It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I adore my dog. Well Freya Woof hates the cold, and being a Saluki she really is not built to cope with the cold weather. She certainly lets us know when she is cold too, dragging her bed so it’s in front of the newly fitted fireplace or burying herself underneath Jen’s duvet with her head on a teddy. She is such a big baby.
Well there are things you can do to help out chilly hounds. Coats and jumpers are the easiest way, but not all dogs like them. You could always put a hot water bottle under your hounds bed, blanket or basket but these don’t stay warm very long. Don’t fret, PetShopBowl has you covered. They sell something called Snugglesafe* which is good for bunnies, cats, dogs and lots of other pets – Microwave it and it stays warm for up to ten hours.
——————— ————————— —————
As soon as I open the front door Freya shivers and grumbles – she is a sunbather not a Winter worshipper. That said I really want it to snow this year, I think it would be azamaing fun to have a snowball fight on the field with her and my boys. The boys want it to snow as they want to go sledging dog sledging with poor Freya dragging them about using her giant tennis ball as the incentive to get her to run. The boys have it all planned, what on Earth could possibly go wrong? If we do get snow though Freya will be fine in her new coat* – it covers the chest area not just over the top of her like her old coat.
The new coat even has little elastic straps on the back leg bits that you pop her leg in, and this means the coat stays with her when she goes for a run on the fields. She used to come back to me after runs with her old coat rather sideways. Adding those little bits of elastic really makes a positive difference. The pattern is very Sherlock Holmes, and I really want to get a plastic spy glass sewn on one side and a smoking pipe to the other! This would be very cute, perhaps not so practical?
But we shouldn’t forget the little pets, my rabbits, the guinea pig and of course the chickens. For hutch dwelling pets it is simple to make improvments to their warmth in he winter. Blankets, lots of blankets. Drape them over the hutch so it covers the sides and back of the hutch, part covering the front so the bedroom door is covered but your little critter still has daylight. But totally cover them overnight if a frosty night is expected. You can buy bunny bottle covers to help prevent the water freezing, but the blankets over the hutch will help with that anyway. Add extra bedding in the Winter and slightly overfeed them so they have extra energy to help them keep themselves warmer by moving about more. I find repainting and repairing the hutches helps a great deal, it doesn’t just reduce dampness it cuts down on the draught. For owners of small fluffies I recommend a quick read on rabbitrehome.org’s winter tips.
Chickens are a bit trickier – they live in an Omlet Cube which is a brilliant plastic and metal coop and hen house. All the plastic is double walled with an air gap in-between that insulates their sleeping area. It’s hard to improve on a good design, but not impossible! I lay pieces of corrugated cardboard (delivery boxes) under the roosting bars in the main living space, and across the floor and wall in the nest box. The normal bedding goes on top of this, a mixture of straw and sawdust this traps more warm air. You can also get Omlet temperature jackets made to fit the coops perfectly. These are a bit pricey, and if you haven’t got cash to splash like that chucking a big fleece over it should help. Just use washing pegs to help it stay in place. If you are very worried about your chickens staying warm over winter you can even buy them hen coats, great if you’ve got nearly bald ex-battery hens.
Do you have any tips for keeping your pets cosy in the colder weather?
Disclosure : PetShopBowl sent Freya Woof the coat and Snugglesafe as pictured above for the purposes of this honest post. The opinions are mine, and I have not ben paid to write this.