Keeping Dogs Warm and Safe in the Cold

As pet owners, we are responsible for maintaining our pet’s health. Part of that is ensuring that they are safe and warm during the cold season. Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares tips on how you can accomplish this.

Dogs like the winter season just as much as their owners do. In the same way, however, they are also affected by the cold when they are outside frolicing in the snow. In addition, not all dogs are used to the cold and have sufficient fur for protection. As such, it is important to think about their well-being when the cold season starts. Here are some ways you can protect your dog from the cold.

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Keep Them Indoors
Technically, the best solution to a cold draft is to keep your dogs inside the home. In order to keep them from bustling with energy, take them out for exercise and walks, but never leave them outside, especially when the temperature drops.

Food and Water
Keeping oneself warm takes a lot of energy. With that, dogs are expected to need more food and water for such occassions. The water should be checked regularly as it can freeze over time, leaving the pet thirsty and unable to help themselves.

Outdoor Care
If you feel that you must leave them outdoors, there are certain requirements needed in order for them to brave the cold. Ideally, the ceiling of their outdoor shelter should be 2 to 3 inches taller than the dog’s sitting height. Likewise, it is advised to have an interior that is 36 square inches for every 1 inch of dog height. It would also do to have the entrance off-center. This way, the dog can curl up in one corner, far away from the opening.
If there is another building on the property, such as a garage or shed, that would make a better place to house the shelter rather than the bare ground.

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Keep Them Indoors
Technically, the best solution to a cold draft is to keep your dogs inside the home. In order to keep them from bustling with energy, take them out for exercise and walks, but never leave them outside, especially when the temperature drops.

Food and Water
Keeping oneself warm takes a lot of energy. With that, dogs are expected to need more food and water for such occassions. The water should be checked regularly as it can freeze over time, leaving the pet thirsty and unable to help themselves.

Outdoor Care
If you feel that you must leave them outdoors, there are certain requirements needed in order for them to brave the cold. Ideally, the ceiling of their outdoor shelter should be 2 to 3 inches taller than the dog’s sitting height. Likewise, it is advised to have an interior that is 36 square inches for every 1 inch of dog height. It would also do to have the entrance off-center. This way, the dog can curl up in one corner, far away from the opening.
If there is another building on the property, such as a garage or shed, that would make a better place to house the shelter rather than the bare ground.

Protect Vital Body Parts
When walking them around the neighborhood or even when indoors, dogs can still feel the cold, especially if they are not accustomed to it. There are a ton pet aids you can use to downplay the cold they are enduring. Here are some of them:
Foot wax – Dogs paws are always in contact with the ground. During winter, it becomes all the more important to protect these. Foot wax or paw wax is a great way to keep their paws soft and pain free. This is especially helpful when the dog is always mobile, such as during walks. On the other hand, pet safe salt should be spread across the driveway if the dog is simply at home.
• Coats/sweaters – Dog coats and sweaters are really nifty to have. During regular days, you can use them to accessorize your dog when taking them out for walks. For the cold season, these make great buffers between them and the extreme cold.

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There are numerous ways to tell if a dog is suffering from hypothermia. The biggest telltale sign is that their temperature gets really low and they start shivering. Also, their pupils start dilating and their breathing visibly slows down. When this happens, be sure you are there to warm your dog up right away. If you need to be away, be sure you leave them blankets and towels so that they can help themselves.

Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is matched with his passion for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can visit his Google+ or Twitter accounts.


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