With the winter months coming up, it’s important for the whole family to stay safe and warm – and that includes your pets! Ollie Trainer Ari Pomo, CPDT-KA PSRI shares 10 easy ways to keep your pups warm this winter. So cozy up and get ready to stay warm with your best friend as it gets cooler outside.
Different breeds have different tolerance for cold weather. Smaller dogs and those with shorter coats tend to have less tolerance for cold weather. Breeds like Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, Newfoundlands, and some other breeds have double coats and were bred to thrive in chilly weather. It’s important that you understand how your particular pet feels about cold weather. You can also factor in their age – puppies and older dogs may have a lower tolerance for winter weather. The same goes with a pup that’s battling an illness, injury, or recovering from surgery.
When temperatures drop, you’ll want to keep your pup indoors with some short breaks for fresh air and to use the bathroom. In extreme temperatures, you may need to teach very small dogs to use pee pads. You can use the extra time indoors to bond, work on tricks and play with toys. If you need to keep your pup stimulated, puzzle toys and long-lasting chews can help.
Ari says, “Investing in some decent cold weather gear for your pet is a great way to make sure they’re comfortable when they do have to go outside.” She recommends that you look for something that covers your dog’s belly and chest and is made of a material that will block the wind and keep them dry. A good set of booties is also a great idea to protect their paws from the cold and salt (which can cause irritation and burns).
Similar to the way that we like to curl up with a good book and a warm blanket when it’s chilly outside, our pets love to nest too. Create a cozy space for your pup inside with a soft bed, some blankets, and a few of their favorite toys. This will become their special spot to relax and stay warm all winter long. For extra comfy coziness, consider a Snoozer Cozy Cave or Animals Matter’s ultra-luxe Daisy Puff Companion-Pedic Luxury Bed.
Another way to help your pet stay warm is by raising their bed off the ground. This is especially important for dogs that suffer from arthritis or other joint problems. If the bed is especially high, consider a ramp or pet-safe steps to help them climb in safely and protect their joints.
While we might associate dehydration with the warmer months, cool dry air can also make pups feel parched. Even in the winter, pups need plenty of fresh water and high-quality food to stay healthy.
While these may help raise the temperature, they can also cause fires or burn your pup if they get too close. This is why they are not the best choice for keeping your pet warm and cozy in the winter months. If you need to use them, don’t leave your pup unattended.
You can insulate your pup’s crate by lining it with a thick blanket and draping a towel or sheet over the top for some added protection from the elements. If your dog is outdoors, consider bedding down their shelter with some straw or hay for additional insulation.
Just because it’s too cold outside for prolonged outdoor activities doesn’t mean your pet has to become a couch potato. Keeping them active will actually help them stay warm by increasing their circulation. Go for short walks or play some indoor games to keep them moving and their blood flowing.
This advice isn’t just for the summertime, as should be fairly obvious, but we’re including it in this list anyway. You should never leave your pet in the car during winter, even for just a few minutes. Cars can quickly become extremely cold, and if it’s chilly outside, your car’s interior won’t be that much warmer, especially for your pet!
Like people, dogs have their own temperature preferences, so make sure to take your own pups into consideration. How do you and your pet like to stay warm and cozy in the cooler months? Tell us in the comments, share a photo, and tag us on Instagram.
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