Despite their fur, dogs can suffer from the cold just as we do in winter. Their vulnerability will largely depend on the breed. While huskies, Saint Bernards, and German Shepherds can all tolerate extremely cold weather, short-haired breeds such as Staffordshire Terriers, Whippets, and Jack Russels will struggle. Below, we explore how to protect your dog from the cold.
Recognize the signs of hypothermia and frostbite
It is important to know the signs of hypothermia so that you can act quickly. In the early or mild stages of hypothermia, you’ll notice your dog is shivering, looking weak, and burrowing into blankets. If it’s more severe then you’ll notice heavy breathing, a weak heartbeat, and unconsciousness. In severe cases, you’ll need to take them to a vet quickly, but you can treat mild cases with blankets and a radiator.
Get your dog a sweater
A coat or a sweater can help your dog tolerate cold weather during a walk. By purchasing excellent quality dog clothing, you can get them a warm, waterproof coat that can keep the cold out during those freezing winter walks.
Look after their paws
Paws are sensitive and can suffer in the cold – especially from ice and cuts. However, you can protect your dog by looking into winter socks and boots for them. Alternatively, you can check your dog’s paws after every walk and care for them if necessary.
A cozy place to sleep
A cozy place to sleep is important too. When you switch off your heating at night during winter, it can be difficult for your dog to stay warm. However, by providing your dog with a soft, warm bed complete with blankets, they should be able to keep themselves at a comfortable temperature. Alternatively, you can always snuggle up with the dog in your bed if it’s an especially cold night!
Most dogs need play sessions to stimulate them physically and mentally. But in winter it can be too cold to play outside. Instead, you should come up with some indoor games. This could simply be playing with furry toys, or you could throw a miniature tennis ball around the house.
Keeping your dog warm and happy over winter is crucial. And by following the advice above, you should be all set to care for your dog and ensure that they cope with the cold.