How to Protect a Dog from Cold Weather
It is very important for dog owners to know how to protect a dog from cold weather. Dogs notice falling temperatures a lot as their body is altered: cold weather triggers changes to the internal balance of the animal and its metabolism. There are dogs that adapt better and faster to the cold whilst others struggle more. This is especially true of puppies and young dogs, as well as those that are very old. To help avoid them shivering through the winter there are things that dog owners can do to smooth over the change in temperature. At OneHowTo we offer you advice so you know how to protect a dog from cold weather and help it adapt well to winter.
If your dog sleeps outside the first thing you should do to help it combat the cold is verify that it has a covered place to sleep such as a kennel and that there is a cushion or a blanket to avoid the dog sleeping or resting in contact with wood or cold plastic. If its body temperature is altered when sleeping it will quickly catch a cold.
Also, if the dog house can be under a roof this will be much better as it will protect it from wind and rain, which can be as annoying as the cold. If you see that the cold is extreme it is best that you let the dog sleep indoors.
Check the water bowl to ensure the winter temperatures have not frozen it over. Frozen water will mean the dog can not drink and this could affect its health and cause dehydration, so it is very important to control your pets water supply to protect a dog from cold weather.
Food is always important, but more so in winter. Dogs, like people, become lazy in winter but still need more energy to withstand the cold. What we recommend is that you turn to your trusted veterinarian and explain how your dog will spend the winter, where it will live, etc. He or she is a professional and will tell you if your pet needs a special supplement in its diet. Food is the first issue we should take care of if we want to protect a dog from cold weather.
Dogs love to play and in winter they will want to play even more because this will help them fight the cold as they warm up. But you have to keep in mind that if you live somewhere that is very cold and with snow, the pieces of snow can turn to ice and in turn this can have sharp edges that can cause injuries, especially in the legs.
If you want to protect a dog from cold weather what you can do is check the area where your dog will play. If this is not possible then, when it has finished playing, check its entire body to see if you find any ice. If so remove it immediately.
If you have a dog with long hair avoid cutting it in winter. Its coat is its best ally, and even if it seems to have too much of it you should only cut from the spring onwards if you want to protect a dog from cold weather. A dog's fur is like a coat for humans, care for it by combing it regularly to avoid knots as these make the animal less well insulated. In our article how to brush a dog's hair we explain the way in which you should do this.
To protect a dog from cold weather, you can also bathe your dog inside the house and not let it out until it is fully dry. If it goes out wet or even damp the cold will creep into its bones and it will be much more likely to catch a cold or a canine cough. If you can, reduce the number of baths you give your dog during the cold season.
In dogs that have no fur, pay close attention to their ears and tail to protect a dog from cold weather. If you see that these are very cold, dry, hard, red, white or grey, it may be that they have frozen. To tackle this issue, wrap the extremities of the dog in blankets or towels to warm them up gradually, and consult your veterinarian immediately.
Consider buying dog clothing to protect a dog from cold weather. That is actually a good option to protect a dog from the cold. It helps keep them warm (or at least not so cold) and is ideal, especially for small dogs or those with little fur which are more likely to suffer from the low temperatures. Above all, make sure the clothes are always dry.
Another complementary option are dog boots, which help them to reduce their paws' contact with salt grit, which is irritating, and snow. This will help them be much more prepared for walks outside during the colder months. It is a great measure to protect a dog from cold weather.
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