It’s time to crack out the dressing gown and Ugg boots in the morning. Gone are the days of pushing away a sweaty duvet cover, now we clutch to its warmth. For our furry friends, although they might score a sneaky morning snuggle, they begin to feel the winter chill too, especially our outdoor only pets.

Now whilst some breeds have discovered how to genetically design their own fabulous coats, most of our pets need a helping hand. A dog or cats ability to stay warm depends on their size, breed, age and concurrent disease. Thin or curly haired breeds often require some outer insulation, as do older pets or those with diseases which impair hair growth such as Cushing’s disease.

Coats & Jumpers 

Coats are a perfect way to provide much needed warmth to our furry friends, and nothing warms our hearts faster than seeing a ridiculously cute pet in a sweater! Just make sure that your pet has ample space to breathe, the coat is not too tight and doesn’t have dangling cords or buttons that can be easily swallowed or cause constriction. If you live in the snowy or icy areas don’t forget snow booties are also an important option.

Grooming

Carefully considering your grooming options can make a huge impact to your pet’s warmth. By avoiding shaving or clipping their coat in winter they are more capable of fighting off the winter chills. If you do need to clip and groom your pet, limit the clipping to the feet and muzzle. Also remember if you’re bathing your dog, to bath it indoors with warm water and blow dry them dry before letting them back outside again. We all know the struggle of having to get out of the shower first thing in the morning – the chills go right to our bones. Let’s not do this to our pets.

Sleeping Indoors or in Kennels

Keeping your dog and cats inside over the winter period is definitely ideal, however, it is understandable if your dog or cat is primarily an outdoor pet. Alternatively, a kennel or kitty enclosure that is kept dry with plenty of bedding gives our pets a warm bed for those chilling mornings. One of the most important aspects is having a sleeping spot that is raised off the ground – preventing the moisture seeping into the blankets and their poor bones. Nobody likes camping on the ground outside in winter, and neither do your pets!

Animal Emergency Service hopes that with these tips, all creatures great and small are warm and dry this winter. Special care must be taken for our golden oldie pets. With the pains of arthritis affecting older pets, active warming or medications becomes more necessary. Elderly pets suffer during the colder weather and may benefit from a visit to your local vet for a checkup.