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July 10, 2020

How to Keep Your Dog Warm and Comfortable This Winter

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Most dogs are covered in fur, and their fur can vary among different breeds. Some dogs have very thick fur, short fur, or long fur. 

But, no matter what type of fur your dog has, depending on the temperature, he can become too cold. 

Whether your dog spends all of his time indoors or a significant amount of time outdoors also contributes to his temperature. Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to help him during the cold months. 

Today we look at how to keep your dog warm and comfortable this winter.

Tips to Keep Your Outside Dog Warm During the Winter

It is important to understand that not all dogs tolerate the cold well. If your dog is able to tolerate the cold for longer periods of time, there are several things you can do to keep him more comfortable. 

Dog outside winter season

Dogs need a warm shelter that can help retain heat and provide protection from the elements, especially wind and moisture, which will only make your dog colder. Kennels that are made for being placed outdoors should be watertight and keep wind and rain from coming in the front. 

Warm bedding is essential for outdoor dogs. You can use hay, blankets, old clothes. Especially old wool sweaters and pants. This is a great way to recycle as well. Your dog also needs a bed or pallet that will get him off the ground. 

Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm Inside During the Winter

Even if your dog stays inside most of the time, especially at night, they can still become cold. Small dogs and dogs that are thin with thin coats, in particular, can get very cold, even when it feels comfortable inside the house to you. 

Allowing your dog to spend a lot of time physically next to you or on your lap is a great way to help them stay warm because they will draw from your own body heat. Many dogs love to curl up in your lap under a blanket. 

Keep blankets around spaces your dogs like to be in. Usually, this is going to be where you spend time as well. Some dogs like to have their own bed rather than lying on the couch, so having a bed or two is also a great idea. Again, keep a blanket in each bed. 

Tips for Keeping Your Indoor or Outdoor Dog Warm

Keeping up with regular grooming is important. Your dog’s fur is less efficient at retaining heat when it is matted. Therefore, bathe and brush your dog regularly. 

Baths should always be given indoors during cold weather and your dog should be completely dry before going outside. Keep the fur on their paws around their toes trimmed so ice and snow don’t become packed between their toes. 

Ensure your dog has access to plenty of water that is unfrozen. You may even want to purchase a heated dog bowl for outdoor dogs. 

Adorable dog wearing crochet dog sweater

Coats and sweaters can be great for both inside and outside dogs. Be willing to try them more than once. Since dogs aren’t used to wearing clothes, they may not like it at first but may become accustomed to it in time, like wearing a collar. If you would like to try your hand at making your own check out these crochet sweater patterns for your dog.

Dogs can get Sick from the Cold

Dogs can get colds as we do. While we don’t pass them to our dogs, they also can develop similar illnesses, like respiratory infections, often called kennel cough.

Keeping your dog warm and dry is a major component in avoiding these infections. Also, if you have multiple dogs, you will need to separate ill dogs from still well dogs, otherwise, the infection can spread. 

Keep an eye out for symptoms of frostbite. Dogs’ ears and tails are especially susceptible. If they feel cold and hard and the color appears white, red or gray, wrap them in blankets and see your vet immediately. 

Take shorter outdoor walks when it is very cold and spend time indoors playing to keep your dog exercising. In fact, this is another good time to try out dog clothing, such as booties. They will help protect their feet from ice and snow, as well as the cold. 

Make sure to keep all toxic chemicals put away, such as antifreeze. Also, after walking your dog, clean his feet well because treatments often used outdoors for icy surfaces are toxic to dogs. 

Wrapping Up How to Keep Your Dog Warm and Healthy this Winter

While most dogs are covered in fur, they can still get very cold during the winter months, especially if they have thin or short fur. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your dog warm and comfortable this winter. From heated dog beds to handmade sweaters and blankets, it’s up to us to keep our dogs comfortable when the temps drop outside!

Aiden Taylor

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