Many dog parents understand how risky it is when your lovely pooch is overheated. But how about the cold weather? Is there any danger to the dog’s health if he is outside in winter? How to keep dogs warm in winter?
I have usually heard such questions, and also have a time witnessing a dog suffering hyperthermia due to his parents’ bad preparation. This urges me to write this article to equip you with the basic yet necessary knowledge and practical ways on how to keep dogs warm outside, especially in icy weather.
When is it too cold for dogs?
Like humans, different dogs can tolerate cold conditions at different temperatures. There are various factors that affect how well a dog can stand the cold, including breed, health and nutrition status, acclimation, age, coat feature, etc.
It is evident that northern dog breeds such as Siberian Husky, Alaska, etc. can withstand cold weather better than almost any other species. This is because they have thick fluffy coats.
Basically, it takes from one week to one or two months for a healthy dog, of any breeds, to acclimate to cold and extremely cold weather. This includes physiological elements of different pooch breeds. You should remember that wet and wind are also critical when it comes to extremes in temperature.
How to tell if your dog is cold?
When taking your bud outside in chilling weather, it is vital to keep a close eye on his movement and behavior. Some of the most common signs are shivering, doesn’t move out of the cold area, or refuses to follow directions. In case your canine is in his kennel, notice his position to see if he curls up or whether he wants to go out of his shelter.
3 easy ways to keep dogs warm in the winter
Keeping dogs warm in winter is not as difficult as you think. There are various methods to deal with this problem. But here are the 3 most easy yet effective ways I want to recommend to you.
Get your dog a winter blanket
Having a heated blanket is always a good idea to protect him from freezing conditions. Even if your dog is full of fluff, it is still necessary to get him a winter blanket. Especially, if you adopt an abused dog, a warm blanket will make him feel cozier, emotionally and physically.
You can buy your pooch a new soft blanket. But wool ones will provide higher levels of warmth. For those who want to save money, your old sweater or old sack is still okay. Just make sure your pup has a cover during the cold winter months.
Use booties and doggy sweaters
If you own a short-haired pup and he spends most of his time indoors, you will need to get him booties and a sweater or coat when taking him outside during chilling days. This is probably the best way to keep dogs warm outside, even though many pooches hate wearing booties.
Thick coat pooches, born in or acclimated to the cold, might not need an extra sweater. Especially when he spends lots of time outdoors romping in the snow, a coat can lead to overheating.
Besides, boots are great protection against sharp pieces of ice. You can get your puppy accustomed to wearing doggie boots. These can protect your canine’s pads from risky ice-melting products. These chemicals can irritate or even burn their pads. You don’t want your little pup getting hurt, right?
Not only the dog’s pads, but its nose, tail, and other extremities also need to be cared for. During cold weather, your dog is prone to frostbite. You will need to observe how he behaves in such situations. If your pooch can’t move away from the cold surface, that’s a sign his body is hypothermia and the extremities are getting chilliness.
If you don’t know how to deal with such situations, calling your veterinarian before taking your canine outside on chilling days is always a good idea.
Provide a house or shelter if your dog is outside
If a blanket is useful for inside dogs, a house will be a perfect place to keep your pooch stay heated and dry during cold weather. Make an insulated doghouse for him. But make sure you raise it up at least a few inches from the ground. This will keep the shelter always dry from melting snow.
Also, don’t forget to equip the house with a door flap to prevent draughts. Another thing to remember is to keep your dog’s bedding dry. You can put more straw or hay, which will provide additional insulation and he can also burrow down.
More than anything, your dog is your companion, your family member. So, don’t leave him outside in cold weather for long periods. You can put yourself in your pooch’s situation and think if you were him, can you withstand such chilling conditions.
If you have any better ways to keep dogs warm in winter, kindly drop your suggestions in the comment box. That way, other dog parents can consult your recommendations to protect their precious puppy.