Keeping Pets Warm in the Winter

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Keeping Pets Warm in the Winter

Oh My Apartment · Mar 2, 2009

Some pets can be in big trouble when the weather gets cold. Many animals, including birds, reptiles and even dogs without heavy coats, are more accustomed to warm climates. If you’re living in an apartment, you may have to provide some extra warmth for your pets.

Dan, of Philadelphia, lives in a three-bedroom apartment he shares with two dogs, rats, and his prairie dog, “Chicken.” In particular, Chicken needs a little extra help to stay warm during the winter: Dan places a heating pad under her cage to keep her warm.

Dan, who is a veterinary technician

and has adopted several small exotics, relies on a heating pad meant for small animals that he purchased at Petsmart. He does warn pet owners away from pads not meant for use with pets: “Heating pads designed for human use run too hot for small animals. This model is especially designed to be used with small pets. While it says that it is chew proof, I choose to err on the side of caution and have it under the cage. I make it a point to check the pad twice a day to make sure it is functioning properly and is not running too hot.”

Cold that wouldn’t bother a human can be harmful for many pets. Debra, of the Pacific Northwest, turns the thermostat in her large apartment down during the winter to save money — down below where her tropical bird, “Emma,” is comfortable.

To keep Emma comfortable, Debra added an electric fireplace to the room where her bird spends her time — she found the fireplace at Costco in 2005, the same year she adopted Emma. She also keeps that room closed off from the rest of the apartment to ensure the warm air stays in Emma’s room. Even though Emma is in the Pacific Northwest, she keeps just as warm as her counterparts’ in Venezuela.

Even if you don’t have an exotic pet, like a prairie dog, your furry friends may need a little extra care. Dagmar, of Bedford, VA, helps her dachshund and chihuahua (both short-haired dogs) stay warm in the winter by setting out blankets for them to snuggle in. Dagmar says, “I have extra blankets on the couch, bed and armchair and often you can see a lump — that’s all.” While many dogs aren’t pleased with the idea of wearing their own sweaters or coats, such protection can make sense if your pet needs to spend much time outside in the cold.

Tips to share on keeping your pet warm in the winter? Thanks for adding in comments and ideas below.

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