The most beautiful winter walk becomes a shivering ride: if your pup trembles because of the cold, there is no joy of walking anymore for doggy and master. Your Dog shows so unmistakably that he is cold. Even if they have got thick fur and snowsuit, many dog breeds freeze in snow and really cold temperatures. In the case of hypothermia, they can also catch a cold and contract respiratory infections such as kennel cough.
In this article, we will help you on how to keep your dog warm and safe in winter.
How Does a Dog Regulate Body Temperature?
Dogs cool their body temperature by panting in the heat and warm themselves by their insulating fur and blood circulation in the cold. During the change of coat in autumn, the undercoat thickens and keeps warm. Breeds that do not undergo a change of coat, such as hypoallergenic dogs, do not freeze to death due to their body’s own combustion engine: blood circulation.
At really cold temperatures it is, therefore, advisable to provide additional protection against the cold for some dog breeds, such as the owner. At low temperatures, most dog breeds can endure it approx. 30 minutes outside without any problems. Beyond that, it could become frosty. So that also in winter dogs have it nice and warm, there are some “heating” aids.
Cold Protection Dog Clothing
When your dog jibbers, the only thing that helps is a winter jacket. Particularly tender, short-legged small dogs (whose belly is very close to the ground like Yorkshire Terrier, Shi Tzu, Chihuahuas, Maltese, Dachshund), hairless or short-haired dogs (which have no undercoat and little top coat like greyhounds), older or sick animals are more susceptible to cold than robust dog bodies. They are happy about warming coats. Dog jackets are available in all sizes, colors, and shapes – even for puppies. Especially in the dirty weather months, you should pay attention to a water-repellent jacket. This not only protects against cold but also against wetness. Breathable dog coats are important so that the four-legged friend does not sweat.
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Attention, Furry Frostbite: Dangers in the Snow
Since there are no dog caps and our fur friend would defend himself against using a cap also like against a vaccination injection with the veterinary surgeon, observe on days with really cold weather the points of ears and rod. If they feel cold, if they are white/grey or red and hard and dry while touching, it can be frostbite. In this case, immediately wrap the dog in blankets and take him to the vet.
In order to protect the paws from snow, ice and road salt, so-called booties can be attracted. In long-haired dogs, lumps of ice can form in the hair between the toes, causing them to suddenly become lame. Therefore it is important: If your dog does not want to carry booties, keep the fur between the balls as short as possible, rinse the paws with warm water after the snow walk and protect them from ice and road salt with Vaseline or milking grease.
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Proper Coat Care in Frosty Months
Even if it seems most logical to leave the fur to its wild growth in winter, because thick fur is at least like a thick coat, there is a misbelief behind it. Although one should not cut or trim the coat in winter (except of course between the paws, on the belly, to avoid urine sticking to the male and around the eyes), the coat has to be brushed daily, especially in long-haired dogs, so that no matting can develop. Felted hair does not protect against the snow and does not insulate ideally in cold weather.
During the winter months, dog baths should only be taken if necessary and in the evening so that the coat can dry out for one night. Walks with damp, semi-dry fur should be avoided. By the way, too much shampoo damages the fat layer of the skin, which is needed especially in dry heating air or cold.
Protect From the Vold Eith the Right Diet
Especially in winter, the dog’s metabolism consumes a lot of energy to keep the body warm and defy the cold. Therefore, always replenish the energy balance and provide plenty of fuel for body heat. Particularly during the cold months of the year, make sure that your four-legged friend eats regularly.
Pay Attention With Snow!
To romp around in the snow, catch snowballs with your mouth and snatch snow is fun, but also harms your dog’s stomach. Sensitive dogs can easily get upset stomachs, stomach cramps or even snow gastritis with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Road salt in the snow can also irritate the stomach lining. A large bowl of water before the winter walk can help to prevent your four-legged friend from being thirsty and tempted.
Special Tip: If it`s really cold keep the walks as short as possible and if your four-legged friend really likes the winter outside stays, he should always remain in motion, so that his small body does not undercool and he catches a cold.
10 Tips For Caring For Your Dog This Winter
In winter the dog needs special care and attention. We have put together 10 tips for you around the care and handling of your four-legged friend in winter:
1Protection Against Road Salt and Chippings at the Poten
It is important to protect your dog from road salt and chippings in winter because road salt attacks his paws. If your four-legged friend does not wear shoes, it will be beneficial for him if his paws are massaged regularly with Vaseline, deer tallow or special paw creams. It is best to grease the paws before and after the walk. This creates a protective layer of fat that prevents the paws from cracking. If the paws are already brittle and cracked, foot baths in chamomile tea can also help.
2After a Walk: Wash Feet
Wash the paws of your city dog with warm water after every winter walk. The road salt will be washed off your dog’s feet and can no longer harm his paws. In addition, the road salt can get into the stomach by licking the paws and lead there to stomach damages.
3Remove Lumps of Ice
Ice lumps can easily form on the hairs between the pads on the paws. These should be removed from time to time during walks, as they hinder the dog from walking. If very long hair grows between the bales, it is advisable to shorten them so that not as much snow can get caught between the paws.
4Regular Coat Care
Especially in winter, the dog needs extensive coat care. The dead hair should be removed so that the four-legged friend does not freeze. Therefore: Brush straight long-haired dogs particularly often!
5Dry Your Dog
After each walk in the snow yo,u should dry your dog well so that he does not cool down. Special dog towels absorb moisture quickly and effectively. Avoid your dog climbing into his dog bed with wet fur. This moisture remains in the bed for a long time and can lead to a cold.
6Bathing is a Taboo
Dogs should only be washed when really necessary. In winter bathing is completely taboo because the coat and the skin only dry very badly. If it should be absolutely necessary to wash your four-legged friend, you should dry him completely and offer him for the next hours a warm place, e.g. in front of the stove or near a heater.
7Don`t Let Your Dog Eat Snow
As much as many dogs love snow – they should not eat it. If your four-legged friend eats too much of the cold mass, he can catch tonsillitis. The snow irritates the throat area and the stomach and removes important minerals from the dog’s body. Therefore: It is better not to have snowballs retrieved!
8Always Stay in Motion
A lot of exercises is also important in winter – but the dog should always keep moving so that he does not catch a cold. With a decent speed, the dog will not freeze – after all he has his coat. Old, sick or especially short-haired dogs need a jacket.
9Caution With Retrieval Games
Dogs who like to bring sticks should rather do this in winter in moderation with their own toys. The splinter danger of the wood is particularly high in the cold – with the play the quadruped could hurt itself seriously. Avoid retrieval games generally with sensitive dogs. The dog inhales the cold air directly by the mouth if it runs with a toy in the park. This increases the probability of catching a cold.
10Keeping an Eye on Weight
In the cold, everybody has a higher energy requirement. If the dog moves as much in winter as normal, it should receive a little more food than usual. However, normally the dog will move less in winter than usual. The food ration should, therefore, be restricted. Keep an eye on the weight of your four-legged friend so that he does not put on bacon rolls during the winter.
Leave me a comment below if you enjoyed this article about how to keep your dog warm and safe in Winter or if you have any questions!