Elderly pets are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of the cold, as are fine haired dog breeds like whippets, Weimararians, small dogs like chiuhahas, Italian Greyhounds and mini pinschers. All should ideally be largely indoors or at very least have a kennel, lined with warm bedding such as regularly changed straw, inside a shed and out of drafts and prevailing winds if kept outside, or spending time outside during the day. All will benefit from a warm, waterproof coat for walks on cold days.
Cats always gravitate to heat, even in all but the warmest weather. Many can be found lounging in front of, or even on heaters.They too should be housed indoors and out of drafts at night.
Guinea pigs are also particularly vulnerable to the effects of the cold and may even die of exposure if not given ample warm bedding. My friend Melissa houses her guinea pigs inside during the depths of winter in cages that line her sitting room and are easily kept clean, lined with straw.
All your pets, except reptiles, will eat more during winter, as many kilojoules are burned keeping their bodies warm. This especially applies to outdoor animals, like horses.
Make sure birds are kept well out of drafts and their cage is covered up at night with warm, breathable fabric.
Chickens benefit from a warm morning mash in winter. Mine enjoy a mix of pollard, bran, rolled oats, powdered milk and a seaweed supplement, made into a kind of porridge by adding hot water. A friend adds corn to a similar mix to mine. Our chickens adore their breakfast mash and begin laying as soon as days begin to lengthen shortly after the winter solstice.
Wild birds will enjoy household scraps like stale bread, rice ond offcuts of meat scattered on your lawn during the day. Do not leave such scraps out close to dark or you may encouage mice or rats!
One of the best ways of keeping warm with your dog or cat is to simply cuddle up in front of the television and enjoy each others body heat!