How Can I Keep My Dog Warm This Winter?
As the winter chill sets in, it's not just humans who feel the cold – our furry friends do, too! The season brings with it its own set of challenges for our beloved pets. Frosty winds, icy pavement, and the dry indoor heat can cause discomfort and potential health issues for your canine companion.
But fear not, pet parents! With some simple precautions and a little extra care, we can ensure your dogs stay warm, comfy, and healthy during winter. This All American Pet Resorts guide provides essential tips to keep your four-legged family member safe and snug during the frosty months.
1. Limit Outdoor Time During Colder Weather
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite when exposed to extreme cold for too long. Limit their outdoor time, especially during the coldest parts of the day, which usually fall between late evening and early morning.
And, of course, there will be times when your dog needs to go outside, like for potty breaks and exercise. In such cases, make sure to keep an eye on them and bring them back indoors as soon as they start showing signs of discomfort – and continue exploring our tips below to keep them warm and safe while outside.
2. Invest in Winter Clothing for Your Dog
While you may be one of the dog owners who does not enjoy the fashion phenomena of dressing up your pet, winter clothes can be a practical way to keep your dog warm. Small dogs, short-haired breeds, and puppies may especially benefit from an added layer of warmth during their outdoor adventures.
Something as simple as a dog sweater or coat can make a significant difference in keeping your dog's body temperature regulated and protecting them from the cold. Just choose clothes that fit comfortably and do not restrict their movement.
3. Protect Their Paws
When you do have to go outside, whether there's snow on the ground or not, your dog's paws can be vulnerable to injury from the icy pavement. Consider investing in dog boots that will protect their paws from freezing temperatures and sharp objects on the ground.
If boots are not an option, make sure to wipe down their paws when they come back indoors to remove any ice or de-icing chemicals that may have accumulated. You can also use a pet-safe moisturizer to keep their paw pads from becoming dry and cracked.
4. Keep Your Pup Hydrated
Hydration is crucial, even in winter. Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water, and prevent it from eating snow, which might contain harmful chemicals or hidden objects. Not only is a hydrated pup a healthy one, but the extra water will ensure they can regulate their body temperature better before and after walks.
5. Keep Them Active (Even Indoors)
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog warm during winter is to stay active. Regular exercise helps regulate their body temperature and keeps them healthy and happy. However, be mindful of the weather conditions – if it's too cold or stormy outside, opt for indoor activities like indoor fetch or hide-and-seek instead.
6. Double Check Your Car
Leaving your dog in a cold car can be just as dangerous as leaving them outside. If your pet accompanies you on car rides, make sure to check the temperature inside. Also, never leave them alone in the vehicle – even with the windows open, down, or in between, it can quickly become too cold for them to handle.
7. Give Them a Warm Sleeping Spot
While your dog may love snuggling up with you on a cold night, they also need a warm and comfortable spot to sleep. Make sure their bed is away from drafts, off the floor, and has plenty of soft blankets for them to curl up in.
8. Understand the Dangers of Winter
It's essential to know the signs of hypothermia in dogs, as immediate action is necessary if it occurs. Some common symptoms include shivering, lethargy, weakness, a decreased heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, bring them inside immediately and wrap them in warm blankets. Contact your veterinarian for further guidance and treatment if needed.
9. Keep the Heat on While You're Away
If you have to leave your dog at home during the day, make sure to keep the heat on and set it to a comfortable temperature. This will prevent them from getting too cold and potentially developing health issues.
You can also consider investing in a smart thermostat that allows you to control the temperature remotely. That way, you can turn up the heat before leaving work or running errands, ensuring your dog stays warm and cozy until you return.
Worry Less This Winter with All American Pet Resorts
At All American Pet Resorts, we pride ourselves on being a warm and welcoming haven for your furry friends, rain or shine, winter, or summer. Whether you're out running errands for the day or leaving your beloved pet for the holidays, you can rest easy knowing they're in safe, caring hands.
Find your local All American Pet Resort to learn more about our services and how we can keep your dog happy and healthy this winter season!