Essential Guide on How to Keep Dogs Warm in Winter

How to Keep Dogs Warm in Winter

As the temperature begins to drop and winter approaches, there are a few things you can do as dog parents to prepare your dog for winter.

Below are some guide on how to keep dogs warm in winter

During the winter months, humans feel cold and so do dogs. Here are some tips to keep your dogs warm, safe and healthy throughout the winter.

1) Stay Indoors

Humans need time to acclimate to the winter temperature and so do dogs. Staying indoor to let your pet acclimate to the temperature is good. However, going outside from time to time will let your dog’s body adjust to the change in weather. While staying indoor, it is best to keep your dog busy with some new toys and interactive games. This’ll be a great way to get both mental and physical exercise.

2) Be Careful When Outside During Cold Weather

Humans suffer from frostbite and so do dogs especially on their earflaps and tail lips. The advice is if the weather is really extreme, it is best to keep your lovely dogs inside. If you still need to go outside, watch out for signs of frostbite especially skin that appears white or blue.

Although every dogs have their own coat, keep in mind that small, short-coated, thin, elderly or very young dogs get cold more quickly. So make sure they have adequate warm clothing (sweaters / winter coat) before journeying outside; limit the amount of time they stay outside to keep the dogs safe. Some large dogs like Greyhound also need warm clothing when venturing outside.

Hypothermia and frostbite pose major risks to dogs in winter, so remember, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog!

3) Age and Size Does Matter

Like humans, very young and very old dogs will have difficulty adjusting their bod temperature to the climate. Mostly like they’ll have more extreme reactions to the change in weather. For this group of dogs, it is best to keep them indoors most of the time.

4) Protect the paws & feet

During the cold winter, when venturing outside, it is advisable to protect your dog’s paws with dog boots to keep them warm and protect it from extreme weather.

If you have long-haired dogs, it is best to keep their hair well-trimmed to prevent the forming of ice balls between pads and toes. Trim the hair to be even with the surface of the foot. Caution! During the winter month, do not trim the hair to the skin. Just trim the basic to prevent the long hair from touching the ground.  

If you are living in areas that are often coated with deicing substances i.e. rock salt and calcium chloride, do note that these substances can damage paw pads. After walking your dog outside, it is best to wash/wipe your dog’s feet as soon as you come in from the cold. Make sure you use warm water to wash the feet and ensure spots between the toes and pads are clean thoroughly; also remember to check for signs of injury, such as cracked or bleeding paws.

5) Invest in a heating pad

Invest in a heating pad for dogs to keep your dogs warm. Besides keeping your dog warm, this pad can be used to keep your dog warm when they are sick.

Hypothermia and frostbite pose major risks to dogs in winter, so remember, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog!

6. Keep them close to you / Be Spotted!

During the winter season, the snowfall can disguise recognizable scents that would normally help dogs find their way home. Because of this, dogs can become lost if they are not leashed or went their own ways without the dog parent.

Also keeping your dog leashed help to check their activity and prevent them from venturing into dangerous places i.e. frozen thin ice lakes or ponds. Remember, if the ice breaks and your dog falls into the icy cold water, it may die.  

If you are walking your dogs in winter, chances are it may be dark. Hence it is advisable to let your dog be spotted easily by wearing reflective collar, use reflective leash and even wearing reflective clothes.

7. Car Safety

If you are taking you dog out in a car, do not leave them in the car unattended. The cold weather can pose serious danger to the dogs if they are left along in the car.

8. Keep the food coming

During winter, your dog burns extra energy to stay warm and this will cause them to become hungry more quickly compared to normal. So don’t be stingy on the food and water. Keep them coming in order to keep your dog well-hydrated and her skin moisture.

9. Only bath when it is necessarily

For some reasons, if you need to bath your dog in winter, make sure to do it quickly with warm water and dry them quickly with a blower after the shower.

So there you are, the essential guide on how to keep dogs warm in winter  and hopefully this has been a useful article.