Winter is approaching so that means it’s time to find ways to keep your dog warm. Cold weather can be dangerous for any dog's health. It can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and much more. If your dog can’t withstand the harsh weather, it’s best to bring him or her inside. For outdoor dogs, follow tips to keep them warm during the cold winter season without proper indoor training.
There are heat pads that you can purchase from the pet store. These pads are designed to heat up when your dog applies pressure to it. Since the dog's belly has barely any fur, they are susceptible to the cold. Fortunately, the heat pad can provide warmth for them during the winter season.
Keep Them Indoors
For dogs not bred for winter cold, it's best to keep them indoors during harsh weather conditions.
If your dog is going to be sleeping outside, then it’s best to provide a kennel with lots of warm blankets in there. The dog should be given a choice to sleep in the kennel or outside. If they don't require it, that's fine, but if they're cold, they'll likely seek shelter in their kennel. The kennel should be water-resistant to protect from the rain. If the rain gets in, then consider using a vertical plastic strip to keep the water out.
You want to make sure that your dog's bed has enough blankets to keep them warm. The best type of coverage to use is the ones made out of wool because they trap more heat for your canine companion. You can also use old sweaters for your dog if you don’t have any blankets handy.
Keep Your Dog Off the Ground
The ground can take away a lot of heat from your dog, so it’s best to get them off of it during the winter. Ensure your pup has a cozy dog bed to avoid them resting on the chilly, hard floor.
For optimal heat retention, choose a donut-shaped item like a car tire and line it with plenty of blankets. Your dog can crawl up in the center to stay bundled up on all sides.
Dog jackets and coats are adorable. Some dogs love them, while others hate them. It’s best to purchase jackets to cover the entire body, especially the belly. It’s okay to expose the legs, tail, and head. When you put the coat on the dog, see how he or she reacts. If they don’t like it, then take it off immediately. Do not force your dog to wear a jacket or coat.
It’s essential to wrap your dog up with plenty of warm blankets so they won’t be cold at night.
Every dog needs a shelter like a doghouse or a kennel to keep them away from the rain or the cold weather. You can even convert a wine barrel into a doghouse. Make sure to have plenty of blankets and warm materials in there for your dog to allow as much heat to stay in as possible.
Do All Dogs Need to be Kept Warm During the Winter?
It really depends because not all dogs need to be kept warm. For example, Siberian Huskies have a thick double layer coat and are bred to live in the harsh, cold weather. This is mainly because they originate from Alaska, so it only makes sense that this breed is fine sleeping in the snow. With that in mind, you won’t have to provide much for a Siberian Husky during the winter. However, if you own a smaller breed with short fur, then you may need to provide a jacket or a doghouse to keep them warm.
Related: 10 Easy Dog Breeds To Own
Complications of Severe Cold Weather
Extreme cold weather can be very life-threatening for a dog. This is mainly because the cold can slow down their heart rate, which can lead to hypothermia or unconsciousness. Your dog can also obtain frostbite or the flu/cold during the winter season. Severe weather can actually kill the dog if they are not bred or equipped for those harsh conditions.
How Do You Know Your Dog is Not Doing Well in the Winter?
Just like humans, dogs can get sick from the cold, as well. If you see that your dog has a runny nose, is constantly sneezing, or appears to have a fever, then this may indicate that he or she is suffering from the cold weather.
Another thing is that if you look at the paws, ears, or anywhere in their body, and witness frostbite, then it’s too cold for your dog. Another issue is that if your pupster is unconscious or not breathing, the cold weather may have suppressed their respiratory and cardiovascular system. If this is the case, take them to the vet immediately.
What Kind of Jacket Should I Get My Dog?
The best type of jacket or coat to purchase for your dog are the ones that are made of wool and a water-resistant material. You also want to ensure that the coat surrounds the dog's body and covers the belly. The jacket should also have a velcro straps and zippers, so it’s easy to put on or take off your dog. When you put the coat on, you want to make sure that your dog enjoys it and can move freely around in it. If the jacket restricts his or her movement, then that means it might not fit very well.
What Kinds of Underlying Medical Conditions Could Be Dangerous for the Winter Season?
If your dog has arthritis, it's important to keep him or her warm during the winter season. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, which can lead to severe pain and stiffness. The symptoms are exacerbated by cold weather, so keeping your dog warm with a blanket and proper shelter can reduce the symptoms.
Keep in mind that cold weather can cause joint pain and stiffness from constant inflammation that can increase the damage and weaken their joints. This can progress to fractures.
Does My Dog Need Boots?
If your dog is going to be playing in the snow, then it’s best to get him or her some boots. The dog boots will protect their paws from frostbite and abrasions from the snow and ice. The boots should be water-resistant and made of a durable and high-quality material. Keep in mind that before you put the boots on the dog, it’s vital to monitor their paws for any potential injury that you may have missed and to trim off excess fur and long claws to keep it clean. You may also want to look between their toes to make sure that there isn’t any debris, ice, or rocks stuck in between. This can cause injury and infection in the paw pads. Once their paws are thoroughly inspected, you can slip on the boots and let them play outside.
What Dog Breeds Love the Cold?
Here is the list of dog breeds that do very well in the cold weather, and do not require much care during the winter season:
Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, St. Bernard, American Eskimo, Newfoundland, Akita, Norwegian Elkhound, and much more.
Related: 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds
Taking a Bath
During the cold seasons, make sure you bathe your dog indoors. Make sure to use warm water to clean your dog and to dry him or her thoroughly after the washing process. If your dog has extremely long hair that is matted, you can bring them to the groomers to get detangled and properly cleaned.
What Type of Dogs are Susceptible to the Cold?
If you have a small breeds with short legs, and that their belly is close to the ground, then they are susceptible to the cold. The cold ground surface can take the heat away from your dog, leaving him or her shivering during the winter. Their lack of fur can make your dog vulnerable to hypothermia or other complications in the cold. For example, Dachshunds will require a dog coat and blanket to keep them warm during the winter.
We know how much you love your dog, and it’s vital to keep the ones you love safe and sound during the cold season. Fortunately, we have listed all the tips that you can use to keep your dog warm. And make sure you keep an eye on him or her to make sure that they aren’t suffering from any symptoms or signs of hypothermia, frostbite, or other complications from extreme cold weather.
Related: 10 Ways to Help Your Nervous Dog