Keep pets warm, too

Sure, your cat or dog was born with a thick, furry coat to help it stay warm all winter, but if you’re cold, your pet probably is, too. A few easy habits will make your precious pet more comfortable—and safe—during the coldest days, indoors and out.

For starters, keep your house comfortably humidified. Your heating system can dry out indoor air, so consider placing a portable humidifier in the rooms where your pet spends the most time. And whenever you bring your dog back inside after a walk, dry it off, from head to toes—and in between the toes.

Keep Fido inside your comfortably heated home as much as possible during the winter and don’t let Fluffy out at all.

Cats love to cozy up to an operating space heater, but the appliance can burn their skin. They also can knock it over, and if it doesn’t shut itself off and you’re in another room, this could create a fire hazard.

If you use space heaters, consider investing in one with panels and vents that are too small for them to poke their paws through. Look for a model with mesh or a grill on front so pet hair can’t get into the heater and damage the device or start a fire.

Ceramic models stay cool to the touch; those are safest for pets, according to MetLife, which sells pet insurance.

Avoid leaving a pet in a room with a space heater unless you’re there, too. Even the best built-in safety features are no substitute for human supervision.

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