Even animals need protection from the cold weather during the winter months. If you’re opting to keep your dog outdoors during the winter, it will take a bit of extra work on your behalf to ensure that they are properly safe, nourished, and warm.
There are some dogs and circumstances that require the recommendation of a veterinarian before you decide to leave them outside. Certain dogs adapt well to cold weather such as huskies, but other dogs such as older dogs, puppies, or greyhounds should really be left indoors for their protection.
Below are some tips on how to care for your dog during the winter months.
You are going to need to make sure that your dog is provided with adequate shelter to protect them from the cold and wetness. When a dog is cold or wet, their body temperatures drop causing their internal organs to shut down. Therefore you need to make sure that the doghouse you purchase is insulated.
If your dog is going to sleep outside as well you want to make sure that they have a warm doggy bed to sleep on. When a dog is left to sleep on concrete, the cold surface will draw heat from the dog’s body and begin to chill the joints. It is not enough to give your dog an old blanket. Instead, you might consider purchasing some straw as this is known to keep dogs warm. However, keep in mind that straw must be replaced periodically when it’s wet or dirty.
If you are really interested in keeping your dog warm, you can also check your local pet store to find out if they have electric pet bed warmers or doggy clothing that you can wrap your dog in to keep some of his body heat in. Be sure however, if you’re going to use electric appliances that they are double insulated with a low voltage. You also want to make sure that the cords are chew resistant to avoid electric shock to the dog.
Before the cold weather starts, it is good to have your dog checked out by your vet. Also be sure to ask them about winter nutrition as this matters when your pet is mainly outdoors. It may be suggested that you increase the amount of times per day that they eat as a way to conserve their energy. This is especially true for puppies and older dogs. It is also important to give your dog room temperature meals. Again, you want to keep their body heat in as much as possible and cold meals during the winter will not help with this.
Last but not least it will be important that your dog is getting fresh water every day. As temperatures begin to freeze and water bowls ice over your dog could become dehydrated without you’re recognizing it. There are water bowl de-icers available that you can purchase for your pet if changing the water is too frequent for your schedule. They are heaters that can be dropped into the water bowl to keep it from freezing.
Taking care of your dog this winter season is very important. On days when the weather drops to extremely low degrees it might be best to let your pet come in and get warm. . Be sure that you start prepping well before the cold weather breaks so that you can get everything they will need to stay safe.