As winter fast approaches and the days turn colder, all of us have to wrap up warm and keep our homes feeling cosy. If you have pets, they’ll be feeling the cold just as much, even if they have fur, feathers, or even scales. Just like us, they need a bit of help.
Take a look at our guide so you can keep your pets feeling warm and happy over winter.
While some breeds enjoy the colder weather (huskies, for example) if your dog is used to being indoors a lot you should keep a careful eye on them when walking in cold weather.
A warm coat is essential for small and short-haired breeds like greyhounds and Dobermans, and boots are a good idea for particularly strong ground frost. The main thing is to keep an eye on your dog for signs of discomfort or distress.
Cats are likely to want to stay snuggled up indoors in cold weather, especially if there’s snow or the ground is icy. Keep a litter tray handy in case you get snowed in.
You should also be wary if your cat is outdoors on cold days, as they’ll look for comfortable spots such as a warm car engine, which of course could be dangerous.
Rabbits and guinea pigs
If your rabbits live outdoors you should bring them in over the winter if possible. If not, you should make sure their hutch is sheltered from the wind, and that rain or snow can’t blow inside.
Add extra insulation with a hutch cover, and provided extra bedding to keep your bunnies cosy. Extra hay is also important for giving them extra calories to keep themselves warm.
Hamsters and gerbils
Hamsters and gerbils should be happy enough in their cages, but if you’re out all day with the heating off, make sure to provide them with plenty of bedding so they can build themselves a cosy nest.
It’s important that the water in your fish tanks stays at the right temperature, both for tropical and temperate tanks. Make sure the heater is working properly in your tropical tank, and turn it up slightly if things are too cold. Likewise, if you keep your house very warm, check things aren’t getting too hot.
Move your tank away from draughts or heat sources (like a radiator) if it’s hard to keep things at the right temperature.
Just as with fish tanks, you simply need to check that the temperature in your vivarium or terrarium is stable, and not rising or dropping dramatically as the heating in your house comes on and off. You might have to move the cage to a different room, or away from heaters or windows to fix the problem.