Winter is quickly approaching which means temperatures are dropping, rain and snow are falling, and you’re bundling up to stay warm. You may know what to do to keep yourself comfortable, but it is important to remember that your pets can feel the change in the weather as well. There are a few ways that we can protect our dogs from the chilly winter conditions and keep them safe, dry and warm.
- Outdoor dogs will of course be most affected by the winter. Keep them inside as often as possible, especially during rain or snowfall. If you can’t leave them in the house, they should have a sturdy outdoor shelter with walls to protect them from wind, a lifted floor to keep them off the cold ground and a roof to protect them from the rain.
- Be sure to leave your dog with a full coat for the winter and avoid trimming their fur for a few months. This allows them to better generate and insulate their body heat.
- Your pet may need more food during the winter as they will be using extra energy to stay warm. Be sure to watch for changes in eating habits and adjust food portions if necessary. Water bowls that are left outside should also be watched as they can freeze.
- You can always look into clothing or sweaters for your pets to help insulate their body heat, but make sure they are comfortable and it isn’t restricting to their movement.
- Play with them and give them plenty of exercise to keep them active and moving. Attention is important as pets can be prone to “winter blues.”
- Watch for cues of discomfort, such as changes in behavior and energy level. Make sure to have several veterinarian visits over the season to ensure that they are remaining healthy.
If you feel cold, your pet is probably feeling it too, so you can use your own comfort as a gauge for the needs of your dog. Keep in mind that your dog will enjoy curling up near the fireplace with the family as much as you will!
Kathryn Ek is a writer for Pocketchange, a shopping blog from Become.com where you can find more information about smart shopping for your dog. Check out Become.com this season to shop for all of your pet needs.