How To Protect Dogs During Cold Weather

dog winter

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge animal fan, especially dogs. In elementary school, my best friend said that she was going to have six kids and I told her I was going to have six dogs. That way, each of her kids could have a dog. I already had plans of becoming a dog lady … and I was only in the sixth grade.

Fast forward years ahead and I’m now cuddled up next to my two rescue dogs. I couldn’t imagine our life and house without them. Caster is the goofy, fun-loving, always happy boxer shepherd mix who is 60 pounds of love. Tugboat is a typical lab since he is super chill, protective, strong, and 70 pounds calmness yet playfulness.

During the warmer months, our dogs love to spend as much time as they can in our fenced-in yard as long as they have plenty of water outside and the temperature isn’t too warm.

However, when the temperature drops, my husband and I only allow them in the backyard for a few minutes before calling them inside. Caster tends to get chilly pretty quickly due to his short hair and physique. As for Tugboat, the lab, his thick coat can keep him warm for a longer period of time. When the weather is chilly, I can usually find him lounging in the yard. When snow falls, he gets into his element and romps around to his heart’s desire.

Even though Tugboat loves the chilly weather and snow, it’s important to us to make sure he is safe.

How To Protect Dogs During Cold Weather

We’re expecting a snowstorm tomorrow so this whole topic is heavy on my mind. Here are simple ways to help protect pets during cold weather.

Keep Dogs Indoors

Easy enough, right? As I mentioned before, our lab could stay outside for a long time since he loves chilly weather and snow. But, as pet parents, my husband and I know that we need to bring him inside to keep him safe. If the weather isn’t too horrible, allow your pet outside for a short amount of time. Or, take your pet for a walk. But, for the rest of the day, be sure to keep your pet inside with the rest of the family. Remember that pets can get frostbite and suffer from hypothermia.

Protect Paws from Salt

Salt can hurt a dog’s paws. So, be sure to wipe and/or wash off the paws before the dog starts licking.

Keep Your Dog Clean and Dry

When your dog comes inside, be sure to wipe down your dog’s coat to keep the pup warm and dry. I love to give our dogs a good brushing and then spray them down with a shampoo spray too. Also, keep a dog’s nails at a safe and healthy length.

Speak Up If You See a Dog in the Cold

Need I say more? Seriously, I’m not a confrontational person but show me a dog not properly cared for and the mama bear in me comes out. Kindly notify that owner of your concerns and get animal control involved if necessary.

Give Your Dog Exercise

By keeping your dog(s) inside for most of the day during the winter months, dogs can tend to get a bit lazy. But, there are ways to combat a dog’s winter blues. Play indoor games, take short walks, play fetch for a few minutes, and try to figure out unique ways to help get your dog some exercise.

Buy a Dog Coat or Sweater

Does your dog have short or thin hair? Why not bundle up your dog in a coat or sweater. These clothing items tailored to dogs are an easy way to comfort your dog during the colder months.

Give Dogs Plenty of Water

The air in a home during the winter can get really dry. Don’t forget to give your dog enough food and water to keep them happy and healthy.

Include Your Dog in Emergency Plans

Is there a snowstorm headed your way? Naturally, you’ll want to head to the grocery store to stock up on food and other necessities. Don’t forget your dog. Be sure your dog will have plenty of food and treats to last you through the storm.

What do you do to help protect your dog during the colder months?

Photo credit: BPPrice via / CC BY

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