How to Keep Your Dog Warm in Winter Weather
Do All Dogs Dislike the Cold?
Specific breeds of dogs are unable to tolerate the harsh cold seen in certain regions of the country, however, some doggos thrive. We put below a list of popular dog breeds that can tolerate cold temperatures, as well as a list of breeds that require extra care throughout the winter. Even if your dog is not on any of these lists, you should keep an eye on him or her over the winter, especially if the weather is extremely cold.
Is the fur on your dog long and shaggy? In cold weather, a dog with a thick coat will fare better than one without. Among the dog breeds that can resist the cold are the following:
- Labrador Retriever
- Siberian Husky
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Saint Bernard
- Alaskan Malamute
Cold weather can affect your dog's health, so it's important to keep an eye on its coat of fur. Here are a few pups that might fall into this category:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Great Dane
- Shih Tzu
- Boston Terrier
How Cold Can a Dog Handle?
Most dogs will begin to experience discomfort when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Especially cold-averse canines may begin to experience discomfort when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't let your dog out for long periods of time when the temperature reaches this level.
How to Keep Your Dog Warm During the Winter
With these five tips, you can easily keep your dog's comfort and safety in mind during the cooler winter months.
1. A warm, comfortable bed is a must.
You can keep your dog warm during the winter by providing him or her with a comfortable bed and a warm blanket. If your dog sleeps in very cold or drafty areas of your home, self-warming mats and microwavable heating pads can help keep your dog's body heat in.
Your dog should be able to get out of its own bed on its own. Consult your veterinarian if you're unsure which type of heated pet bed is best for your pet.
2. Buy a Jacket or Sweater for Your Dog
Some breeds, such as huskies and malamutes, have thicker coats and, as a result, can tolerate colder temperatures better than others. If your dog is one of the following breeds: greyhounds, pinschers, Chihuahuas, or whippets, invest in a doggy jacket or sweater.
To ensure that the collar fits properly, measure your dog's neck, shoulders, and chest. To avoid choking hazards, choose styles with a snug but not too tight fit, as well as those with no annoying zippers or frills.
It's understandable that not every dog will benefit from a sweater or jacket. Alternatively, if they do not want to wear one, limit their time outside.
3. Make Sure There Is Shelter Available
You should always keep an eye on your dog when it's extremely cold outside. If a dog spends too much time outside in the cold, its ears, tail, and paws can become frostbitten.
For your dog's outdoor comfort, a dry, draft-free kennel or shelter is essential. The shelter should be at least 4 inches above the ground if it has a slanted roof. For an extra layer of insulation, add a straw.
4. Inspect and protect your dog's paws.
When the weather is cold, it's a good idea to pay extra attention to your dog's paws. Hazardous objects that could harm your dog's paws may be hidden from view as snow covers the ground.
Inspect your dog's feet for wounds or abrasions, and wipe away any accumulated frost or snow. Long-haired breeds should have the hair between their toes trimmed to keep their paws clean. If your dog allows it, consider giving them booties to protect their paws.
If you notice that your dog's feet are cracking and drying as a result of the cold weather, you should consult with your veterinarian. If you use a human moisturizer on your dog's paws, you may end up doing more harm than good.
5. Take Precautions Against Hypothermia
If a dog is left outside in freezing temperatures for an extended period of time, hypothermia can develop.
Dogs suffering from mild hypothermia become drowsy and unable to stop shivering. As the condition progresses, dogs lose their ability to respond, and their respiration and heart rate begin to fall precipitously. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, take him to a warm place as soon as possible and get him to the vet as soon as possible because he may require intravenous fluids. To keep your dog warm while traveling, wrap hot water bottles in towels.
Additional Winter Safety Tips for Your Dogs
Additional tips for keeping pets warm and safe over the winter are included here:
- Dogs may and should continue to exercise during the cold months. As with humans, dogs' muscles require warming up, so begin with gentle activities for the first five minutes. If the weather is exceptionally cold, consider exercising your dog indoors.
- Both interior and outdoor fireplaces should be avoided. Never leave a burning fire unattended with a pet nearby. Utilize a safety screen to protect your pet from soot, flames, and embers.
- Keep antifreeze out of reach and sight of dogs.
- If your dog gets too close to a heater or knocks it over, he or she may start a fire. Be cautious when using space heaters.
- Because fleas and ticks can survive in colder temperatures, it is critical to treat your dog with a flea and tick preventative all year, including during the winter.
Keeping your dog warm in the winter is simple if you follow these basic instructions. And of our course, our favorite is cuddling your dog. This is an excellent way to stay warm while also strengthening your friendship.