But wild animals don't have that luxuryâ€”they have to tough it out in the cold. That made Weird Animal Question of the Week wonder: â€œWhat are some cool ways animals stay safe and warm in winter?â€ (See some incredible pictures of winter wildlife.)
Some species pile on the layers, like the Arctic musk ox, whose soft undercoatâ€”called qiviutâ€”insulates them from -50 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Polar bears have an extra layer of fat to keep toasty.
Others grow thicker fur in the fall, like white-tailed deer, and some even grow lighter coats to blend into the snow, Sharon Chester, author of The Arctic Guide, Wildlife of the Far North, says via email.
North American mammals such as the Arctic fox, least weasel, Arctic hare, and ermine have this adaptation, Chester says. (Related: "Before and After: See Animals Change Their Coats for Winter.")
The camo works if snow is consistent, Chester says, but it's tougher if snow arrives late and melts earlyâ€”which is happening more due to global climate change. A 2016 study reported snowshoe hares in Montana that were mismatched to their environment experienced a 7 percent decrease in survival rate.
Wood frogs, which range from the southeastern U.S. to the Arctic Circle, "hunker down in some leaf litter and freeze solid" into a "frogcicle," says Greg Pauly, curator of herpetology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
When the weather warms again, the amphibians thaw out, no worse for the wear, he says.
That's because wood frogs are freeze tolerant, which means they can survive ice forming in portions of their bodies, thanks to chemicals such as glucose and urea that protect their cells from damage. (Related: "How Arctic Frogs Survive Being Frozen Alive.")
Other species, including some lizards, turtles, insects, and even at least one mammal can do this.
The Arctic ground squirrel, or siksik, can drop its body temperature below freezing while it's hibernating. This is likely due to another process called supercooling, in which the body temperature can go below the freezing point without forming ice.
Another cold-weather toughie is Alaska's red flat bark beetle, which, under lab conditions, can survive cooling down to -238 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flamingos may symbolize the steamy tropics, but three South American speciesâ€”the Chilean, Andean, and James's flamingoâ€”make their homes in freezing mountain lakes, says Paul Rose, a doctoral student at the U.K.'s University of Exeter.