How to keep your dog warm in winter
- Wooly jumpers
Wooly jumpers and raincoats are great wear for both indoor and outdoor. Use soft knitted jumpers for inside that will not cut or chaff your dog.
When going walking outside you can invest in a thicker coat that is also waterproof. If your dogs are not use to wearing winter protection you will have to train them. Start by using a soft wooly jumper for indoors and only putting it on your dog for a few seconds. The next day you can leave it on for a few seconds longer. Continue in this fashion until it does not bother your dog to wear warm winters clothing.
- Don’t cut their hair too short
If you are use to getting your dog’s hair cut, don’t cut it too short during the coldest months of the year. The hair acts as an insulation and so if the hair is cut too short your dog has no protection and is not able to help regulate their own heat.
- Groom regularly
As we said above, a dog’s hair acts as insulation. This is only true though if the hair is not matted or full of knots. Make sure that you take your dog to the groomers at least every 6-8 weeks and brush in between yourself.
- Adequate housing
If your dog is an outdoor dog, make sure the box that they sleep in has a secure, waterproof roof. Test the sides for leakage and if wind can blow through little holes and patches. It might be a good idea to insulate their sleeping quarter. You can also put their box under a shelter such as a roof or inside a shed.
- Indoor heating
Having an infrared lamp available is a great help. Make sure that your dog is able to move away from it if they are too warm and that it does not hang so low that they can get burned by it.
As their bodies burn more energy in trying to keep warm, you can provide a handful or so extra food over the coldest months. If you feed soft food, you can heat it up slightly to break the cold.
You can provide an extra layer of bedding for your dog to snuggle up into. A warm water bottle wrapped in a blanket in the bottom of their bed is also a handy idea.
- Keep them indoors
If it is at all possible, keep them indoors especially at night. You wouldn’t like to spend a cold night outside so why should they?
- Car safety issues
We all know it is not okay to leave your pet in the car during the summer. But it is not okay during winter either. Cars can become freezers in winter.
- Make sure your dog always has fresh water and check that the bowl does not froze over and make it impossible for your dog to drink water.