Brrrr. Keep the cold at bay with these handy tips.
Dogs are more similar to us than we sometimes realise. Where winter's concerned, they hate the cold just as much as we do!
While winter in New Zealand is gladly coming to an end, we are still feeling some chill! If your dogs shivering, it’s a sign that they’re not warm enough.
Here are some winter pet tips for keeping your furry friend warm and snug during the colder months.
1. Get them inside
First things first, make a bed for your pooch inside. When the cold sets in and the wind starts blowing, your dog wants nothing more than to be warm and safe inside with you.
If you usually keep your dogs outside, make an exception during winter and set up a space for them in the house.
2. Use an insulated kennel
If you do have to keep them outside during winter, carefully prepare their sleeping area against the cold and wet.
Ensure the shelter is insulated and protected from the rain – wet and damp bedding can be a serious danger to your dog’s health.
Once they’ve settled down for the night, you can place a thick blanket on top of them. If it’s particularly cold, consider providing a heated mat, electric blanket or hot water bottle.
3. Invest in some warm blankets
Wherever your dogs sleeping, they’ll need some thick blankets to ward off the cold. Provide enough blankets to keep your dog warm during the night – wool is a particularly good insulator.
Contact with the ground makes a huge difference to warmth. Use a dog bed or pallet to get them off the ground, and make the bed with different layers of bedding to provide insulation on all sides.
4. Take shorter walks
If the weather is extremely cold, take your pooch on shorter walks than you would during warmer months.
A shorter walk can still provide enough exercise and entertainment, without causing you and your dog to become too cold.
If inside, you can still exercise your dog by playing indoor games such as fetch or tug-of-war.
5. Groom wisely
During the cold months, you should avoid trimming or cutting your dog’s hair, as his coat is an important source of warmth in winter.
Consistent grooming is good for maintaining health and preventing dander problems.
6. Know your breed
The breed and health of a dog will determine how well-equipped they are for the cold and what you have to do to keep your dog warm.
Some dog breeds, such as Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, are adapted to the cold. Smaller dogs get cold faster than bigger dogs. Likewise, dogs with long hair are better insulated against the cold than those without.
Pay attention to your dogs existing ailments: old, arthritic dogs are particularly susceptible to the chill. You can talk to your vet about treatment options and ways to keep your arthritic dog fit and warm through winter.
7. Put your pooch in a dog coat
Some dogs love them, others hate them. Either way, once they realise how much warmer they are outside when wearing one, most dogs will accept their use.
Dog coats are particularly beneficial for small, short-haired dogs and old or sick dogs.
There are plenty of ways you can keep your dog warm and cozy this winter. Follow these easy tips to create an environment your dog will feel safe and snug in, no matter how cold it gets!