Winter is well and truly here and our animal friends will be feeling it too! Here are some of our favourite tips for keeping your pets warm and happy this winter.
1. Shelter and bedding: Perhaps one of the easiest ways to keep your pets warm is to ensure they have adequate shelter and bedding. If your pets live outside it is essential that they have access to an enclosed shelter such as a kennel.
Inside the kennel or house, it is important to give your pet adequate bedding to keep them warm and cosy. It is essential that the bedding is kept dry and is away from any drafts/wind.
Another tip is to keep your pet’s bed elevated off cold floors. This helps keep their warmth in the beds and prevents the bedding from getting moist. You can buy elevated pet beds or you could prop your current bed up using wood, bricks or anything sturdy.
Placing the shelter and bedding in a spot that gets sunshine is also a great way to help your animals keep warm.
2. Self-Warming Beds: Self-warming beds are a cheap and efficient way to keep your animals warm. Self-warming beds contain a layer of insulation that traps your animals body heat. This helps to keep the bed nice and warm without needing any power source!
3. Winter Clothing: Winter clothing has the added benefit of being absolutely adorable at the same time as keeping your animals warm. There are so many varieties of animal jackets and jumpers out there, so try to find one best suited to your animal. The clothing should still give them ample room for moving and should not restrict their breathing in any way.
However, some pets (often cats) just won’t tolerate clothing! If this is your animal, it is important not to force them to wear it. Rather, just provide other means of warmth for them.
4. Feeding: Extra food is a must throughout the colder months! Our pets are using much more energy during winter in order to keep themselves warm, so it is important that we adjust their feeding accordingly. However, be careful not to feed them so much extra that they gain weight
5. Exercise: Hand in hand with diet is of course, exercise! A good exercise routine helps your pets to keep warm and also stops them gaining too much weight from the extra feeding.
6. Providing a direct heat source: While providing your animals with a direct heat source isn’t always possible, here are some options for consideration on those extra cold days.
- Place a hot water bottle or microwave heat pack in your animals bed. Just be sure not to make them too hot so your animals don’t get burned.
- Place a slow release heat pack in your animals bed.
7. Heated enclosures: If you have pets that are kept in heated tanks or enclosures, remember to adjust your heating to match the colder temperatures. Adding a thermometer to your tank/enclosure is the best way to ensure your fish or other animals are kept in their optimal temperature range