You might be thinking… but, my dog has so much fur! He can’t be cold! Well, the truth is, your dog’s fur doesn’t protect against cold anymore than our pants and long sleeved shirts. Believe it or not, even if you dog has a thick, heavy coat, he still might get cold (especially if he’s living here in New England!). Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, just as much as we are! Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your dog stays warm this winter.
Be Smart When Going Outside
Of course your dog has to go outside to go to the bathroom and get daily exercise. But when the weather get’s too cold, exposed areas like ears, nose, and paws might get too cold and make it uncomfortable for your dog to be outside too long. If you’re on a walk, and you’re cold, chances are your dog is cold too! Shorten walks if necessary, and never leave your dog outside for long periods of time.
Yes! Dogs need coats too, especially smaller dogs. Adding an extra layer of protection helps prevent body heat from escaping. This is essential for longer walks or hikes. Always make sure to dry the coat or sweater between walks, so you’re not sending your dog outside with damp outerwear!
Wipe Down and Check
Always make sure to wipe down exposed areas after a walk, especially in between the paws. Make sure to clear any ice or salt that might be stuck in there, and check for scratching and bleeding, as the cold, ice, and salt can make your pups paws more susceptible to cracks and cuts. To help prevent this, if possible, find a walking route that is on dirt or grass. Cement is often cold to the touch, and covered in salt if there was a recent snowfall.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone In The Car
Just like you don’t want to leave your dog in the car when it’s too hot, you don’t want to leave him in the car when it’s too cold! If you’ve ever left a water bottle in your car when it’s cold outside, you know that it doesn’t take long for it to freeze. And the colder it is, the more your dog’s body has to work to regulate his internal temperature. Without the ability to run around, this simple act could result in hypothermia. Remember, if it isn’t suitable for you, it isn’t suitable for your dog.
Invest in a Dog Bed
Ever lie on the ground in your house? It’s pretty cold! Especially in the winter. Heat travels up, and most four-legged friends live pretty close to the ground. Invest in a dog pillow or bed, to help create a warm layer between the ground and their body, especially at night when temperatures naturally drop.
What will you do this winter to keep your dog warm? Leave any other tips or advice in the comments below!