How to keep your pet warm in the winter

Author picture Jessica

Do pets feel the cold?

Some pets feel the cold more than others, but it's important to help any pet stay warm during winter. This is especially important in short-haired breeds, older pets or smaller pets that really feel the chill.

Dog in coat during winter

Which pets feel the cold most?

Little pets such as rodents and birds shouldn't be exposed to very cold temperatures. Move their pen or cage inside and provide plenty of dry bedding for them to curl up in. 

Senior pets and young pets suffer most from the cold, so we recommend keeping them inside as much as possible. If you do happen to be the owner of a more vulnerable pet and live in a cold climate, you might consider getting your dog a coat or snow boots. Make sure your dog can move comfortably and start with a few practice sessions to ease them into it.

How to keep your pet warm overnight

Always make sure your pet has a cosy, dry spot to nap. If allowing your pet to sleep on your bed isn't your thing, there are plenty of great pet beds on the market.

In winter, put some extra cosy layers in your pet's bed, such as clean blankets, for them to curl up in. Importantly, make sure you wash and air your pet's bedding regularly to prevent fleas and stop it from getting smelly.

Dog in warm coat

What should I feed my pet during winter?

Make sure you feed your pet the healthiest food you can afford and avoid processed or human leftovers as treats. You might notice that, like yourself, your pet’s appetite increases in winter. This is perfectly normal, but be sure to feed your pet within their weight range as over-feeding can lead to long term health issues. 

If your pooch is staying with a pet sitter, be sure to leave a supply of extra food as a backup, just in case.

Pet sitting during winter

If you're a pet sitter, it's worth keeping all pets inside when it’s particularly cold. This way you know they will be warm and dry (and close to you for easy cuddle access!). 

If you're a pet owner, discuss bedding and sleeping arrangements with your pet sitter before a booking. It's important to view the space where your pet will be staying beforehand, which is why a meet and greet is so essential 

Fluffy cat looking at rain

How to protect my dog's skin in winter?

The best way to look after your dog's skin in winter is to maintain a healthy diet and not over-wash your dog. Your dog's skin and fur have naturally protective oils that help keep it healthy and water-resistant. Unfortunately, over-washing can strip your dog's fur of these oils. Every dog is unique, and some breeds may need washing more than others. As such, take the time to speak to your vet or a groomer about your dog's coat and specific needs.

Dry air conditioning, changing temperatures and dehydration can also make your dog's skin dry. Here are some simple home remedies that might help. If the problem persists for more than a few days, we recommend speaking to the vet. 

How else can I keep my pet warm?

There are a few easy steps you can take around the home to keep your pet warmer in winter. For example, encourage family members to leave doors shut and use draft blockers at the edges of unsealed doors and windows. This will assist in insulating your house naturally and reduce your need for heating and, in turn, your carbon footprint. We're sure you agree that anything for a smaller heating bill in winter is a good thing!