During the next few months of chilly weather, you’ll want to make sure to have a cozy place in your for your pets to rest and relax. Here are eight tips to keep your pets out of the cold (and out of trouble), during the winter season:


#1 Pets don’t care if it’s cute. Keep it functional.

Yes, maybe the fancy tousled couch is adorable, but remember to keep your pet’s comfort in mind when choosing their bed. Make sure that when you buy bedding it’s easily washable or replaceable. Also, keep in mind small pieces and beading can be serious choking hazards and should be avoided.


#2 Make sure the area can be cleaned.

While your pet is permanent, their bedding doesn’t have to be. When you spring for a wintertime den, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of cleaning up accidents or any other pet related messes. Professional help is also sometimes necessary to make sure stains (and smells) don’t hang around longer than they need too.


#3 Keep the temperature in mind.

Plush, fuzzy fabrics might be nice for humans, but your pets may feel differently. If your animal has longer hair or prefers colder climates, a bundle of old comforters might make them too toasty. Also, check your thermostat to make sure your home isn’t too hot–your animals don’t like sweating any more than you do.


#4 Safety first.

When choosing a cozy area for your pet, safety should be a primary concern. Avoid leaving things like cords and small chewable items near your pet’s bed. Also, depending on the size of your furry friend, open windows can be a serious hazard as well. Likewise, make sure your animal’s bedding isn’t blocked off and offers a clear escape route in case of fire.


#5 Pets like privacy.

After a long day tending to their human, your pet likes a little “me time” just like anybody else.  When crafting your animal’s bed, make sure it offers privacy from the rest of the family (especially other pets).


#6 Consider your pet’s personality.

They may not be able to tell you, but your pet has preferences as well. If your fuzzy friend enjoys cozy, snug places, provide one. If they prefer a cooler environment, cut a piece of linoleum to line their bed or remove the excess of blankets and pillows in their space.


#7 Use safe materials.

Whatever you use to design your pet’s living area, it’s likely to get wet, chewed on, scratched and rubbed. Make sure the material is up to the potential damage. If a fabric shreds and can get eaten, it’s not appropriate for a pet area. Likewise, remember that colors can bleed and you don’t want your pets to come into contact with the potentially toxic paint or dye.


#8 Mix it up.

Because your pet’s area is generally small, it’s easy to change seasonally. Snuggly fabrics will make a pet’s bed perfect for winter and more lightweight bedding will keep them cool in the summer. Depending on your pet’s habits, their area can become an eyesore. Adding pillows that match the color of the furniture or a blanket that blends with the living room will take some of the focus away from the mayhem that can occasionally become your pet’s personal hangout.


Written contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor.