The hours of sunlight are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping and we’re all starting to feel the cold, including our dogs! We’ve pulled together our top tips on how to keep your dog warm during the winter months.
Getting Your Dog Used to the Cold
If you’ve recently got a dog or your dog feels the cold, try and walk them during late morning or early evening when the temperatures are slightly warmer. It will also help your new dog get used to the cold weather!
Dog Coats and Outdoor Wear
Dog coats are a great way to keep your dog warm on walks or during toilet trips. The best coats should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and cover the belly. Puppies in particular have less muscle and fat mass than adults as well as less body mass to generate natural heat. They will also have thinner and shorter coats so would benefit from a thicker dog coat.
If your pooch is particularly vulnerable, you can even buy boots to protect their paws from the elements they will face outside, such as ice, snow and salt. Don’t want to buy boots? Just make sure you clean off your dog’s paws after their venture outside with a warm cloth to ensure there is no ice stuck between the pads.
Comfortable Dog Bed
If your dog spends time primarily outside, make sure it has a suitable shelter such as a dog house to protect it from the cold and potentially wet weather. But if the temperatures start to drop too dramatically, you might want to think about bringing them indoors a lot more often.
Dogs don’t need anything too large as they will fill the remaining space up with their body warmth but try and keep their bed at least three inches from the floor as they can lose body heat when too close to the ground. Include something such as a blanket for them to snuggle into. Pet safe warming beds or heating elements are also an option.
Make sure your dog is well groomed during the cold period. Make sure their coat is properly groomed and if you need to bathe them, make sure the coat is properly dry before you expose them to the cold again. Dogs can also suffer from dry skin during winter (just like us humans!) so consider adding a skin or coat supplement to their food if you notice it. Take a look at our guide for more information on taking care of your dog's coat through the seasons.
Got a Senior Dog?
Cold weather can often be a tough time for older dogs, especially those with existing conditions such as arthritis. If your dog suffers with joint pains, try and keep them away from slippery surfaces and make sure they have somewhere cosy to relax after their outdoor activities.
Be aware of the extra chemicals around this time of year such as anti-freeze. Anti-freeze has a sweet taste and dogs will happily give it a taste. Anti-freeze is highly toxic to dogs and only a small amount can be fatal. Keep your dog away from where these chemicals can be found.
Healthy Meal Times
Pets need a few more calories during the winter season so they can generate body warmth, particularly those that spend a great deal of time outside. Small increases of food at scheduled times will help with this, but if your dog doesn’t eat it all at once, increase the number of scheduled meal times or the number of healthy treats you give them (We’re sure they won’t mind!).
To keep your dog healthy and strong throughout the winter months, browse our range of Simpsons Premium Adult and Puppy food and find your dog’s new favourite flavour. If they’ve been a particularly good girl or boy, perhaps you can put some new Air-dried Treats or Fish Skin Treats in their stocking for Christmas?