Know your breed
As a dog owner you should always research your breed to see how well they cope with the cold. Some breeds, like huskies, will have no problem taking on the colder weather, while others are better suited to stay indoors when it’s chilly.
Check your dog’s health
Before winter really sets in, you should make sure that your dog is healthy enough to take on the cold days ahead. This is especially necessary if your dog is a puppy, very old, or has a medical condition.
If your dog is tough as steel and doesn’t have a problem staying outside during winter, you should still check if their kennel is insulated against cold winds and will keep him dry when it rains.
Bring them indoors
If a particular day in winter is especially rainy and wet, let your outside dog move indoors for a while. This is especially necessary for shorthaired dogs, as they lose heat faster than long hair or thick coat varieties.
Dogs who spend majority of their time indoors, might find the cold quite a shock when venturing outside. Keep an eye on them and take them back inside when they start to shiver. At all TAH vetshops we have awesome doggy jerseys for that little extra protection from the cold.
More good food
As with humans, your dog’s body will use more energy during the cold months to keep him warm. So if your dog lives outside during winter or spends a lot of time outdoors in the cold, he will need a little extra in his bowl. Feeding them about 10% more should do the trick. Dogs who live inside the home will not need to be fed more, as they have no need for the extra energy.
When the cold sets in, dogs love to snuggle up close to the heater or the fireplace. You should ensure that yours has a protective grid to keep them from burning themselves. Please also make sure that they stay a safe distance from the fireplace/heater to prevent overheating.
During winter it is best to keep your dog’s fur as thick as possible to help their bodies retain more heat. This means you should not be trimming, shaving or cutting your dogs fur, even if they will be spending winter indoors. This, however, does not mean you have to stop grooming them. If they need a bath, do it indoors with warm water and ensure they are completely dry before going outside.
Remember the shelter dogs
Winter months are especially tough on shelter dogs, because they have no family to look after them. Show them some warmth this winter by donating any old blankets or towels to your nearest TAH branch, and we will pass them on to our charities.