How to Keep Your Pet Warm in Cold Weather

Sure, when you think about San Diego cold weather is probably the furthest thing from your mind. It’s all about the beach, the sun, and great food, but sometimes it does actually get cold here! So cold, in fact, that as a pet parent, you might worry about keeping your furry friend warm. It’s always concerning as a pet owner seeing your dog shivering after a walk or seeing your cat curl up so much that you can barely see their limbs. Fortunately, there are ways to make sure your feline or canine companion is warm and cozy in the winter months or unseasonably cold weather.

Keep Your Pet Inside (as much as possible)

Both cats and dogs are safest and healthiest when they live indoors. They’re also warmer indoors. When it’s really cold, your dog should only be going outside for walks. If you normally keep your dog outside when you’re not home, consider bringing them inside the house. This might mean having to dog-proof your home or crating your dog. Similarly with cats, try to keep them inside as well. If a cat is a predominantly outdoor cat, make sure they have a warm, dry, draft-free shelter to sleep in when it’s cold or rainy. It’s a good idea to have a little house they can climb into with blankets or towels that is also completely covered by an overhang or awning.

Give Your Pet Plenty of Food and Water

Pets need water to stay hydrated and food to stay properly nourished no matter what time of year, but this is especially important in the colder months because your pet exerts more energy in order to stay warm. They might even need to eat more than normal, so don’t be alarmed if they appear to want more food.


You and your pet can both benefit from cuddling when it’s cold. Shared body heat can keep you both warm, and cuddling is fun after all! If your pet isn’t crazy about snuggling up, you can at least invite them up onto the couch or bed with you by putting their bed or favorite blanket near you.

Take Your Dog’s Fur Into Consideration

If you have a dog with very short hair (or even a cat!) he or she might need a sweater for added warmth. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a dog with thick, long hair most likely won’t need a sweater, but it’s important not to shave them. If their hair seems thicker than normal it’s because their body knows they need the extra warmth, so leave them be! Your dog is fine to take a bath, just make sure he or she is completely dry so they don’t get even colder.

Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car

There’s hardly ever a good reason for leaving your pet in the car. People are usually most concerned about this in the summer when internal car temperatures can be 100 or more degrees hotter than it is outside, but there should also be cause for concern in the winter months, too. When it’s really cold, especially in the evening or at night, your car can be even colder than it is outside. This is extremely unpleasant and dangerous for your pet if they’re inside.

While we don’t experience extremely cold temperatures here in San Diego often, they are a reality. We hope these tips will come in handy the next time you find yourself grabbing for an extra jacket and worrying about your pet. As licensed and bonded pet care experts, we know how it important it is to keep your pet safe and healthy. You can rely on us for all your pet-sitting and dog walking needs, regardless of whatever kind of weather we’re experiencing! Contact us to learn more.

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