Don’t let your four legged friend shiver in the cold this winter

Winter is in full swing and keeping your pets warm is a big concern for many. Here's what to do.

With load shedding always looming, we are limited to devise electricity-free strategies to ensure our doggo friends that need to sleep outside, stays nice and warm. Don’t fear! Some tips and tricks are near!

Retain their natural heat
A dog’s temperature is naturally higher than a human’s; by almost two degrees. It is ideal, therefore to capture and contain what is readily available. Now, we understand that not all canines like to be fashionistas, but if allowed, obtain a jacket and let them strut their stuff.

Harvest the energy of the sun
The sun’s rays aren’t that harsh in the winter as in summer, so consider moving your pooch’s bed or doghouse to somewhere sunny.

Patch any holes
This seems quite obvious, but the biggest hole is the entrance to the doghouse. Adding a door flap will shield the dog against the icy wind. Just keep ventilation in mind.

Insulate the doghouse
With the use of foam or polystyrene boards, newspapers, old blankets, or t-shirts, your hound will have a tad more to fend of the cold.

Add bedding
There is probably no need to buy the most expensive bed but your dog will appreciate a softer landing when hitting the sack. Use an old blanket, pillow, or clothes. It will also help if the bed is raised to shield it from the cold floor by using a carpet, newspapers, wood chippings, or bricks.

Thermal mass
You will appreciate thermal mass when you experienced a nice snuggle with a warm rock after sunset in winter. Using Cinder blocks, slate stone or bricks stacked next to the doghouse will prolong the heat for just a while longer.

Let your inner artist out
Consider painting the doghouse a dark colour for better heat absorption. It does not have to be black – although we will not protest against it – but a Navy blue, Forest green, or Chocolate brown will do the trick.

Use a little bit of electricity
We still feel obliged to add two easy semi-electrical tips. Put some rice or wheat in an old sock and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then put it in the corner of the doghouse. It will not stay warm for days, but it will beat the cold for a few hours. Remember the rice sock must be nice and warm, and not too hot. You should be able to hold it in your hand.
Another alternative is when you have a hot water pipe running on an accessible side of the house, to put the doghouse against it. It will be an insulator for the pipe and a great way to heat the doghouse.

Do you have any handy tips and tricks to keep your four-legged friend warm? Don’t be shy. Leave us a comment below.

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