keeping your dog or cat inside over the winter period is definitely ideal, however, it is understandable if your dog or cat is primarily an outdoor pet changing their sleeping habits can be a bit tricky. An insulated shelter, like a kennel or enclosed area for your pooch or kitty will be welcomed when the frosty morning hit and they have a warm bed to help escape the elements. As well as a warm place to sleep away from drafts, elevating their bed off cold floors will help in keeping them warm and prevent moisture from seeping into their blankets. Consider adding extra warm, soft bedding for them to sleep with, such as blankets and cushions, or even heated being like microwavable heat pillows.
- Winter grooming routine
Our cat's and dog's coat is their main source of warmth. While we may be tempted to let their coats grow long during the chilly months to keep them warm, a winter grooming routine is important. Regular grooming will not only keep your fur babies comfortable, but also avoid skin problems, matting and reduce shedding. Winter weather is often wet and damp, with mud, puddles, and wet grass being common, so our outdoor pets tend to be more prone to dirty coats, knots and matting. Also, remember if you're washing your dog it's best to bath them indoors with warm water and dry them off fully with a warm towel before they are allowed back outside.
- Watch for heat seeking behaviour
Your furry friend is feeling the cold if they are shivering or trembling. They may even cuddle into warm spaces, like beds and lounges, or even up close to heaters. Pooch and cats will avoid lying on tiles, sticking to warm floors and carpets. Take care if your pet loves to be near heaters or fires, if they're too close or fall asleep their skin can dry out or it can even lead to burns.
- Feeding adjustments
During the colder months as our pets need more energy to keep themselves warm, you may find they are hungrier. These extra calories are needed to keep their core body temperature regulated. Some breeds even have extra winter nutritional needs. Just as important is also adjusting their diet if they aren't exercising as much during these cooler months to avoid the winter weight gain. Always chat to your vet for advice on how much you should be feeding your furry friend if you are concerned you are overfeeding them.
We hope these tips will keep your furry family members warm and dry in the chilly months.