5 tips you need to know to keep your Birmingham pets warm this winter!

I know it took a lot of purr-suasion to get this cat into a Santa costume. Photo via Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Facebook.

The unpredictability of Alabama weather doesn’t just affect you, but all those Birmingham pets we love to to show off. When chilly weather hits, grab an extra sweater for yourself and your four-legged friends.

1. Give your Birmingham pet the royal treatment with a heated bed

A Birmingham pet sits in a cat bed.
Peak pet ownership is buying a bed for your cat before you furnish your own apartment. Photo via Irene for Bham Now.

If it’s not too cold, I usually shut my heat off altogether during the winter and bundle up in sweaters and blankets. Unfortunately I’ve yet to find a brand that makes fuzzy socks for cats, so I bought mine a heated bed.

The beds range from $20—$70, depending on brand and size. You can find them at any relatively large business that sells pet supplies. However, I suggest shopping local through our pet gift guide first. Be warned, you might end up leaving with more than anticipated.


I also advise to read reviews and do a little research, you don’t want the bed to get too hot for Spot.

2. Pump up the protein on Fido’s diet

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Adding more protein and fat to your Birmingham pet’s meal keeps their coat healthy and happy. This is especially true for pets who live primarily outside.

You might think you should decrease your pet’s diet in the winter because they’re getting less exercise. Actually, the opposite is true. However, check with your vet before changing a pet’s diet so you can get the best advice for your personal situation.


3. Don’t forget about your friendly community cats

All those DIY skills you learned during summer camp can now be put to the test making this little guy a shelter. Photo via the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s Facebook.

Whether you have an outdoor cat or just a couple of loiterers around the neighborhood, it’s a good idea to build them a warming shelter.

Here are some tips from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society to consider before going full HGTV:

  • Waterproof: the inside of the shelter needs to be safe from rain or snow.
  • Insulation: think materials like straw, that will hold heat. NOT towels and blankets, because they hold water.
  • Safety: No sharp edges and nothing that the cat can eat or chew that will make them sick.

The Greater Birmingham Humane Society will even accept donated ones if you build it! Check out their suggestion for an innovative method to the DIY shelter.


This DIY project from the Birmingham Humane Society is the equivalent to building a birdhouse for cats. Photo via Greater Birmingham Human Society’s website.

4. Turn your Birmingham pet into a fashion model

Does Louis Vuitton know about these guys? They already have the red bottom shoes, now they just need a modeling contract. Photo via Irene Richardson for Bham Now.

How would you feel leaving the house every day in the winter without shoes? First of all, my outfit wouldn’t be nearly as cute. But also, I’d be miserable.

Not only are those temperatures chilly on your pet’s feet, but often during the winter sidewalks are sprayed with chemicals to keep them from freezing. They can be harmful, and leave you spending Christmas Eve in the vet’s office. (Flashback to the year my dog at an entire pound of baking chocolate.)

If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior such as shivering, lifting their paws off the ground or excessive whining, take them to the vet ASAP. Thankfully, Birmingham has some amazing emergency vets if you find yourself in need.


5. There’s no better shape than doughnut

You’re probably already leaving blankets around the home for your Birmingham pet to curl up in. But, to maximize coziness, curl it into the shape of a doughnut.

This shape builds a wall of heat from all sides—wool blankets works best. However, if your pets are anything like mine they’ll be happy sleeping on a clean pile of clothing.

Keeping animals off the street is the number one way to protect them from those freezing temps, consider fostering one this season!


How do you keep your Birmingham pet warm in the winter? Share it with us on social @bhamnow! (Any pictures of dogs in sweaters are greatly appreciated)