Does your dog shiver when you go outside for just a minute or does it like to frolic in the snow? During the winter season, many dogs feel the cold as much as their owners do, especially when they are not used to the cold. However, other dogs have been bred to deal with the cold better than any human ever could. In order to keep your specific dog warm through the winter months it is important to think about their breed and their health, while also remembering that it's worth your time to make sure your pup stays nice and warm all winter.
1.Groom your dog well. Avoid trimming, shaving or cutting your dog's hair because a dog's full weight coat is his source of warmth during winter. It is important to maintain a good grooming regime, combing out knots and brushing the coat thoroughly, through winter too, as matted hair is less efficient at keeping out the snow and cold rain, and does not insulate the dog as well.Consistent grooming can alleviate dander problems in dogs living through dry winters, should this be a problem for your dog.
2. Bathe your dog indoors. Make sure your dog is completely dried before letting him or her outside. Give fewer baths during cold snaps, or consider skipping baths altogether. Remember, in cold weather it takes the dog longer to dry off. This will help you to keep them away from severe cold problems.
- If important, give shorter baths with warm water and dry your dog as quickly as possible. Never bathe a dog in cold water, as this will chill him or her, and the low atmospheric temperature will give him or her little chance to warm up.
3. Keep the hair around paw pads well trimmed. This will help prevent ice and snow balling up between footpads. After walks outside, check paw pads for cracks, cuts, and any foreign debris. Where practical, keep his or her pads in good condition by applying a little vaseline or E45 to condition them, but beware of sticky paw prints over the house though!
- If your dog won't wear dog booties, be sure to clean off the salt and snow removal chemicals after every walk; the chemicals can be toxic and the salt will become an irritant.
4.Avoid overfeeding your dog. It is important for your dog to eat regularly and well during colder months, in order to keep up energy and warmth. However, an indoor dog does not need increased food amounts over the winter. Doing so can risk creating an overweight dog.
- More food for a dog is only justifiable for dogs living outdoors all of the time and for dogs who are especially active during the winter months. Talk to your vet about your dog's particular energy needs.
- Be sure that your dog has constant access to clean, unfrozen water, indoors and outdoors. Heated bowls can be purchased for use outside.