As summer comes to an end and the colder months approach, we should definitely be thinking about how we can keep our furry friends as comfortable and warm as possible. We know that some dog breeds handle colder weather better than others, but as the temperature goes down, so does your dog’s tolerance for the cold. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog warm, comfortable, and safe.
1. Give your dog a warm, comfortable place to sleep
This one may seem obvious, but providing your dog with a fluffy bed and a thick blanket will give them plenty of warmth during the colder months. If your dog tends to sleep in a chillier area of the house, consider investing in a self-warming pet mat, which will maintain your dog’s body heat. You could also get a mat with a removable microwavable heating pad.
2. Keep an eye on your pup’s paws
During the colder months, it’s possible that your dog’s paws could become frostbitten, or simply just too cold for comfort. Additionally, mud from rain or snow itself can disguise/hide dangerous objects that could harm paws. Besides checking your dog’s paws regularly after being outside, consider investing in a pair of dog booties that are great for protecting their feet. And for long haired dogs, you can maintain their paws by tripping excess hair from in between their toes.
Cold weather can also cause your dog’s paw pads to dry up. To prevent this, talk to your veterinarian about a dog-safe moisturizer. But remember, never use human moisturizer because that could harm their paws rather than help them.
3. Remember to maintain exercise
Exercising your dog during the colder months is vital! But remember to keep the exercise gentle for the first five minutes. Dogs need to warm up before a workout just like we do! If the weather is particularly cold, there are plenty of ways to exercise your dog inside. This can be done by running down hallways, playing fetch (safely), tug of war, or even creating a fun obstacle course!
4. Avoid skin irritation
It’s safe to say that we as humans have experienced dry/cracked skin during the colder months, and we all can attest to how uncomfortable that feels. The same thing happens to our pups! Low humidity and at home heating systems can often dry out your dog’s skin and coat. The solution to this? Add in some Omega 3s to your dog’s diet. In contrast to how humans apply lotions or balms to stay moisturized, dogs hydrate from the inside. Adding Omega 3 oils to their diet will keep their whole body hydrated.
5. Invest in a dog sweater or jacket
Of course, some breeds with lush coats can cope with colder seasons better than breeds with little to no hair can. If they allow it, it’s a good idea to throw our (less) furry friends in a doggie coat or jacket for when you’re outdoors together. To ensure a proper fit, look for designs that are snug, but never too tight. Also, remember to avoid zippers or embellishments that can act as a choking hazard. If your dog does not tolerate a coat or jacket, limit their time outside in the cold/follow the rest of the tips above!