Keeping your pet comfortable during the winter months

Dog during winter

Everyone knows that when its cold we put on more clothes, wear gloves, put the fire on and other measures to keep warm. We care for all our family members and make sure we are all warm if going outside. But not everyone thinks about their pets.

A general thought process is that ‘oh they have fur that keeps them warm’. Well no not necessarily. Inside animals will certainly be more susceptible to the weather, so if going outside should be dressed accordingly. Some outside animals are more acclimatised to the elements and can handle more extreme weather however there is a point when its too much. But what is that point?

Well some studies show that when the outside temperature feel reaches below 7°c than that is when your animals start feeling uncomfortable. Personally this is when i put my dogs coat on if the night temperature is forcast to reach this. If the temperature is due to drop even further, eccspecially below 5°c I bring my dog inside.

Bringing animals inside is not always an option. So if your animals have to be outside than you can do things to make sure they are protected, like the following:

Dog during winter
  • Dressing your animal. Obviously your dog isn’t going to keep a scarf on 🤣 but you can buy your animals a coat or jumper to put on when outside. I personally like the weatherbetta coats that are waterproof. So if your dog is like mine and decides sitting in the rain is a great idea than at least they stay dry.
  • Maintain grooming. A lot of owners think that just because its winter its best to leave their fur to grow to keep warmer. Well this is not the case. Your dog will actually hold onto their body temperature better if their coats are kept healthy and well groomed
  • Provide adequate shelter and bedding to protect your animal from the wind and rain. Just like us, animals appreciate a warm blanket or bed to lay on and an enclosed area like a kennel or stable with a roof to be comfortable and safe.

Walking your dog in the cold weather

Its really important to continue to exercise your dog even during the colder months, but extra precautions need to be taken to protect them. Eccspecially your dogs paws. Here are some tips to help you do just that…

  • Trim the hair between your dogs toes. When its icy or even snowy its important to keep this hair short. If ice or snow builds up it will become uncomfortable or even painful for your dog to walk.
  • Wipe clean and moisturise your dogs paws on your return home. This can help stop your dogs padd from cracking when they become dry and this cam be extremely painful.
  • Walk only on paths not through the snow or icy grass. You want to avoid as much as you can the possibility for your dog to lay down in the snow or icy grass. A dogs stomach has very little fur and they can become very cold very fast. This can lead to hypothermia very quickly and with not much warning.
  • As above keep them warm with coats, jumpers and even little booties made eccspecially for dogs.
  • Monitor your dog for signs that they are too cold…
    1. They are shivering to try and keep themselves warm
    2. Ice is forming in their fur. This means their body is struggling to maintain their body temperature enough to melt anything on them.

Stay safe, stay warm and stay healthy this winter!