How To Keep Your Dogs Warm In Cold Weather
“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”– Orhan Pamuk
Just like with humans, dogs can suffer from the cold weather if no precautionary measures are made.
Your dog’s hair serves as insulation and how it handles the cold weather depends on its hair type. A dog with a long, thick coat can deal with freezing temperature better than those with short coats. However, if the temperature gets too low, even dogs with high tolerance to cold will start feeling uncomfortable because no amount of fur can keep them safe from tough weather conditions. To prevent this from happening, here are 15 tips to keep your dogs warm in cold weather:
If it’s freezing for you, they’re feeling the same too
If the cold is too much for you then it’s too cold for your pet as well. Just stay at home and keep yourselves warm.
Take frequent short walks instead
Consider taking your pet on frequent short walks daily instead of taking long walks once a day. This can lessen the health risks that are associated with the cold weather.
Keep him on a leash
When you take him out for walks, keep him on a leash to prevent him from running away and getting lost or running into snow-covered hazards.
Wash their feet well and dry them thoroughly after walks
Chemicals and salt used when gritting pavements and roads can irritate your pet’s paw pads. Always wash their paws and dry them thoroughly after every walk.
Avoid antifreeze poisoning
Leaking antifreeze from the radiator or spills from spraying a frozen window poses a major hazard. Dogs, for some reason, like antifreeze and when they see it, they lick it. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, seizures, and death. So clean up any spills and keep antifreeze containers away from your pet’s reach.
Learn about your dog’s breed
Some dog breeds like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Tibetan Terriers, and St. Bernards can spend more time outside in cold weather. While Shih Tzus. Chihuahuas, Great Danes, and Boxers are not able to tolerate being out in the cold as much. Know your dog’s tolerance to cold.
Make your dog wear a sweater and booties
Having fur doesn’t make your canine companion more resistant to cold than you. Consider putting a warm sweater and booties on your pet before going out for a walk on a cold day.
Don’t go to frozen ponds or lakes
Stay away from ponds or lakes that have frozen over. The frozen water might not be able to support you and your dog. Falling through ice can be deadly to your dog.
Watch out for slippery surfaces
Older dogs, especially those with mobility issues are very much at risk of slipping, falling, and injuring themselves when stepping on slippery surfaces. Make sure that the road or pavement they are walking on is not slippery.
Give him plenty of food
Generating more energy to keep them warm requires more calories. Give your dog plenty of food to help him cope with the cold.
Make sure there’s enough drinking water
Dogs can get dehydrated even in winter. This is because the humidity is lower, so dogs tend to drink more water. Make sure that your dog has enough drinking water to avoid dehydration. You should also prevent his water bowl from freezing over.
Don’t leave him outside for long periods of time
No dog should spend a long time outside when the temperature is too low. Trips outside should be limited to bathroom breaks and short walks only.
Make him sleep inside
Never let your dog sleep on your porch or patio when it’s freezing outside. Let him sleep inside so he can stay warm.
Add extra bedding
To keep your dog as comfortable and warm as possible, add extra blankets or quilts on his bed.
Be on the lookout for warning signs
Watch out for signs that your dog is suffering from the cold such as lethargy, loss of appetite, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, shivering, congested nose, whining, shivering, and anxiety.
It’s very important to keep your pets warm and comfy when temperatures drop too low or they could be at risk of getting hypothermia or frostbite. If your dog shows any sign of either of these, contact your vet immediately.