The best way to ensure your dog is safe, happy, & healthy during the cold-weather season? Know how to keep your dog warm. 

While a Winter Wonderland may be magical to some, the cold weather associated with winter can be damaging to your dog’s health. Although dogs naturally possess fur coats, that does not guarantee that their natural coats were designed for all types of winter weather.  In this article, we go over the best ways to ensure that your dog is safe, happy, & healthy during the cold winter season. 

If You Don’t Share A Bed With Your Dog, Make Sure They Have Their Own Warm Bed. A cold floor is exactly to you what it is to your dog, cold and flat. Cold temperatures can exacerbate symptoms of aging joints, such as joint stiffness and discomfort. Providing your dog with a warm bed is imperative. Whether you’re placing blankets & pillows on the floor for them to nest in, or you’ve decided to purchase a comfy dog bed, ensuring that your dog has a warm area to retreat to during the evenings (or during daytime naps and rest periods) is key. 

Tap Into The Ultimate Source Of Vitamin D, The Sun. Strive to walk your dog during the warmer temperatures of the day, either in the late morning or early afternoon hours. Avoid early morning or late evening runs. Play outdoors while it’s sunny to get the most of the Vitamin D provided by the sunlight- a nutrient necessary for the physical and in some cases emotional health of you and your dog. 

Keep Paw Pads Well Groomed. Proper grooming in the winter helps prevent swelling and clogging between footpads when walking on ice and snow. After walking outside, check paw pads for cracks, cuts, and any foreign debris. 

Provide Your Dog Sweaters & Blankets (& Hugs). Keeping your dog properly covered can help prevent breathing infections, such as kennel cough (the human equivalent of a cold). If your dog is infected with respiratory disease, seek immediate veterinary attention. Be mindful that if you have multiple dogs that sharing the same air space as in a typical kennel, then infection is more likely to spread.

Maintain A Clearing, Avoid That Snow. Snow can be a dangerous environment for your dog to walk or play in. For example, snow piled close to fences can offer your dog an escape route that would not normally be available. Best practices for snow management and dog safety? Pile snow away from fences after clearing snow. On the rooftops, snow and ice often accumulate, and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, can slide and injure your dog. If you are unable to clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog from the overhang of the roof to avoid injury.

Never Leave Your Dog Alone & Unattended In The Car During Extreme Weather. Just as in summer when cars can get dangerously hot, freezing cold temperatures are just as dangerous in winter for your pet. If the car is parked in a garage, leaving the car running always poses additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning.

For Extremely Cold Winter Weather Homes, Check Your Dog For Frostbite. When their skin looks and feels hot, appears white, red, or brown, and/or are dry and hard; frostbite may have occurred. If you suspect frostbite, cover the affected limbs of your dog in blankets or towels to warm them up and see the veterinarian immediately. 

Winter climates present responsible dog owners with a wide variety of issues. Bitter cold, numbing moisture, or biting winds can cause your dog’s discomfort. As a pet parent, keeping your dog cold, dry and safe during the winter months is crucial. Whatever the weather is, it is good to keep your Dogs healthy. Be careful about the activity level of your dog and adjust its calories accordingly. Here at Happy Again, we will guide you with the right meal plan for your Dog. Visit here:

Often dogs will instinctively try to conceal signs of serious illness.  Know what to look for and how to act properly without getting out of control of the disease. If there are signs of illness in your dog, call your vet immediately.

Reference: Co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS I September 5, 2019 I