Oh, the weather outside is frightful. The winter weather has arrived! Find out how to keep your pet warm and cozy this season.
You know it is winter when even North Carolina is experiencing the first frost of the season. Some parts of the country may still be warm during the day, but at night the temperatures might reach very cold levels. Owners that have indoor pets do not need to worry about the weather as much, of course. (One exception might be owners of reptiles, which we’ll cover in an upcoming blog.)
For those with animals that prefer the outdoors, here are some ways to keep pet warm in winter:
- Build or Purchase a Shed: Dogs need to have an area to be sheltered from the rain, of course. However, in the cold winter weather, you may want to invest in something more protective for your animal. Some owners may have the conventional doghouse, or others may have a shed-like structure. When my family lived in St. Louis, we had a porch that the dogs could stay under. In addition, my dad built a shelter for them to sleep in at night. You can find one at your local pet store, or you can make one if you are handy with tools. And don’t think you have to go to extremes to make your pet cozy. A friend’s German shepherd ended up sleeping on top of the brand new doghouse its owners built! Why? Hoping to keep their pet warm they added insulation—which ended up making it too hot for the pooch!
- Blankets: Instead of insulation, you can have additional blankets in the shelter or doghouse. You can also find animal beds and blankets at your local pet store.
- Heat Lamp: Before purchasing a heat lamp, consult with your veterinarian. Depending on where you live and the age of your pet, you may not need one. For instance, we had one for our dogs when we lived in St. Louis. However, since we have moved to North Carolina, our dogs no longer need the heat lamp, as the temperature does not reach low degrees very often. When it comes to the age of your pet, puppies and older dogs may need additional warmth during the winter. This is because puppies may not be old enough to regulate their body temperature, and older dogs tend to get stiff joints in the winter.
While your pet does have a fur coat, it may need a little help keeping warm during the coldest time of the year.
How do you keep your pet warm? Tell us in the comment section below!