Winter is a disease-prone season for many beings. From a common cold to more severe, fatal diseases, it is difficult for everyone, and dogs are no exception. It is essential to learn about maintaining a cozy atmosphere for your dogs during winters. Especially when you take them outdoors, you should look for ways to keep dogs warm outside.
There have been many instances where dogs fall victim to hyperthermia during winters. These situations arise mostly because the owners are ill-prepared to take their dogs outside.
Hyperthermia in dogs commonly occurs during winter due to prolonged exposure to the cold. Hyperthermia is a medical condition that results in abnormally low body temperature. This can lead to many serious complications that the normal body temperature cannot sustain.
Hence, with winter approaching, every dog-parent should remember a few important things. This prepares them to deal with the cold and helps in keeping dogs warm outside.
How to Keep Dogs Warm Outside?
The general idea among people is to keep the dogs inside until they are old enough to go outdoors. However, add training, washroom breaks, and general playtime in their routine and it may get difficult to keep your dog inside for a long time. Dogs are active animals. If they are not involved in daily physical activities, they may become lazy and develop diseases. Hence, keeping them inside for a whole season is not advisable.
The best way to manage this situation is to learn to deal with the cold. There are dog sweaters, outdoor houses, and other things available to help you keep dogs warm outside.
1. Learn More About the Breed
Your dog’s breed determines their resilience towards the cold weather and how well they will thrive in the winter season. Hence, it is crucial to understand the breed of your dog to learn how suitable the weather is for them.
Some breeds have a thick coat of hair that allows them to survive the extremely cold temperature. Golden Retrievers, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute are some of the breeds who have thicker hair and have better chances to survive the cold. However, dogs like American Foxhound, Australian Cattle Dog, Basenji are some of the breeds who have a thin coat and would likely need your support to sustain the winters.
Identifying and learning more about the breed is crucial to determine if you can leave them outside during cold weather or not. Some dogs, even with a thick coat, are prone to diseases. A quick check on whether they originate from the world’s cold regions may also help you decide whether to keep them outside or bring them inside the house.
2. Using Winter Blankets
A winter blanket is a must-have for your dog! Even if your dog is resistant to cold, it is necessary that you get a winter blanket for him/her.
You may get soft winter blankets, old sacks, hay, or even wool blankets for keeping dogs warm outside. Another alternative is to utilize an old sweater that you no longer use. On different e-commerce websites, you will find a range of winter blankets that provide a different level of heat and warmth during this time of winter.
3. Getting an Elevated Dog Bed
Winter means you cannot step on the ground without chilling your feet. The floor is terribly cold, and it tends to draw heat from whatever is directly above it. Dogs are used to lying on the ground and falling asleep almost at any time. Hence, this may affect their health.
The best way to avoid this is to provide an elevated space for your dog to rest during winters. You can get an elevated dog bed for your pet. You should always consider a dog bed during winter, even when the dogs are inside. It depends on your budget and space to get a dog bed. However, it is recommended that you go for an all-season outdoor elevated dog bed.
If you are looking for a more economical solution, you can easily create a dog bed yourself. You can use a wooden pallet or anything comfortable and layer it with woolen, warm blankets, and old sweaters, and the bed is ready.
The goal is to keep your dog warm. Hence, whatever you choose, whether it is buying a new bed or creating your own, make sure it is comfortable.
4. Dog Sweaters
Ideally, dog sweaters work great if you are taking your pet out for a walk. However, the problem with dog sweaters is that not all dogs love wearing them. Dogs are quick to show their displeasure of wearing a piece of cloth, but it is worth a shot during cold days.
Dogs are quick to adapt to different situations and environments. That does not mean they adjust as well during extreme weather conditions. If such circumstances occur, it is time to buy a dog sweater.
5. Providing Appropriate, Warm Shelter
If your dog is staying outside, make sure you provide them with a comfortable, appropriate shelter. All outdoor covers for a dog should have a sloped roof that is insulating and warm. It should have a rain-protected entryway into the shelter.
This goes without saying, but your puppy is not allowed outside. They are not as self-sufficient as adult dogs. If you still want to put them outdoors, you need to ensure that you have the proper equipment like crate, and plenty of blankets to keep them warm and healthy.
You may easily find dog shelters on Amazon at a very reasonable rate. The best way to choose a dog shelter and decide if you need it is to determine your living space, whether it is comfortable for your breed and suitable for all seasons.
6. Using Extra Heating on Cold Nights
Not all winter nights are the same. A sunny winter day may mean you have less to worry about. However, those biting cold nights will require you to provide extra heating for your dog if they are outside.
You can use additional heating blankets, hot water bags, or a heated dog bed to keep them warm. Mostly, everyone wonders how to keep dogs warm outside. This is not a problem if you plan and ensure the required materials are ready. Whether you are using a dog shelter or a dog bed, you need to make sure that it is warm.
7. Boots for Your Dog
Is it even winter if it is not white outside with snow and salt? While it may look beautiful to the eyes, it is not very comfortable on the feet. To protect your dog from irritating paws and infection, you can get a pair of booties for their feet.
If your dog is trained to wear booties since young, you won’t have any trouble putting them on. However, if they are not tutored, it can be a real task to get these boots on their feet. Most of the time, you will find your dog chewing on them.
If you want to train your dog for wearing the boots, you can gradually put one on each foot for a short while and remove it. Repeat the process daily until they get used to it. Using positive reinforcement to help them practice is a good way to make sure they keep it on for longer.
Grooming is not particularly a part of protecting your pet from winter but is important nonetheless. When you take your dog outside, their feet tend to collect dirt and snow on them. Moreover, if they are not groomed, snow may accidentally accumulate in their feet or any other part of their body and cause issues.
Hence, wiping their feet once you bring them in or grooming their body will make a huge difference in keeping them warm. Even if you are putting the boots on, check if any snow or water has made way inside it.
9. Bringing Your Dog Inside
In winter, nothing beats the warmth of your home- the same goes for your dog. Winters are harsh and it is best to bring your fur-baby inside where you can control the temperature to everyone’s liking.
The more insulation you provide them, the better. Put an extra blanket on the floor. However, ensure that you are not suffocating them. What is uncomfortable for you is uncomfortable for your dog, too.
Even if you are keeping them in a kennel, you may put an extra blanket on top of it to provide more warmth.
Keeping Dogs Warm Outside – Now Solved!
The best way to determine what is good for your dog during this season is to empathize with what your canine friend may feel. If you think you cannot survive the cold outside, then your dog, too, cannot endure it. He/ she may be more resilient than you, but eventually, it is going to harm them, as well.
You would be surprised how many products Amazon has to offer to assist you in keeping your dog warm and safe during winters! We suggest you use them wisely if you are determined to keep your dog outside for long.