How to Keep Your Pets Warm During Winter
- Cats, puppies and dog breeds with short hair tend to be sensitive to cold temperatures, so do not force these animals to spend much time outside. The list of such dog breeds is long, and includes whippets, dobermans, greyhounds and most very tiny toy dogs.
- The best approach is to allow your pets to sleep inside your heated house during the winter. This does not have to be in your bedroom or on the furniture. A pet bed in a tiled scullery or coat corner that can be swept easily is fine. Take it outside for its nature call before you go to bed, and let it out before you do anything else in the morning. Keep it inside for most of the day and it will be at its warmest and happiest.
- If you do not want the dog in the house, any heated outbuilding on your property is good. Just close the door so the cold and snow does not get in.
- Outdoor pet shelters must have a thick mattress, a sloped roof, good insulation and even heating.
- Arthritic pets are especially stiff and in pain in cold temperatures. Heated dog beds are ideal to keep their discomfort to the minimum.
- Short-haired dogs can do with doggy sweaters or jackets, since they move around too much to stay covered under blankets.
- When your dog goes outside during snowy periods, train it to wear doggy boots to protect its paws. Salt and most chemical snow removers irritate their paws. If the dog does not want to wear boots, which is quite likely, clean its paws every time it comes back from inside.
- Continue to brush your dog during the winter to fix matted hair and remove lose hair, but do not trim or shave its coat. It needs straight thick hair to keep it warm.
- Avoid bathing your dog during the winter. Rather buy a good coat spray and brush it daily. If you absolutely need to bath it, do it inside, dry it well and do not let it outside while it is still warm or wet.
- Take it for frequent short walks, rather than for one long walk a day.
Good winter care can ensure that you retain the companionship of your special pet for many years to come.