Making sure your pets are comfortable when the weather gets cold is important. This guide is about keeping pets warm in winter.
I have a great way of keeping my dogs' bed warm. I have an electric "throw" blanket. I got mine at Walmart, and have seen them at Target and K-Mart too, even Big Lots. I put it on the floor underneath my dogs' bed and turn it on low. Then I put a small lightweight blanket on top of the bed. I have the ones they sell at Walmart for $6 right now. One is plenty for my 2 Dachshunds.
The electric blanket keeps the bed at just the right temperature for them on a cold night, and doesn't cool off over time like a hot water bottle would. It only costs pennies a day to keep it on. And the blanket on top holds the warmth in so they aren't warm on their bellies and cold on their backs. My babies love it.
Also, by putting it underneath their bed, it keeps them from tearing the blanket up when they are scratching around to get comfortable like dogs do. Their bed protects the blanket.
An added advantage: They aren't sneaking up into my warm bed after I go to sleep! (Not that they aren't welcome, but they love their bed). They've learned that if they get too warm, they come out from under the blanket and lay on the floor for a little while. Then when they get chilly again, they nose their way back under the blanket and onto the nice warm bed.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
I had 3 doggies at one time, and getting them winter coats was a bit costly. So at an after-Halloween costume sale, I scored big and saved lots. I purchased several pet/dog costumes for $1.00 to $3.00 each. I looked for outfits that came with warm coats.
For the Yorkie, I purchased an adorable lion outfit with cap and coat. For the Jack Russell, I purchased an adorable unicorn outfit with cap and coat. For the Bichon-Malti-Poo mix, I purchased a tiger outfit, again with cap and coat.
These coats were thick and warm. They were easy to put on with Velcro tabs and well made. I think it was the Target after Halloween sale and I waited till it was 90% off.
I also buy doggie clothes like sweaters and t-shirts out of season at clearance prices. I know it sounds silly, but my doggie loves his warm clothes on cold days. Since he insists on coming with us on outings in winter and it gets cold in the car, someone stays in the car with him to make sure he is warm. I will try to attach one pic of the Jack Russell and Yorkie in coats.
BTW, we were trying to take a photo of Cookie the Jack Russell, alone and at the last second Oso the Yorkie, snuck in to steal the spotlight!
By Annie from Columbia, MO
We have 2 dogs and 2 small birds. During the winter at night we don't heat the whole house. We have an electric blanket on our bed and our dogs have an electric blanket under their bed with a blanket on top, too.
I have a Rat Terrier who lives outside. Is there a way where I can keep her warm, inexpensively?
By Kayla from southern IL
Link to animal cruelty statutes in the state of Illinois:
If the dog doesn't have adequate shelter from the elements in place, the owner can be charged, "even without malice".
And, this news piece is pretty intense, and from the state of Michigan; but, winter weather is winter weather in IL or MI:
The Humane Society describes adequate outdoor shelter for dogs as a " well-built, slant roofed insulated doghouse filled with straw".
Small or short-haired dogs like this terrier should be brought inside when the temp F is 20 or below and even the burlier, larger, thick-coated breeds need to come in when the thermometer nears zero.
You also have to take into consideration precipitation and wind chill. If it's below 30 outside, snowing and winds are 13 mph--every dog needs to come inside.
As a passionate animal lover I have to agree with the others here. I can't for the life of me understand why any human would keep any fur baby out in the cold 24/7, period. :(
It amazes me too ... bring your dogs inside. Be humane!
I am chiming in on this one ... a rat terrier being kept outside in the winter is abuse, plain and simple. That poor thing, alone on the most frigid of nights while his/her owners are enjoying the warmth and comfort of an indoor "home". Get that dog inside! I am appalled!
The only abuse here is the cruel reply designed to make a caring dog owner feel guilty. There are many happy outside terriers. Build a nice, properly snug size doghouse and save up $90 for a HoundHeater or equivalent.
Old "egg crates" (mattress pad) can be cut to help winterize your dog house. Cut the foam to fit the sides and roof of your dog house and staple in place. This will help keep your best friend warm when he has to be outside.
So my parents have agreed to let me get a dog except my mom doesn't want the dog to be inside, even in the winter. We plan to put the dog in the garage except it's not insulated or connected to the house. We are going to give an enclosed space in the garage to the dog, and provide blankets, a heated bed and a dog house, of course, but is that enough? We aren't sure how to keep the dog warm in the winter.
Ashley from Utah, Salt Lake City
Ashley, some of this advice about not owning a dog unless you can keep it indoors seems awfully harsh to me. You can have a happy dog that lives outside - I know because I have two large labs that live outside 99% of the time because of my allergies that have worsened over the years and they are well behaved and as happy as can be!! I have made it a ritual to go out every morning and visit with them first thing. I am also in and out of the backyard all day doing yardwork and gardening and several times at night and always make a point to make it a big deal out of visiting with them. Just make sure that you are giving your dog plenty of attention and interaction throughout the day. We do, and I don't feel bad at all that they "live" outdoors. Other than human interaction and attention, they need shelter, shade, and fresh water and it sounds like you have some good ideas about keeping them warm. Mine do come indoors - either in the mudroom or in a lighted garage with circulated air or heat - at times that there is stormy weather, or when the heat index is extremely high or when temperatures drop close to around freezing. Otherwise, they are perfectly fine outdoors. As far as winter goes, if you live in an area where there are harsh winters (I live in the south, so not so much here) there are also outdoor heaters that you can purchase - like the ones that they use at football games to keep the players warm at the bench. You may want to look into one of those.
I think it is a lot of bunk to say a dog has to live inside. I agree during harsh weather conditions it is necessary to make sure your dog is taken care of. A dog is a pet not a member of the family. It is not a human. Applying human ethics to animals does not make sense.
you can also use straw to keep a dog warm in the winter time. we have a german shepherd and she doesn't like to be in the house so we got her a dog house and put straw in it for the winter time and she does great
I have 4 spinone's and a westie. The westie comes indoors at night but sleeps with the spinone's during the day. The spinone's sleep in converted stables but have elevated beds with a dog heater over each bed. They also have a gas fire when the temps are cold. They have a radio and tv with aerial. The TV is really for me as I sit with them in the evening until their last let out time. They have a large paddock to run in which is securely fenced and I have a seperate garden which is completely open to a river. Ducks etc live on the river bank and the dogs sit and watch them. The third stable has been converted into a wash/grooming room just for the dogs which is also heated. They have air conditioning for the summer. We only have a 2 bedroom cottage but lots of land. We moved to this property purely for the dogs. If you decide to keep dogs it must be for the full duration of their lives and their lives should be lived to the full!
I think that keeping an outdoor dog warm in the winter is very easy to do! My parents won't let me keep our female black lab inside, but we have done a wonderful job of keeping her happy outside in the winter. She was born in a barn, and we made our own dog house for her! It is very well insulated on every side, has a tilted roof, and lots of hay inside to keep her warm!
Then she has an area that is fenced in for her to poop in or just walk around. We clean up her poop every day, provide her with food and water that's fresh and unfrozen, and in the harsh winter nights that are freezing we put her in a kennel in the garage.
Keep in mind that to keep a dog warm in the winter, they will need exercise! Get your snow gear on and run around with your dog and provide an adequate amount of love for your dog. Honestly, it isn't cruel, it is a way of life for dogs, they used to live outside before they were made pets, and now keeping them happy and warm outside is very possible! Good luck :)
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