Tips for dogs during the winter

Tips for dogs in the winter

The sun starts to hide earlier, wind blows strong and temperatures descend. Winter season has arrived! You might be more of a summer person or a winter person. Maybe you prefer spending time outside enjoying warm weather or maybe you are someone who loves the cosy heat of the fireplace. The same can happen to your dog! There are dogs which are very active and prefer outside activities, and those which just can’t get up from the couch.

Either way, when winter arrives, it’s important to take all the precautionary and protective measurements to take care of your dog and make sure that it stays safe and healthy during this time of the year.


It’s all about the fur!

As you know, there are dogs with different types of furs and hair. Those which have more prominent, thick hair, such as Huskies, Old English Sheepdogs or Shetland Sheepdogs, are safe with extra protection to keep warm and heated during times of cold temperatures. On the other hand, those dogs which have thin or shorter hair, as can be the cases of Pugs, hounds or Whippets, might need some extra protection to maintain their body temperatures.

For short-haired dogs, a good solution for winter times is to provide them with a sweater or coat that will keep them warm and cosy. Take into account that a good, functional coat or sweater should cover the dog from its neck to at least the base of the tail.

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Don’t spend that much time outside

As soon as the cold temperatures arrive, remember that it’s not necessary to keep the dog outside for so much time. Of course, it’s still very important to go out for walks, but it’s fine if the walks are a bit shorter than they would be in times of warmer temperatures.

The best way for your dog to be fully protected from the winter is to keep them in warm environments. That’s why reducing the time of being outside when cold arrives is one of the best ways to make sure that your dog will be safe.

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Always ensure proper hydration

It’s quite common to associate the need of hydration and water with summer and hot temperatures, but this is a mistake! A good and sufficient hydration is essential for the health of your dog (and yours!) both in summer as in winter. In this sense, remember to make sure that your dog still drinks enough liquids and always has its drinking plate full of clean, fresh water.


Keep an eye on the paws

The dog’s paws are a part of their body that can be especially sensitive to the harshness of cold temperatures during winter. As our human skin also can suffer more from cracks and scratches, the dog’s paws are also very prompt to develop cracked pads.

A good advice if you notice that your dog is not comfortable walking outside during winter times is to use dog booties to protect their paws. You can also use a moisturizer for their paws and be sure to clean and keep an eye on its pads after you return from walks and strolls.


Shave less!

As we have mentioned, the fur and hair are very important to protect your dog from the winter and keep it warm and safe. That’s why it’s a good idea not to shave your dog so much when the cold temperatures arrive. This way, you can make sure that the hair is long enough to protect it from the cold.

If the hair grows too long or tangles too much, you can just trim it a bit to keep it tidy. But don’t shave him completely during winter! Longer hair will guarantee an extra layer of protection during winter times.


The age matters

Just as with humans, the age of your dog does definitely make a difference when it comes to how much the cold weather can affect it or be dangerous for its well-being. In this sense, dogs that are older in age and small, newborn puppies are the ones which are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme temperatures in their bodies.

That’s why, if you have an older dog or a new puppy, the piece of advice is the same: be particularly careful when cold temperatures arrive and try to keep them inside as much as possible.


Beds with extra warmth

Have you ever heard about heated dog beds? If not, we can tell you all about them! Heated beds for dogs can be a great option for those furry friends which are more prompt to be negatively affected by cold temperatures. As we have mentioned before, these are the dogs with short fur, the older dogs and the puppies or younger dogs.

A heated bed is a great way to make sure that your dog will spend the cold winter nights feeling comfortable and warm. There are some options which even come with auto-shutoff functionalities! Another option can be a heated pad, which is also very useful to keep your dog warm during the night.


Be careful with antifreeze

Antifreeze can be very toxic for dogs and it’s very dangerous for them to swallow. Therefore it’s important that you are aware of this and pay attention to possible signs that your dog might have swallowed it. The symptoms might include vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy and drooling.


In what ways can you know if your dog is feeling cold?

The motto is very simple: if you are feeling cold, your dog is feeling cold too. Knowing this can help you have an overall idea of when your dog might need to be a little warmer. It can also be a way of knowing when it’s time to go back from the outside walk. Moreover, if you have a balcony, yard or garden, try to avoid your dog from spending too much time there: the same way that you’d probably prefer to stay warm inside your house, your dog might prefer that too!