Keeping Pets Warm in Winter

Making sure your pets are comfortable when the weather gets cold is important. This guide is about keeping pets warm in winter.

December 22, 2010 Flag
5 found this helpful

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

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February 6, 20130 found this helpful

Great idea but how about a water proof cover for the pad, but how do you guarantee that they won't find the cord and chew on it?

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February 7, 20130 found this helpful

Better make sure it's not a dog that chews.

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February 11, 20130 found this helpful

My dogs have never even considered chewing on any cord. And as for waterproof cover, most heating pads come with one already. But my pets don't get it wet to begin with.

If your pets chew, then definitely this would not be an idea you would want to try. But if you teach your pets not to chew from when they are puppies/kittens, you won't have this problem.

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October 24, 2011 Flag

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.

Jack Russell and Yorkie in their warm coats.

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October 13, 2011 Flag
4 found this helpful

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.

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December 11, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a Rat Terrier who lives outside. Is there a way where I can keep her warm, inexpensively?

By Kayla from southern IL

February 4, 20110 found this helpful

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: ... old-weather-deadly-for-dogs-%26-cats

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.

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February 22, 20111 found this helpful

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. :(

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December 13, 20150 found this helpful

It amazes me too ... bring your dogs inside. Be humane!

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December 22, 20150 found this helpful

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!

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Anonymous Flag
April 13, 20160 found this helpful

September 30, 2004 Flag
1 found this helpful

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.

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July 3, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

July 25, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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August 2, 20070 found this helpful

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.

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

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

good luck

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

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!

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Anonymous Flag
November 23, 20120 found this helpful

September 29, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

How can I keep my neighbor's dog warm this winter? They keep her outside year round and never pay attention to her. I go out several times a day and play and pet her and just sit with her. I also feed her and give her water; her owners do nothing for her. She's 15 years old, a German Shorthaired Pointer.

By Jody

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September 29, 20130 found this helpful

This sounds like obvious neglect on the part of you neighbor, bordering on cruelty given the dog's age. Have you offered to take the dog yourself? You seem to be caring for it anyway. Maybe they would be willing. If not, then you need to report this to the local ASPCA or whatever your local animal cruelty organization is. This dog needs to be out of that situation, and your neighbor needs to be held responsible.

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October 1, 20130 found this helpful

Sorry Jody I flew off the handle thinking about this poor dog. Report them to animal welfare or sneak over there in the middle of the night and take the dog to an animal rescue shelter. Good luck.

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October 2, 20130 found this helpful

As the other posters have said, offer to take this dog into your home. If the current owners refuse your offer, report them to the local animal authorities, and also to a breed rescue group.

If the dog is confiscated by the local authorities make sure they know you want to adopt her otherwise they may decide to put her down owing to her age; if she is rescued by a breed rescue group (who will take mixed breed dogs by the way) let them know you want her otherwise they will find her a new furever home where she will be loved and properly cared for during whatever time she has left.

Bless you for caring, please update us so we know what has happened to her!

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February 11, 20140 found this helpful

Get an infrared flood light bulb(100-300 watts depending on the distance of the bulb from the pet) and an out door clamp lamp and securely set it up and aim it at where she sleeps. Turn it on at night time and off in the morning. Plus infrared light has great therapeutic benefits for aging pets! (Google infrared light therapy for pets) also try outdoor electric or self heating blankets/beds or pet coats.

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February 11, 20140 found this helpful

December 18, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

Does anyone have a good idea what to use in a dog pen to keep a dog warm, dry, and comfortable (something recyclable?)

By Val

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December 22, 20130 found this helpful

I use my old sheepskin car seat covers, rather than throwing them out. Also I have been known to buy a sheepskin rug specially for sleeping on. Also why not use a pillow with a cover on it - then regularly wash the cover to keep it clean rather than washing the whole pillow.

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December 22, 20130 found this helpful

It really depends on how much you can spend. There are heated dog houses that are wonderful. There are heated mats made especially to hold up to dog use. You could use a heated mat and build your own dog house.

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