5 Ways to Keep Pets Warm in Winter

By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dogís Ear

While Iíve avoided the blizzards this week by living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I remember my winters of childhood in Syracuse, NY. Our Cocker Spaniel, Doodle, wasnít a fan of snow and hated going out in the winter months. As a young adult, I lived in New York City with Yodel, a small nine pound dog, whose feet would easily get stuck to the ice on the sidewalk during our walks. Currently at home, Gina loves to lie in front of the heater and nap in the sun, while Sanchez is considered a ďhotĒ dog. If itís above 75 degrees in summer, he is uncomfortable.

While some pets like the heat, and others prefer cooler temps, there are many precautions to take to keep your pets safe in the winter.

5 Ways to Keep your Pets Warm in the Winter

1. Sweaters and Jackets: More than just a fashion statement, sweaters and jackets for smaller and hairless or short haired dogs are essential in cold temps. While a Bearded Collie may love to roll around in the snow and be comfortable outdoors all day in the winter, a small, short haired dog could die in the same weather. Just avoid dressing long haired dogs and those accustomed to winter, such as Huskies, in anything but their birthday suit.

2. Heated Beds: While some dog beds come with internal heating pads, a less expensive solution is to keep a heated water bottle under your dog’s bed. This is particularly helpful for dogs with arthritis and senior dogs.

3. Trim fur in paws: Trimming the fur in long haired dogs helps prevent them from picking up snow and sledge and even rock salt, which can be toxic. Dog booties are another solution for preventing them from picking up ice balls in between their toes. Honestly, I wish I had them for Yodel when I lived in New York.

4. Bring them indoors: This seems obvious, but if your pets spend their days outdoors, consider bringing them indoors during colder months. If they stay in an outdoor dog house or the garage, make sure it is properly heated. I was absolutely heart broken and stunned to read a news story about a dog in Upstate New York, Apollo, who had been chained to a table and left outside in frigid temperatures. When found, he had icicles hanging from his fur.*
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5. Increased calories: While obesity is a large problem in our pets and I cringe when I can’t see a waistline on a dog, thinner dogs need extra calories in winter to keep them warm. Animals burn more calories to keep warm, so if yours spend a lot of time outside in colder weather, they’ll appreciate having the extra calories to burn.

How do you keep your pets warm in the winter? Thanks for clicking on comment below and sharing your tips.

* Please Note: The owner of Apollo was charged with 3 minor violations, none relating to animal abuse. At most, he will pay a fine and serve 15 days in jail. Care2 has since started a petition called Apollo’s Law that would make this act of animal cruelty a felony in New York State, as it would be in Michigan and some other states. Click here to sign the petition. If you think this should be a felony, please share your thoughts with a comment.

153 comments

Maggie W.
Maggie D.about a year ago

Care2 takes recycling seriously. As you can see, the last comment was two years ago. The information though is timeless. Thank you.

Laura Saxon
.3 years ago

Very helpful hints. Thanks for sharing.

Past Member
Jenny C.4 years ago

I feel it is alright to let animals spend some time outdoors. And of course they need fresh air and sunlight as we all do. But if an animal is going to be fenced or chained in the backyard, fed once or twice a day and forgotten about, then that animals needs to be found a new home. Animals are part of the family, no matter if you have a pet mouse, guinea pig, bird, dog, cat and they should be treated as such. It's a well known fact a dog left alone in the backyard can and often will become violent. Animals are a commitment much like a child and they need to be loved.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Thanks

Valentina R.
Valentina R.4 years ago

"* Please Note: The owner of Apollo was charged with 3 minor violations, none relating to animal abuse. At most, he will pay a fine and serve 15 days in jail. Care2 has since started a petition called Apollo’s Law that would make this act of animal cruelty a felony in New York State, as it would be in Michigan and some other states. Click here to sign the petition. If you think this should be a felony, please share your thoughts with a comment."

What does this have to do with the article, I wonder?

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

The best tip, is to keep pets inside in the winter. Our 5 cats are inside all the time, but my sister dresses her dog with sweaters in the winter and shirts in the spring and fall. I bet that dog has more sweaters than she does - LOL.

Jennifer V.
Jennifer V.4 years ago

keep pets inside!

tetyana polischuk

Please get animals indoors, at least for the night!

dawn walker
Dawn W.4 years ago

So glad Apollo was found in time. Petition signed and tweeted.