Everyone knows that outdoor dogs face serious health and safety risks in winter when nighttime temperatures drop to well below freezing. That’s why it’s smart to provide your pet with things like windproof shelter and a heated dog bowl to keep him comfortable despite harsh environs.
But did you know that indoor pets may also require extra help staying warm during the coldest months of the year? That’s right, even if your dog or cat has the benefit of four walls and a roof 24 hours a day, it might not be enough to prevent excessive shivering and discomfort in winter. Here are 5 possible reasons why:
- Your pet is a toy breed such as a chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, or papillon
- Your pet is hairless or has a very thin coat like whippets, greyhounds, and Sphynxes
- Your pet is elderly
- Your pet suffers from chronic health problems
- You turn the heat off when you go to work or keep the thermostat set very low to reduce energy costs
If any of the above conditions apply to your household, don’t worry. It’s actually very easy to give your pet that extra little boost to help him stay warm. For example, a heated pet bed (either plug-in or self-warming) or a hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket will allow him to snuggle up to something warm at nap time. Moreover, pet clothing such as sweaters and jackets do a great job of retaining body heat, while booties can protect tender paws from snow and salt when out on a walk.
Although house pets are significantly better off in winter than pets that stay outdoors year round, it would be a mistake to automatically assume they’re warm and comfortable. Take a few moments to assess your pet’s risk factors, and then make sure you provide additional means of warmth when it’s cold out there.