How to Ensure Your Pets Stay Warm All Winter Long

I am sure you have seen videos of animals being rescued from frozen lakes, stuck in the snow or saved from the negative zero degree weather. Those heart breaking videos have sensitised us to the cold our furry friends feel during winter. You love your furry family members and want to make sure they stay healthy and cozy all winter long. As the temperatures drop, it's important to take extra precautions to protect your pets. 
If you have an outdoor dog or cat, you'll need to provide them a warm shelter. For indoor pets, keeping the heat on and providing extra layers can help combat the cold. It may seem like common sense, but there are a few things pet owners often overlook that can put their animals at risk in frigid weather. This article will walk you through everything you need to know to keep your pets warm, safe and happy even on the coldest days of the year. 
Prepare Their Environment: Insulate and Heat Your Home
To ensure your pets stay warm all winter long, you need to prepare their environment. First, make sure your home is well-insulated and draft-free. Caulk and weatherstrip any cracks or gaps leading outdoors. Consider installing storm windows or plastic sheeting over windows and doors. Run a space heater on a thermostat to automatically maintain a comfortable temperature for your pets.
Provide cozy bedding like blankets, sleeping bags, and pads. Place several in different areas so your pets can move around to their liking. Wash bedding weekly in hot water to keep it fresh.
You should also consider using a heated bed, pad or blanket. But take proper precautions to avoid overheating, burns or electric shock. Place the heated item on the floor, securely tape cords and wires, and follow all instructions. Supervise your pets and check the temperature regularly.
Grooming and accessories
Keep your pets well-groomed. Bathe them regularly and brush their coat to distribute natural oils. Trim long fur around paws, ears and tail. These areas are prone to frostbite, so keeping them groomed allows body heat to circulate better.
By preparing their environment, providing cozy bedding, using safe heating devices and keeping them well-groomed, your faithful companions will stay warm and toasty no matter how cold it gets outside.
Dress Them Appropriately: Sweaters, Booties, and Jackets
To ensure your pets stay cozy when the temperatures drop, it's important to dress them appropriately for winter weather.
Slip your dog or cat into a warm sweater, coat or jacket before going outside in cold weather. Look for options made of thick, insulating fabrics like wool, fleece or quilted nylon. For smaller dogs or those with thin coats, booties or paw protectors can also help prevent frostbite.
Limit Time Outdoors
Don't leave your pets outside for long periods in freezing weather. Take them out only to relieve themselves then bring them back inside as quickly as possible. Shorter, more frequent walks are better than long outings. Watch for signs of hypothermia like shivering, lethargy or pale gums and get them inside immediately.
Provide Extra Bedding
Place additional blankets, towels or pet beds in your animal's usual sleeping spots to give them extra padding and warmth. Our cat/dog beds and baskets are perfect examples of comfy bedding ideas for your pets. For outdoor pets like rabbits or ferrets, pack their housing with straw which helps retain heat better than shavings. Refresh water bowls frequently since they can freeze over more quickly in low temperatures.
By keeping a close eye on your pets, limiting time outside in frigid weather and providing them comfortable, insulating layers, you'll ensure your faithful companions stay safe, warm and protected from the elements all season long. Their happiness and well-being depend on you, so make their warmth and comfort a top priority.
Adjust Their Diet and Exercise: More Calories and Less Time Outside
To keep your pets warm during the winter, you'll need to make some adjustments to their diet and exercise routine.
Increase Their Calorie Intake
Your pets will need more calories in the winter to generate body heat. Increase your pet's food amount by about 10% for every 10 degree drop in temperature. You can also supplement their diet with healthy high-calorie treats. Things like:
-Canned fish like sardines or salmon
-Cooked eggs
-Small amounts of peanut butter
-Pumpkin puree
Providing a few extra treats and a bit more food during the winter months will give your pet the energy they need to stay warm. By making a few simple changes, you can keep your faithful companions cozy and content even on the coldest winter days.
With the season of winter upon us, it's important we take extra steps to keep our furry friends comfortable and warm. By providing shelter, insulation, food, and water, you'll ensure your pets stay happy and healthy all season long. 
Give your pets plenty of love and affection during these colder months - they depend on us to keep them safe, warm, and cared for. Make sure to check on outdoor pets frequently and bring them inside if it gets too cold. Our pets offer us unconditional love and loyalty year round, so we owe it to them to return the favor when the temperature drops. Stay cozy! Why isn't it Christmas already?!