Best ways to keep your pet warm this winter

winter pets dog and cat staying warm

If you’ve been feeling the chill recently, you’re likely not alone: our pets can get cold too, and it can even have an impact on their health.

Whether you have a cat, dog, or other pet, you’ll want to keep them protected from the adverse impacts of the cold like worsening arthritis or skin rashes. Many pets may need additional care in the colder months, from winter coat maintenance to increased feeding.

Signs your pet is cold

Sure signs of a cold dog or cat include:

  • Shivering or shaking
  • Behavioural change (can become anxious, needy, drop in mood)
  • Drooped tail, hunched posture
  • Slowed movement
  • Dry or flaky skin (particularly in pets with short coats)
  • Seeking warmth (heaters, tight spaces, body heat, etc)

Senior pets, very young animals, and those with pre-existing conditions will be more prone to feeling the cold, so keep a close eye on them.

With energy prices set to skyrocket this winter, keeping the heating on all day isn’t going to be the best solution for your wallet, so we’ve rounded up some winter warmer essentials that will keep your pet snug and healthy.

Tips for keeping your pet warm

Coats and jumpers:

Particularly good for short-coated dogs, coats can be good for keeping in the heat where they lack a double coat.

Hurtta Expedition Parka, Winter Dog Coat
  • Full range of sizes available
  • Reflective strip for easy visibility
  • Designed for a full range of motion

Ideal for dogs with short coats or dogs without undercoats, this coat is double-layered to keep your dog warm through any conditions and the great outdoors. It has no turtleneck or long sleeves which allow for ease of movement and keep your pet feeling comfortable but not constricted.

Gold Paw Duluth Double Fleece Dog Coat Pullover
  • Reversible fleece for a choice of designs
  • Fun range of colours and prints available
  • 4 way stretch with sizes to fit from kittens to Great Danes

For a winter warmer, this cosy option has no buttons or zips to irritate fussy pets. The soft fleece design is double sided and reversible which means you get two designs in one, finished in a range of playful prints and colours. Perfect for any size of pup, this jumper is made of recycled materials and can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning.

Shelter and bedding: 

Make sure that your pet’s have plenty of warmth where they sleep – especially those that sleep outdoors. This can mean ensuring that the dog house is well-insulated, or giving your cat some soft blankets to burrow in. Microwavable pads and pillows can be soothing for arthritis sufferers, while any plug-in options should be avoided to steer clear of electrical hazards. 

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Cat and Dog Bed
  • Available in 5 sizes and a range of colours
  • Machine washable
  • Ideal design for burrowing

The super-soft plush fabric makes this the prime pick for a dog or cat bed in the cooler months. The raised rim adds a sense of security and elevates the neck, with a cushioned filling for joint support. You can also throw the whole bed in the wash when it needs a good clean.

PetAmi Waterproof Dog Blanket, Fleece Pet Throw
  • Available in 3 sizes and a range of colours
  • Waterproof for accidents and spills
  • Soft touch fabrication

Perfect for protecting your furniture and letting your pets get cosy, this blanket is a multi-functional must-have. The soft feel is good for burrowing, while the waterproof design can stand up to the daily wear and tear of pet ownership. If it gets dirty, just throw it in the washing machine!

Winter grooming: 

Pay extra attention to grooming in cooler months. A longer coat doesn’t always equal a warmer dog – it can contribute to skin conditions or discomfort. Outdoor pets might also require a bit of extra grooming in the winter months and can be prone to knots and matting. Make sure to clean off any mud and dirt thoroughly, and dry pets off completely after bathing. 

Different breeds will have different grooming needs, so stay up to date on what is required for your pet.

Feeding: 

Many pets will require extra food intake in the cooler months, since they will use up more energy keeping themselves warm. Consult a vet on how best to adjust their diet without overfeeding.

Activity: 

If walking outdoors or playing outside becomes less possible in winter weather, make sure your pet has plenty of indoor entertainment. This can range from treat-based puzzles to add some mental stimulation to your pet’s routine, to the simplicity of a game of tug-of-war.

Lickimat Slomo
  • Slows down fast eaters
  • Provides mental stimulation
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher safe

Suitable for dogs and cats, these mats help to relieve stress and boredom by adding a challenge to the everyday activity of eating. Easy to clean and available in different colours, these are silicone-free and helpful in aiding your pet’s dental hygiene.

Paw 5 Dog Snuffle Mat for Dogs
  • Machine washable
  • Good for foragers
  • Mimics the feel of grass

Whether you use this to encourage slower feeding or to keep your dog entertained on rainy days, snuffle mats are great picks for scavenging and foraging types. The texture mimics grass, allowing pets to search for buried treats by scent and feel as they would in nature – especially when it’s too damp to get outside. Easy to store and machine wash to keep things clean.

SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post
  • Wide, sturdy base for all sizes of cats
  • Durable sisal fabrication
  • Minimal assembly required

Cats love to scratch, and though they might ordinarily target your couch or your chair legs, this sisal scratching post is a much more satisfying use of their energy. The wide post and sturdy base make it a good choice for kittens through to senior cats, or those with a little extra weight. Some assembly is required, but no power tools – so even those with no handy skills should be able to master this. Cats might not be as outdoor-orientated as pets, but they still require the extra attention through the cooler months.

Winter can be a good time to do your regular veterinary check-in, making sure your pet is getting all the care they need in colder temperatures. Compare some of Mozo’s best pet insurance policies below.

Compare pet insurance - last updated 23 May 2024

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