This is for pet owners who abandon their animals to the elements. Like me.
Okay, basic common sense is to keep your animals healthy and vet-checked and on flea and tick stuff. It will cost you around five thousand dollars to have a dog for its full life, keeping them healthy and flea-free is going to save you a ton more. Also, getting a mutt is a money saver, they don't usually have the issues a pure-bred animal will with joints coming loose, eyeballs falling out (I am serious) and various other things running from gooey eyes and ear infections to a propensity to not be able to digest certain foods.
In the winter, for Pete's sake, have a place for your animals to be out of the cold and let them in your house when it's going to be very cold or especially if it will be snowing or sleeting. You will need a couple of things for them to come inside if they do not have an area year round. Get a cheap plastic table cloth or shower curtain liner, even from Dollar Tree would work. That's your base layer to protect your flooring. Then go through and pull out a couple of old blankets or go to the thrift store and buy a couple-old sleeping bags are a good choice. Then make them a pallet and they will be fine inside!
Outside, use the same system-get a tarp if you can spring for it to keep them more insulated. Then go to your local co-op and buy either a $5 bundle of cedar shavings or a couple small bales of hay and put that on top of the base layer, then cover with the blanket or even an old sheet. They have got to have that dead air space to get them off the ground or they will freeze. Needless to say, this needs to be assembled in a covered area and if you don't have a porch, carport or shed they can get in, make a low tent out of tarps that is closed off on 3 sides, only open to the south and up on high ground-not where water might collect or even run through when it rains. They must stay as dry as possible. On sunny days, go out and hang the blankets to be sure they are dry and not getting moldy. This allows the filler layer to get some air and dry out, too. Replenish the filler at least once during the winter and in the spring, add it to your compost.
This is the cheapest route to take when trying to winter your pets in a fairly mild climate, like the southeast US. Look around your house and ask friends for bedding and towels that they are going to get rid of so that you can have a small stash of extra bedding on hand. For cats, a box with a hole in the top set out of the wind and rain with a few towels lining the bottom and sides is a great option. Put a little cedar in there under the towel and that will help with fleas, too. You don't have to have a Dogloo with heated floors, but your pets will need a little extra help dealing with the colder weather.