Many pet parents who are unaware of their pooch’s vulnerability to cold weather conditions have unknowingly traversed into adventurous vacations with their buddies. However, when they witness their dogs getting diagnosed with hypothermia, the bitter truth finally settles in and shortly after, they search for answers to the same question: “How to keep dogs warm outside?”
7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Warm Outside
Spare your pooch some severe pain caused due to a lack of knowledge and make it your mission to enlighten other pet parents as well. Of course, you need to learn before you can preach, therefore, we’re about to prepare you with some tried and tested tips on how to prepare your furry buddy for the cold:
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Breed of Your Dog
Depending on the breed of dog in your household, you will be able to determine what kind of weather parameters are suitable for them. You see, specific breeds are comfortable with specific weather conditions and, therefore, it is easy to understand how much of a stretch a particular vacation destination really is for them.
Among the many different factors your research will cover, you should also understand how thick their fur is. You see, thicker tufts of fur would mean that they are well-prepared for below-average temperatures, however, thinner coats on dogs simply mean you need to take all the necessary precautions.
While familiarizing yourself with the unique traits and characteristics of a particular breed, try to determine whether it is safe to leave your dog outside in the cold or it is vital for them to stay indoors. A simple rule of thumb is to first find out whether a particular breed originates from colder parts of the world.
2. Pack Winter Blankets
This is definitely important during the winter, especially for dogs with thin coats of fur. Also, if your dog can stay warm throughout cold temperatures, an extra winter blanket will only improve their comfort levels.
Winter blankets can range anywhere from wooly, old sack of hay to softer, more luxurious-looking winter blankets. Alternatively, you can also re-use that old sweater you were planning on throwing away anyway.
3. Search for Elevated Dog Beds
During winter months, the ground tends to withdraw all the heat above it and therefore, a great way of helping your doggo avoid those jitters is to elevate them from the ground. If you’re considering allowing them to sleep outside, consider buying an elevated outdoor dog bed. Of course, you can always DIY and build a tall wooden pallet.
Since wood in its natural state may be uncomfortable for them during colder months, consider layering it with old sweaters or warm blankets that you were planning on throwing away.
4. Buy Cute Doggy Sweaters and Accessories
Quite like most human beings, some dogs hate the sweaters their pet parents (just parents, in our case) make them wear, while other dogs don’t seem to mind at all. The only way to find out is to try it for yourself and since they’re in for some really cold weather, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to their whining (alright, maybe a little attention).
Since dogs are more adaptive to new environments, they are bound to accept that their dog sweaters are here to stay and this will be your winter relationship’s first step in the right direction. Now you can either stick to the one sweater or you can keep updating their wardrobe with a cute pair of socks or even a trendy pooch-scarf.
5. Heat Their Blanket
Heated blankets aren’t so popular among pet parents that allow their dogs to stay indoors. However, the rest make sure their dog’s blanket is heated at least a couple of times throughout a particularly fierce night to make sure they are comfortable. Some pet parents tend to also do the same with a long woolen blanket that can be wrapped around their torso.
6. Provide Suitable Shelter
Since we’re considering ‘how to keep dogs warm outside’, how can we skip a brief discussion about their shelter, especially if your dog is still young. If you are considering buying a new shelter or already have one that is properly intact, make sure the ground inside is layered with lots of blankets or at least, straw.
Alternatively, outdoor shelters should also have sloped roofs, since they not only provide for optimal insulation and heating, but also make sure the entranceway is protected from snow and rain.
7. Use Additional Heating if the Need Arises
Cold weather can be a mean adversary and since there ARE going to be some nights that are difficult to get through, you should always keep additional heating handy. Whenever a cold night seems to be getting exceptionally cold, make sure you combine heated dog blankets with perhaps a hot water bottle or even curling up next to a fireplace/heater.
Our Final Thoughts
If at any point you experience the outdoors falling short against the cold outside, don’t think twice before ushering your dog indoors. It was a good idea to learn how to keep dogs warm outside but there is only so much you can do to defend yourself against Mother Nature.
In every other situation, all you need to do is empathize with your pup. Place yourselves in their situation and then start considering what will be best for them. Also, make sure your miniature polar bears are well-groomed all throughout the winter because if their paws have a lot of fur between them, they may be trapping snow inside for long periods of time.
Don’t think twice, wipe your dog’s paws and cuddle-up with your pal.
Tomorrow is another day and both of you have your best friend by your side! Things could be a lot worse.