Keeping Your Dog Warm This Winter – Options for Your Pup’s Comfort
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When cold or inclement weather settles in, you probably start to prepare for your dog’s warmth and comfort. Nobody knows their dog as well as a responsible and loving dog owner, but let’s face it- some animals have their own idea about what is best for them even if you know otherwise. Everything from short haired dogs that prefer to be outside even in the cold, to the furry beasts who frolic in the rain, the results eventually an uncomfortable animal until the situation is remedied by their owner.
No matter if you have a finicky pup who prefers the extra attention, a dog who gets themselves into cold messes, or even the best-behaved pet in the world, you do worry about their creature comforts- especially when the temperatures begin to drop. This article explores a few ways you can address their warmth to help keep you comfortable in the knowledge that they have the protection they need.
It’s not always viable to keep your dog enclosed all day while you are at work, and if you have space most likely allow your pet to have the room to run and explore even when you are not at home. Even if your dog prefers to curl up in a crate or on your bed all day, you still face the basic needs they have when heading into colder, wet weather. A few things you should consider about your animal’s comfort is their breed and their age when approaching your plans to provide care.
There are many breeds with thick coats and are bred to handle severe changes in the weather. Others may have thinner coats, not designed to be much protection against the cold (even if they think it is). Larger dogs can handle cooler temperatures much better than smaller breeds as well. Younger animals are also stronger and more active, often keeping their body temperature warmer through movement. Older pets generally do not move as much, and just like people can feel the elements much more actually as they age-especially if they have any
You should always pay attention to the weather when your dog is outside, but there is no need to keep them locked up indoors if you provide proper protection and warmth. The following tips provide a quick guide to ways you can create some easy comfort solutions.
- Provide a Heated Area to Outdoor Dogs
Providing a heated, protected area for your dog to warmup in is not necessarily a difficult task. Dog houses can be equipped with simple heaters and lamps ONLY when secured properly and used in a non-hazardous manner. You also can provide a heated mat to the floor of your dog house, or, if your dog has access to a shed or building, keep it at a warmer temp with a garage heater– of which many different designs and options exist.
- Layer Doghouse Floors and Insulate
Dog houses are easy to insulate with newspaper, foam, or housing insulation, and you can easily layer the floor with straw, cedar and pine shaving, and old blankets or dog beds. Plus, by doing so you provide a more comfortable area to lay in.
- Consider a Dog Coat or Sweater
If your dog is small, has a thin coat, is elderly, or otherwise groomed or not well acclimated to colder weather, you may want to consider a coat for them. Just like a coat serves us to retain our body heat and insulate us from the cold, so does a dog coat. Don’t skip your daily walk just because it’s cold out, simply provide the extra layer your pup needs to stay comfy.
- Protect Their Feet
Some dogs have an abundance of fur on their feet, and even though this may serve to keep them warm, also can collect snow which can melt into painful ice balls. Trim the hair on the tops of their feet, paying particular care to remove it from between their toes. If you plan on walking outside in icy conditions or for any length of time, you may also want to provide a foot covering to avoid frostbite.
- Have a Heated Water Bucket
Keep a heated water bucket full and available at all times. Winter can be extremely dehydrating for humans and animals alike, and a heated bucket ensures that your dog isn’t drinking chilled water, which can lower their body temperature.
Even though these are just a few basic tips, they address the overall comfort of your animal through cold, seasonal changes. Remember, many animals will begin to feel the chill once the temperature begins to drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit- at which point ensuring they have a place to warmup in should become a priority.