How to Protect Your Dog from Cold Weather

dThe summer months are gone and fall is quickly turning into winter. Like us humans, our dogs long for the rollicking sunshine of months gone by, and for good reason. But cold weather can be more than just uncomfortable for your pet. Without a few precautions, it can be dangerous, especially in areas that get snow. So when your pet spends time outdoors this winter, keep these tips in mind for protecting him or her. 



Winter Pet Care Routines

Any pet owner knows it’s important to be flexible when it comes to pet care. Every dog needs something a little different, but did you know that there are things you can alter in your care routine to make your pet’s winter more comfortable?

For starters, it takes a lot of calories just to stay warm in plunging temperatures. Try giving your pet a little extra food before going outdoors. This may seem counter-intuitive, since many pets are more active in the sunshine of summer, but depending on where you live, your pet may actually expend more calories in the winter just to regulate a healthy body temperature.

Be aware of your dog’s drinking habits as well. Dogs can’t eat snow to hydrate their bodies, so make sure they have access to plenty of unfrozen water. A heated water bowl might be a good idea.

In cold, rain, and snowy seasons, it’s also important to alter your pet’s grooming schedule. In wetter conditions, fur can get dirty much more quickly. If left alone too long, dirt will begin to matt. Not only is this unpleasant for you when petting your dog, it can be uncomfortable for your pet, too.

It’s important to groom and brush your dog more often in the winter. Pooch Hotel would be happy to take care of extra grooming at our spa for you as well!

Winter Fashion

Bassotti di corsa sulla neveHumans aren’t the only ones who can get excited about fall and winter fashion. When your pet spends time outdoors this season, make sure they look and feel great!

While lines and color aren’t compelling benefits of clothing for your dog, a warm, thick sweater might be just the thing! There are a variety of sweaters to choose from at stores like Petco. You could even knit or crochet one yourself while you and your pet enjoy an evening in front of the fireplace.

Winter conditions are least forgiving on a dog’s feet, however. Have you ever walked through the snow barefoot? If you have, it probably wasn’t for long.

When out walking your pet around the neighborhood, your dog’s skin may also grow sensitive to the things we humans use to get rid of snow, like salt, magnesium, and calcium chloride. It’s a good idea to get some dog booties to protect your pet’s feet this winter.

Indoors Vs. Outdoors

While extra grooming and canine clothing can help limit the effects of winter, the best way to protect your pet is to keep him or her indoors as much as possible. Even if that just means giving your dog access to a mudroom or entryway through a doggie door, it’s better than being outdoors all day long. Another option is a good, weather-resistant dog house that’s just big enough for your pet to turn around and lay down in. Anything larger will be difficult to warm with body heat.

Of course, you can always leave your pet with us at Pooch Hotel. Our facilities are climate controlled and we’ll make sure your dog has plenty of water, fun, and exercise while in our care so when you’re ready to take them home and snuggle up, your pet will be ready, too!

No matter what your plan for protecting your pet against the elements this winter, we wish you and your pet a safe and enjoyable season!