Pets and Cold Weather

Hi everyone,

Today we have some excellent advice on Pets and the current ongoing col weather for you all from the PDSA. The only thing we’d add is that getting a heat pad for your pet can be a great addition to keep your pet comfy and warm without having to heat up the entire house.

The important aspect to consider when it comes to heat pads however is to get one that’s safe and can be left on for long periods of time. You may have seen our advice post following a recent disaster with a cheap Chinese import hence why it’s always worth spending a little bit extra on a heat pad.

One of the heat pads out there that we would highly recommend is the Pet Remedy heat pad. It’s available with a UK plug from our own webshop, tho you can always replace the AC adapter with a local one as luckily it can be disconnected and replaced with a standard 1.5V output.

Full advice below

Pets and Cold Weather

How to keep your pet happy and healthy when winter takes hold

With Winter in full swing and the days being short and dark, it’s important to know how to keep our four-legged friends safe, happy and healthy when temperatures plummet.

PDSA vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, says: “Despite their fur coats, our pets can still feel the cold and, unlike humans, animals are unable to tell us how they are feeling. That’s why it’s important to make sure you take steps to keep them warm during winter weather.”

To help owners and pets alike, Olivia offers her top tips for staying cosy and content this winter.

Cats and Dogs:

  1. Make sure your cats and dogs have access to warm sheltered areas inside and outdoors.
  2. Young, old or sick pets should not be out in very cold weather for long as they can be more vulnerable and lose heat quickly. Short, supervised bursts outside are best, but don’t force them to go outside if they don’t want to.
  3. Don’t leave pets in cars, caravans or unheated conservatories as temperatures can quickly plummet, which can cause hypothermia.
  4. Keep your dog warm in a suitable waterproof coat when on walks if they need one – for example if they are very young, old or have very thin fur.
  5. Take your dog on regular short walks, and be sure to towel-dry them if they get wet to prevent them getting a chill. For dogs with longer hair, using a hairdryer can also work well, but be careful to avoid burns by keeping it on a low setting and not too close to their body.
  6. If your cat can’t come in and out of the house freely on their own, then try to keep them indoors on snowy, wintery nights. If you have to shut them in overnight, make sure you give them plenty to play with to keep them occupied.
  7. It’s important to keep your pet’s paws free from road grit and salt rinsing or wiping their paws after walks. Remember to dry them off after rinsing.
  8. Wear a high-visibility jacket yourself when out on wintery walks to keep both you and your pet safe. High-vis collars or harnesses are recommended to make sure your pooch can be seen on dark nights. This is especially important when walking near roads.
  9. If you spot your pet shivering, bring them into the warmth straight away and call your vet. Without proper treatment, hypothermia can be fatal.
Winter Friendship Cute Sweet Cat Pet Dog Snow

Small pets:

  1. Relocate rabbits and guinea pigs’ housing to a warm and sheltered spot such as a shed or car-free garage. They should still have access to sunlight and a run for exercise and stimulation.
  2. Make sure the bedding inside the hutch is warm, dry and plentiful. While rabbits and guinea pigs should be eating a high-quality feeding hay, straw makes a warmer bed so provide both during the winter months – make sure it is piled high!
  3. Provide your pet with additional layers during cold spells – cover hutches and runs with a duvet or thick blanket to help keep the cold out – but make sure it’s out of reach, can’t be nibbled and that there is still a good air-flow.
  4. Check at least twice daily that water bottles haven’t frozen in the cold weather.
  5. Check your rabbit’s bottoms for signs of fly-strike once a day in winter. It is important to stay vigilant, even in the colder months, as flies will often seek a warm hutch to lay their eggs. Remove any damp or soiled bedding from their homes too.

For more advice on keeping your pet healthy and happy during winter, go

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9 thoughts on “Pets and Cold Weather

  1. Amanda says:

    So many super helpful tips! When the weather gets colder, it’s easy to forget to take precautions to care for our furry friends.

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