A Heated Pet Bed is One of Several Tips on How to Protect Your Outdoor Pet From Winter Temperatures

As the winter months approach, special attention should be given to the unique challenges faced in keeping outdoor pets safe, protected and comfortable. Like humans, dog and cats can be volatile to injury from the cold. Of course the smaller the pet, the more volatile it is to colder temperatures. Elderly or young pets are also more vulnerable to colder temperatures and extra care should always be taken. Although I have never been a supporter of keeping any dog or cat completely outside, no matter the length of time your pet is exposed to the cold, here are some helpful suggestions on how to take the best possible care of your pet.

1.) Although this may sound obvious, it is essential to make sure your pet is healthy. A healthy pet will be able to withstand the effects of winter more readily. Young, elderly or ailing pets are much less able to adapt to the colder temperatures, and as a result, we need to take special care to ensure their safety.

2.) A dry shelter that remains dry from all the weather elements (rain, sleet, snow, wind), is a basic need that must be provided. If you have chosen to either build a dog house yourself or have it built by someone else, using insulation with a high R-value sandwiched in the walls, roof and floor is an excellent start. The door of the dog house should be oriented away from the wind, and in a location that does not have a water problem such as flooding.

3.) Even with shelter provided, it is very important to provide warmth in that dry space. Placing a nice thick, cozy layer of cedar chips or hay can be a great step in helping your pet stay warm. For many outdoor shelter venues such as a garage, covered porch, barn, shed or doghouse a heated outdoor pet bed is a terrific option for which your pet will constantly be thankful. It’s important you choose a bed specifically designed for the outdoors. These beds are made of soft PVC and do not absorb water, always providing comfortable warmth even in below freezing temperatures. You will find that a heated dog bed or heated cat bed will become their new favorite place and their oasis during the colder temperatures.

4.) Potential dehydration is a concern throughout the year. So a constant supply of clean, unfrozen water is very important. The water source should be protected from the elements or heated to prevent freezing. Low wattage heated dog bowls work very well as a solution in making certain unfrozen water is always available.

5.) Outside pets can really burn through the calories while trying to stay warm in the winter. So make sure an ample supply of nutritious food is provided. Just like in humans, food calories are burned to stay warm, and animals that spend time outside simply need more to eat.

6.) Carefully examine your pet everyday to make sure they are not showing any signs of stress from the cold. Don’t forget about their paws. Exposure to the winter cold can leave paws chapped and tender. Check the pads of their feet and the hair between their toes to make sure there is no evidence of ice balls, salt crystals or de-icing chemicals sticking to them. Massage petroleum jelly into paw pads to help protect them from these dangers.

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