Birds fly south in the winter. People buy winter wardrobes, weatherize their houses and even prepare their cars to protect themselves from cold weather. When preparing for cold temperatures, it is also important to keep the dogs warm and safe. While many dogs live outdoors in kennels or doghouses, there are ways to keep them warm and safe from the elements, even in such shelters. Arthritic dogs, especially, should be given special attention to cold weather and dog clothes or other protective devices should be used to keep them warm day and night.
If your dog lives outside in the kennel, consider covering the top of the kennel with a waterproof tarp or other protective covers to isolate the dog from the elements. Or consider placing a doghouse inside of the kennel, so that the dog has a safe shelter from rain and snow. The dog's bedding should also be slightly raised to keep it from becoming wet or frozen. Special heaters or heating pads can also be added to the kennel or doghouse to provide additional heat.
If you are using a heating device, make sure they are designed for use in pet shelters, as regular space heaters are never to be used in animal shelters or in enclosures. And if it is very cold outside, consider taking the dog inside, especially during the night hours, and prepare a warm space for them to sleep through the night.
Whether your dog lives indoors or outdoors, aging pets often develop arthritis. Just as humans experience painful joints in a cold, wet weather, such can be painful for arthritic dogs. To help ease the effects of cold on dog arthritis, consider dog clothes to help provide additional heat during the winter. The dog sweater is recommended to keep the joints warm and to make sure arthritic dogs are as comfortable as possible in adverse weather conditions.
Remember, too, that the paws can be irritated when they come in contact with cold surfaces and salt that is used on icy surfaces. Special shoes that are made for dogs are recommended when walking a dog in the snow or on icy surfaces. This can also help prevent your dog from sliding on such surfaces. Be patient, however, with dogs that aren't used to wearing shoes as such may take a while to get used to.
For indoor dogs, allowing your dog to sleep in hot areas of the house and even making sure their bedding is warm is a good way to make sure that the animal is comfortable when the Cold weather sets in. Just remember not to leave a dog alone in a room with a Space heater or with an open fireplace.
Also, note that, during the winter months, dogs often need to eat more calories to help them produce enough body heat. Consult your veterinarian on how to increase the dog's caloric intake without overfeeding, is the best way to do this.
If a dog starts to shiver or shake from cold temperatures, make an effort to gradually, but steadily, warm her, as constant shivering is a sign of hypothermia, which can be very dangerous to both humans and dogs.
The temperature of a dog is always slightly warmer than the average human temperature. When forecasts get too cold, there are some special precautions that are usually necessary to ensure that you and your dog are comfortable on winter days.