Keeping Furry Babies Warm in Winter

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    With the cold weather fast approaching I thought this would be a good thread. Many of our fur babies live outdoors and keeping them warm (depending on where you live) can be a challange.

    We have Rowdy (the 9 yr old Lab) and Willie (the 3 yr old cat) outside.

    If it weren't for the house already being so crowded, and Rowdy not being comfortable being inside for long periods, I would move him inside. He somehow housetrained himself. lol

    So, for Rowdy I've got to get an ad up for chicken wire again on freecycle. Does anyone know if it's expensive in case no one has any they want to get rid of? We need to put it over the top of his kennel so he will stop jumping out.....and it will also support the tarps we use as a roof. Next I go get straw. Rowdy's kennel is positioned on the edge of our huge patio, so it has a concrete tile bottom. Nice because of no mud issues. But downright cold during winter. We used to get ALOT of bales. And while it did much to keep him backfired on us. Straw plus wet weather equals rusted kennels. sister in law had to do some repair work. So this year I'm getting enough to cover the floor and line his doghouse period. No extra. Then Wyntersgrace told me about this great new pet beds that reflect the animals body heat to help keep them warm. So both Rowdy and Willie will be getting one for their dog houses.

    For Willie.....he gets to use the small doghouse on the front porch lined with straw. The front porch protects him from most of the bad weather.

    During below zero temps Rowdy does actually come inside. He stays in his crate that we have for that purpose. Willie also comes inside and we deal with the fact he won't use the litterbox as best we can. (usually by watching for signs he needs to go out)

    So? What do you do for your outside fur babies to help them cope?:cool_dog:
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Typical Aussie. I was going to suggest a pouch, because I thought you meant fur babies as in puppies, or kittens, REALLY suffering from serious exposure acutely. We've made pouches out of old woollen jumpers (as in sweaters, not geriatric kangaroos). For a pouch you just stitch up the neck holes, tie the arms around your waist with the sweater upside down and let the animal climb in the waistband into the bag formed. You can even thread a wire coathanger through the waistband to hold it open. These are great for cats, they love climbing inside these to snuggle.

    Do you have old motheaten jumpers? You could maybe line the kennel with those, they don't have to be pretty. But wool, even when wet, will insulate. Sprinkle it with ti-tree oil to reduce flea problems.

  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My fur babies are all inside...the felines in the laundry room, Cadence Rat in her cage in the living room, and my Buddy pretty much wherever I am...yes, he sleeps in bed with us, under the blanket, with his head on a pillow if he can manage it.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm trying to figure out something for the feral cat living under my shed that I can afford. I've contacted some local rescue groups, but not many interested in feral cats. I'm not sure how feral, though...maybe just scared.

    The thermal bed is inexpensive. It's the shelter to put it in that I can't come up with for less than an arm and a leg.

    Then I'll probably go through all that and he won't get into it. I only see him (I'm assuming it's a him cause his face looks like a Tom's) in blurs as he's running to dive under the shed.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't let my furbabies outside. We keep the house quite cool, so at night I cover the birdcage with polarfleece. It really seems to keep Goldi the Evil warmer and happier.

    When I was a kid we had a lab/irish setter mix named Friday. She was not happy inside for long periods until she was 15 or so (lived to be 17!). My dad and bro made ehr doghouse out of plywood. It had styrofoam scavenged from packages lining the bottom and sides of the doghouse. We did put straw in there, but not a whole lot. Often, the 2 inch thick styrofoam insulated it so well that she would be hot.

    It was not uncommon to see Friday outside her house in the cold weather and squirrels or birds inside the house. On really bitter cold nights there were squirrels who would actually curl up next to her or on her. She never did become the hunting dog my bro thought he could train her to be, LOL!

    I worked at a restaurant that had a dog who lived out back. He at scraps and all the employees ponied up for his dogfood and vet bills. In the summer he had a fan and in the winter his house was under where we stored the flattened boxes for recycling. He had a very large heating pad type thing that is for outdoor use (found it at the farm and home supply store) that we kept on for him. (The Humane Society kept trying to take him away, but since he had regular vet care, food, AND better shelter than some of my co-workers, well, they didn't succeed.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Marg thanks for the Jumper idea. I'll have it filed away in my brain the next time the dogs or Nichole find yet another stray kitten. :)

    Heather......if all else fails a plastic rubbermaid type box will do the trick. Keep the lid sealed on, cut a hole in the side for him to go in and out. Tempt him with enough tuna, chicken, or turkey and he'll eventually come around. I've tamed many a "feral" cat. easy child used the rubbermaid box trick last winter for a stray she was caring for. She was afraid to bring it in cuz it was female and she didn't need a litter of kittens. (her cats never go outside)

    Susie that was a wonderful story about how everyone took care of the restaurant dog. :)

    Willie winds up sharing his dog house with several of the neighborhood strays each winter. He doesn't mind, and it helps them all stay warm. But when I have sister in law build Rowdy's wooden dog house next spring I'm gonna remember that trick with the styrofoam!!! Awesome Idea!! :D And mother in law buys everything by mail so we'll have plenty.