How to keep your pets extra warm this winter - especially when outside
Winter is quickly rolling in and it’s important that you keep your fur babies warm, especially when they’re outside. We’ve got some expert tips on how to do just that!
As the cold weather comes creeping in, you really need to think about the impact it has on your pets. Many people believe that because animals are covered in a beautiful coat of fur, they’re equipped to handle the cold.
This simply isn’t the case.
The chilly weather affects your pets just as much as it, does you. Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to keep your fur kid warm and cosy, even when they’re outdoors!
How to tell if your pet is cold
It’s not too difficult to know when your pet is feeling the cold. They’ll begin shivering, trembling and trying to cuddle up in warm spaces.
They may begin avoiding cold tiles and will try to curl up on the couch or your bed and cuddle into you.
A good assumption to make is that if you’re feeling the cold, your pet probably is too.
How to keep your fur baby warm and toasty
Dress for the weather
A little jacket or jersey can really help your fur baby. Especially if they are small or have short fur. A jacket will keep your pet warm when they’re outside but we recommend this for dogs only.
Your cat could potentially hurt themselves if they’re wearing a coat while they’re exploring the outside world.
Build a warm outdoor shelter
This is vital. If you leave your pet outside for long periods of time, make sure they have somewhere warm to hide out.
Build an insulated kennel for your pups with a comfy bed or blanket inside. This will protect them when the weather gets too cold.
If you have a cat, dedicated a slightly enclosed area where you can leave a bed and blanket for them to cuddle into should they not be able to get inside.
Keep their time outside limited
South Africa has some really icy days and nights, think about how much you dislike sitting outside in the freezing cold for hours on end. Your pet feels the same.
Allow your pets to sleep inside at night in a dedicated space that they feel safe and warm in. And if your pet spends most of their day outside, let them indoors for a couple of hours here and there so they can warm up.
Use a warm harness
This one is more for our dog owners (or our cat owners that enjoy taking their cats on long walks).
If you love going outdoors and enjoy taking your pup (or kitty) with you, get them a warm harness. These harnesses cover most of their upper body and provide some level of insulation so that their bodies are kept warm while you’re out.
Keep them well fed and hydrated
Like us humans, animals expert more energy if they’re working to keep their body warm, so you may find you need to add more nutritious dog food to their daily diet.
We highly recommend chatting with your vet if you’re concerned about your pet’s calorie intake during winter. They’ll be able to advise you on whether any changes need to be made to your pet’s diet.
And even though the temperature outside is cold, your pet still needs to have enough water to keep them warm and their body functioning optimally. Make sure they have fresh water every day.
- Older animals and puppies or kittens have a difficult time regulating their body temperature compared to adult pets, so you should keep an eye on them when it’s cold and keep their time outdoors short.
- Pets with long and shaggy or fluffy coats tend to be better insulated from the cold than breeds that have short or thin coats.
- The cold can make your pet’s life uncomfortable. We know that you may be thinking “but it’s just a dog or it’s just a cat and they’re meant to be outside”. The thing is, humans have domesticated these animals and they cannot survive the cold like we may think they can.
All we’re saying is, if the cold is tough for you and you’re grabbing an extra jacket or blanket, the chances are, your pet is freezing too. Keep them warm!
Yours in warm and cosy pet insurance