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Keeping Your Furry Friends Warm

Oh, the weather outside is frightful! And your pet has got a bladder full. What to do?!

Winter can be a tough season for indoor and outdoor pets alike, so we wrote down a few tips to make sure you and your furry friend stay safe and warm.

Stay Inside

This may seem obvious, but while many pets enjoy frolicking outside no matter the temperature, it’s always best to keep pets indoors warm and cozy.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, we recommend bringing them inside when the temperatures drop to near or below freezing. A good rule of thumb is if you’re cold in your winter wear, then it’s too cold for your pets.

Provide Shelter

If any of your pets absolutely need to stay outdoors for long periods of time, make sure they have a warm and dry place to rest.

For a dog, a dry, draft-free refuge that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat is the way to go. For cats, ensure their shelter is well-insulated and cozy. In either case, the floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and lined with warm water-proof material and the doorway should be covered with warm insulating material.

Bundle Up

When heading out for a walk, make sure you’re not the only one bundled up. Windchill alone can put a dog at risk of frostbite or hypothermia due to exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads.

Consider buying your pet a comfortable pet sweater when heading out and booties to keep their paws warm and safe from ice burns or chemicals on the ground.

Visit the Vet

Cold weather can exacerbate certain medical conditions in pets such as arthritis. Visiting the vet during the winter months ensures your pet is healthy, comfortable, and well enough to enjoy the season.

Feed and Hydrate

Though pets spending more time outdoors need more calories to keep themselves warm, it’s best to keep your pet in a healthy weight range. In addition, it’s important to keep your pets well-hydrated.

Ensure if any food or water is left outdoors, it is kept in a rubber or plastic bowl and it is not frozen.

As always, talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs.

Unfortunately, millions of pets aren’t lucky enough to have families to follow these tips. That’s why Rescue Rebuild works to help shelters and rescues around the country upgrade their facilities, make more comfortable spaces for homeless pets, and ultimately helps them find their forever homes.

Find out how you can help our next build here.