How to Protect Your Dog from the Cold

Most people assume dogs are immune to the cold because of their fur, but it is not always true. Some dog breeds have fur that is better suited for warmer weather. Therefore, if your breed is not accustomed to the cold, it can be difficult for them to enjoy the winter weather. If you live in the cold and have a dog that is not fond of temperatures hitting below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure to protect them by following our helpful tips.

A Dog Showing his Paw

Buy Protection for your Dog’s Feet 

Many companies sell dog boots or wax to keep your pet’s feet away from the chilling cold. Depending on where your dog is walking, your fur friend may stumble over cold water or frozen ground. Dog’s can also be susceptible to hypothermia or cracked paws, so it is wise to invest in something to keep their paws in perfect shape. Despite Scientists in Japan discovering that dog’s paws can withstand colder temperatures than humans, it does not mean that they are suited to live in the cold for long periods.

Keep a Coat on Your Pet 

When you leave the house, you usually put on boots, a coat, a hat, and gloves. Well, now, your awesome pet can also be part of the routine. If your dog is a short-haired breed, they will need some protection from the cold.

Some examples of pets that need coats include:

  • Dalmations
  • Cane Corsos
  • Rottweilers
  • Whippets
  • Bulldogs

If your breed is full of fur, they will not have such a great need for a winter coat. 

Dog Sleeping Inside a House

Keep Your Dog Inside 

Even if your dog is a breed accustomed to the cold like a mop Bergamasco, most domesticated breeds have grown to be indoor house pets. A dog that has not spend most of their time living in outdoors in the freezing cold will not be acclimated to rough winter weather. 

Do not leave your dog outside for long periods of time in extreme weather. As an owner, it is your responsibility to check on your dog to make sure they are not shaking or showing any symptoms of hypothermia. Along with this, dogs suffering from other illnesses are less tolerant of the cold. If your dog has a heart condition or diabetes, it is acceptable to go on a short walk but do not push it. Contact your veterinarian for more winter safety tips if you think your dog has special requirements for cold weather. 

Clean Your Dog

As most owners know, dog fur can pick up a lot of debris. It does not help if your puppy enjoys rolling around on the ground, leaving mud and dirt wherever they go.

In the winter, it’s especially critical to wipe down your pup with a warm towel. As the snow and ice congregate in driveways and roads, many people count on ice melters to eliminate dangerous slippery spots. These ice melters may contain toxic chemicals that are perilous if ingested by pets. 

If you or your neighbor use ice melters, look for non-toxic pet-safe brands to make sure your pet is not bringing in too many harmful chemicals into your house. However, veterinarians still concur that even pet-safe ice melters are still not completely safe. All ice melters can cause diarrhea and vomiting and further problems for your dog’s skin.

Get Your Pet a Microchip

My Pet's Chip Logo

When the winter weather comes blasting into your neighborhood, it can often leave dogs feeling unaware of their surroundings. A 2012 survey correlated to the “The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals” discovered that owners believed that 40% of their dogs were depressed during the winter season. Some dogs despise the winter, so they are less friendly. If your dog is looking to get away from the cold, they may be more likely to run off, searching for warm shelter.

Microchips are vital during this time as a dog will be more likely to partake in abnormal behaviors relating to their walking and exercise habits. According to a telephone survey in 2005, 48% of lost dogs had some kind of identification device. Any kind of identification tag increased the likelihood of a dog being found. Therefore, having a microchip and identification collar will increase your dog’s safety during the winter months in case they get lost during a snowstorm. Keep this safety tip in mind if you and your dog are fanatic trail-hikers during extreme weather. 

A Dog Enjoying the Snow and Running

Enjoy the Snow

This winter enjoy spending time in the snow with your best friend. Despite winter not being everyone’s favorite time of the year, it is sure to bring great memories of making snow angels with your furry friend. Stay safe this year during the cold!