Winter is particularly hard on pets because some types of breeds are not accustomed to the freezing temperatures. If you’re a pet owner and you’re concerned about the safety and well-being of your dog when temperature drops to near-freezing, keeping these useful tips in mind will help your dog stay warm and secure all winter long:
Understanding Your Dog’s Tolerance to Cold
Some types of dogs aren’t as affected to the cold as others. For instance, Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, chow chow, and other dog breeds with super dense fur can survive the harshest of winter. On the other hand, Dobermans, greyhounds, and dogs with shorter coats will need more care and attention during the colder season.
Do Not Leave Your Dog Out
This is a no-brainer. To keep your dogs as warm as possible, you don’t want to let them out in the middle of winter, especially for extended periods of time. Puppies must never be left outdoors at all. The chilly air coupled by snow could make your pet’s body temps nosedive to an unhealthy level. Always be attentive of your dog’s body temperature during colder seasons and try to limit the time he spends outdoors.
If you provided an outdoor shelter for your dog (assuming that the dog’s breed has adapted well to the cold), make sure the shelter is well insulated and offers ample protection from the snow and seeping cold. For rainy winters, make sure the dog shelter don’t have leaks or won’t be flooded in. Finally, during harsh winters, if you don’t want to let your dog into your home, take him to a barn instead. A barn is a lot more secure and warmer than any dog shelter.
Keep the House Warm
To keep your home toasty and cozy, keep your home dry; cover places with drafts. Dogs love hanging out on the floor so make sure your floor isn’t freezing. Tile floods get especially cold during the winter season and if you have no carpeting, rugs are very useful to protect your pet from too much cold. You can also add floor pads and blankets for added warmth.
You can also create an insulated crate to keep your dog warm. Just cut plywood or strand board to form a crate and leave room for the thick blankets for insulation. Add a bowl of water and a separate bowl for his food and your dog is ready for winter.
For old, arthritic dog, we recommend buying a heated dog bed so your pet remains comfortable even in the colder season.
Grooming Your Pet
Do not trim your pet’s coat right before and during winter season. A dog’s coat is his primary defense from the cold. If you take that away, then your dog will have a hard time retaining body heat. Just limit the grooming to brushing your dog’s coat everyday so it remains tangle-free. Matted coats do not retain body heat well. Finally, do not give your dog a bath frequently. If you give your dog a bath, do it indoors, use warm water and dry him completely off so the cold won’t penetrate his body.