\\\ Winter Dog Care
\\\ updated winter 2022
Winter Pet Care
“My dog was visibly shivering whilst out walking. I didn’t know I should walk him less.”
Keeping Pets Warm In Winter Time
Winter suddenly arrives and sees humans turning up the thermostat and putting on extra layers. Pets need extra care and particularly smaller shorthaired dogs who can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia when out walking.
Taking Shorter Winter Dog Walks Are Important
It’s better to walk your dog less when the weather is really cold to prevent pets from getting very cold which can lead to hypothermia. Dog extremities suffer the most, their ears, nose, and paws when out in cold temperatures where walking on cold ice can be a numbing experience.
If you’re walking once a day, then mid-morning to lunchtime is the best time when the temperature has almost reached the maximum for the day and the limited light is at its best.
With less activity outside, its important back at home to spend more engagement with your pet to keep them active, keeping them alert to compensate for less walking and introducing some new toys can help them from getting bored.
Dog Padded Coats For Many Breeds Are An Essential Piece Of Winter Kit
Most dogs can wear dog jackets or jumpers during colder weather, with the exception of dogs suited to winter climates such as St Bernard and the Alaskan malamutes who do not need any coat for additional warmth.
Dog jackets or coats, as they are referred to, are generally made from robust machine washable fabrics, can be padded or fleece-lined, and are brilliant for helping to retain some body heat for your pet whilst out dog-walking.
Dog coats can get some serious use, help to prevent your dog from getting extremely muddy and wet, and beneficial when it snows helping to prevent ice from attaching to their long-hair leading to frostbite and hypothermia. There are many designs to choose including waterproof full-body styles.
When ordering a dog coat for the first time, make sure you order the right size for your breed by measuring their back so the coat fits the whole length and snuggly, but not tightly secured with quality fittings.
Some jackets are made with additional reflective trims which are ideal for darker weather walking helping your dog be seen by motorists whilst out walking on paths and country roads, along with you wearing reflective clothing and carrying or wearing torches.
Experience teaches you to always have at least two coats available during winter allowing one to be worn whilst the other may need washing and drying.
Sometimes it can be tricky ordering online until you find the pet brand you prefer so do ensure you buy from companies with good return policies and promptly refund.
s your Dog jackets and coats and ensure you can return and exchange if it’s wrong!
Good Dog Sweaters Can Be Sized And Need To Fit Comfortably
Knitted dog sweaters are ideal for your dog to wear on cold days around the home, particularly if they are small, young, and short-haired dogs, who tend to suffer the most feeling the cold and to let them wear them all night keeping them warmer when the automatic heating thermostat turns itself off.
Similar to coats, they can be sized and need to be comfortable for your pet to wear. Pick washable and durable fabrics and those well made so that chewers are not tempted to damage when bored.
Knitted scarfs aren’t really a solution as dogs can incidentally wrap themselves up and choke.
Sometimes you can see your dog visibly shivering and and blankets are ideal to pop over your dog on cold days to keep them tucked in and snug. There’s plenty to choose from, again made from robust machine washable fabrics in soft fleece fabrics.
Siting your dog bed away from a door and nearer to central heating radiators will help, particularly at night and it may be necessary to keep the thermometer up in the room your pet sleeps in at night when outside temperatures are really low.
If you’re considering buying a new dog bed then beds with sides are a great way to help keep draughts out and look for beds that are slightly raised off the ground, avoiding your pet sleeping on a cold floor.
Beds with removable covers are a must for those dirty muddy walk days when your pet returns home and immediately jumps into their bed! The inner cushion of the bed should also be removable as the covers. This will mean you can easily wash them. The mattress also wears out quicker than the actual bed frame (unless your dog is a chewer) and some firms offer replacement inner mattresses which can help keep bedding costs down, by replacing only the inner mattress from time to time.
Don’t throw the old mattress away as these are useful to keep for using as a spare on the days when you are washing the main mattress. Not all beds have removable mattresses particularly the cheaper-priced beds which can end up as a false economy.
New! Dog Snuggle Beds
Let your dog snuggle under their own blanket in their own bed and not yours! These are deep-filled mattresses with a faux pocket where your puppy or dog can burrow their way into it, for those who like snoozing under blankets.
Increasing your dog’s food during very colder months is a good idea to help them increase body fat to keep them warm – but this needs to be decreased as soon as the weather changes to compensate for any overfeeding. You can always check the weight of your dog at the free weigh-ins that most good veterinary practices operate, particularly if your dog is large and you cannot pick your dog up to pop on the scales at home.
Why not try new premium dog foods for free giving your dog new tastes and introduction to other quality pet brands
Providing your dog with typical winter vegetables, such as broccoli stalks, or carrots to chew on, will keep them busy and their weight in check too when they are bored at home.
Dogs do not suffer from colds. Any signs of a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing contact the vet as your pet may be suffering from kennel cough.
Duvets For Dogs
Old duvets are perfect to re-purpose for your dog. If you have an old duvet then keep it stored for wintertime, for your dog’s use, who will love curling up in it. Duvet passed it’s pre-loved donated condition? Read our blog recycling damaged duvets.
Blankets are also ideal to pop over your dog when they are travelling in the car, or better still leave your pet at home if the journey isn’t essential for them to accompany you. Don’t leave your dog in the car, parked either, as they become very cold quickly when not in use.
Images are from the classic tartan check range including blanket and dog bed available from Barbour.
If your dog is shivering and you cannot get your pet warm, they are whimpering and slow in movement, cont.act the vet immediately as they may be suffering from mild hypothermia.
Buoyancy Dog Jackets
These are similar to dog jackets but useful when dogs are walking near water and enjoying a swim. If it’s stormy rough seas, most dog owners will walk their pets on promenades, jackets can still be worn then, they can double up as a dog jacket.
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