Winter weather can make your dog feel lethargic and moody. Plus, the cold temperatures might make them less likely to want to go outside or do anything besides curl up on the couch and cuddle with you. Of course, while you might love the chance to keep your dog right next to you for as long as possible, it’s also important that they get outside, stay active and get warm. It’s important that your dog get up and get moving, no matter the season. Here are some tips to help keep your dog warm this season!
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- Get them a cozy blanket. Blankets will be your dog’s best friend this winter. For dogs that have a lightweight coat, they’ll need layers to stay warm. If you’re not interested in raising the temperature of your heating system, then blankets are essential. Choose among the best blankets for dogs to keep them cozy and warm this winter. Pick something that will keep them warm but not overheat them. For long-haired or even double-coated dogs, it’s essential to have blankets that aren’t heavy but which provide enough coverage they can snuggle into. These dogs are built for cooler temps, so a sherpa or even a flannel blanket might make them feel overheated.
- Raise the heat up. Lots of people don’t want to pay an expensive heating bill. However, your dog may need it to be warmer in your home. Their bodies operate differently from ours, so raising the heat can help to make them feel more comfortable, especially when you’re away at work. If your current heating system and thermostat are outdated, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat system. This can help you control the temperature when you’re not home and figure out the most energy-efficient setting that keeps your dog warm and doesn’t skyrocket your power bill.
- Bring out new toys for them to use outside. Keeping your dog warm outside is just as important as inside. Bringing out new toys for them to enjoy outside is a great way to help them stay warm when they’re out for the bathroom or just playing in the yard this winter. Having new and exciting toys to play with will get them moving. With their heart rate spiking and their adrenaline flowing, they’ll feel warm outside in no time! Make sure you swap out their metal tags for a custom silicone pet tag. This way, the metal won’t retain cold temperatures and either stick to your dog’s fur or make them feel colder. Instead, the silicone will have them feeling much better both outside and in.
- Get them outdoor accessories. Whether it’s a sweater, hoodie, socks or shoes, there are lots of outdoor accessories your dog can benefit from in the winter. This will help to trap body heat, especially on dogs that are smaller and have shorter hair or a single coat of fur. They might fidget at first wearing their new gear, but if you can fit a harness on your dog when you go walking, then you can get them to wear some outdoor winter accessories.
- Raise their dog bed. Ever heard the old adage, “heat rises”? It’s true. You can use it to your advantage when keeping your dog warm in the winter. Raise their dog bed with some stairs (or a ramp for senior pups) and a riser so that they aren’t down on the cold ground. Whether they sleep inside or outside, having a raised platform will help to keep them warmer during cold winter days. Of course, if they sleep outside, making sure they have a warm, cozy dog house to sleep in is absolutely essential. An enclosed cover and even extra blankets and pillows will go a long way in keeping your outdoor pups happy no matter the temperature.
- Keep up with their paws. While they make pet-safe salt treatment for icy stairs, walkways and sidewalks these days, it’s still not the standard. This means, to keep your dog warm, you’ll need to constantly check their paws. Standard salt treatment can destroy your dogs’ paw pads, but so can ice and snow. The cold temperature of the snow and ice can cause hypothermia in your dog, especially if they walk around outside with their bare paws. That’s why it’s so important to check their paws and also get them socks and shoes to wear outside.
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Even if they’re a dog that’s built for cold weather, giving them warm gear to wear on their feet is just as beneficial as having a blanket around for them to use inside. You wouldn’t go outside in the freezing cold barefooted, so why should your dog have to?
- Shut doors in your home. During the spring and summer, you’ll typically leave the doors in your home open to help cool everything down. However, in the winter, you’ll want to do the opposite. Rooms stay warmer when there isn’t air openly flowing between them. Shut doors in your home that don’t need to stay open, and consider getting some barriers to seal the crevices at the bottom of your doors too. This will eliminate cold air spreading from rooms that don’t have much insulation or feature a large portion of outside walls.
- Lay blankets on your furniture. Having extra blankets around and not just in their dog bed is always a good idea when you want to keep your dog warm this winter! You’ll want to include blankets that work for them, not just blankets that you’ll use. Layer them on your furniture so that practically all the seats are covered, especially wherever they like to sleep. This will make it more comfortable for them when they’re lying on the furniture throughout the day and night!
Keeping your dog warm in the winter might seem like a challenge, but there are lots of things you can do that will help to make them feel comfortable. Despite the cold temperatures, they’ll be grateful that you made them feel warm, cozy, safe and healthy.