How cold is too cold at night for cats and dogs – and what can you do to keep them cosy?
The colder weather might be heaven for huskies, but greyhounds are now reviewing their winter wardrobes: will it be the red quilted coat or the green rain jacket?
Keeping your pet warm enough is always a worry and it’s hardest to manage at night for pets who don’t sleep in your room. How can you make sure your lovely pet is warm enough at night?
If the temperature is averaging below 7°C, most dogs shouldn’t be left outdoors day or night – they should either be indoors or with access to a draft proof shelter with a cosy bed where they can curl up and preserve their heat.
Size is a factor
Several factors influence how much your pet will feel the cold: longer hair, a larger size and more body fat will all insulate your dog or cat. If you’re feeling cold in your house for you overnight, your pet is probably also feeling the chill. If the tips of your pet’s ears are warm, they’re probably warm enough all over – the extremities tend to get cold first.
Animals which are smaller, leaner, or animals with shorter coats will feel the cold much more acutely. Puppies and kittens, as well as elderly cats and dogs, will also find it harder to regulate their heat on cold nights. Make sure these pets have blankets and small spaces to snuggle into; consider leaving a heater on a low setting overnight. They’ll always need to able to move away from the heat as well as towards it. Here are a few tips for winter pet warmth from the SPCA:
- A cosy bed
- A winter coat for a dog that’s happy to wear ones
- Heat pads, especially for young, elderly or unwell pets
- A place to sleep that’s off the floor and away from draughts
Of course, if you pet already sleeps on your bed, you probably know exactly when they want to borrow a little warmth – when you’re almost falling out of bed with a furry friend pressed into your side!
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