The cooler months are rolling in and despite having a permanent fur coat your four-legged friends can be affected by the temperature change too.
While you’re pulling the blankets, coats and boots out from storage to stay warm, don’t forget your furry best friend might be shivering through the seasonal chill and may need a little help to keep warm.
Here are five things to consider when trying to keep your dog warm during winter…
Whether it’s a cosy doghouse in the backyard or a cushion on the living room floor, it’s important to ensure your dog’s bed is out of draughts and allows them to escape the cold. Having beds that sit off the floor can protect your pooch from losing body heat into the ground, and there are even self-heating beds you can purchase to keep your pet toasty warm!
2. Food and water
The same way the cooler air can leave your mouth dry and scratchy, your dog can become dehydrated too – so ensure you provide plenty of fresh water. Be careful with diet too – if your dog lives outside you may need to increase food intake as they will be using more energy to stay warm, but if they’re an inside dog you may want to reduce servings slightly, as they will be less active in the cooler months and may pack on a few kilos.
3. Dog jackets
Not just for the fashionable pup, jackets for dogs can add an extra layer of protection needed in cooler months. While some breeds like Huskies are well-suited to cooler temperatures, any short-haired varieties will need extra insulation against the chill. My own dog Lizzy has a snazzy jacket we strap on for those chillier nights and mornings.
4. Visit your vet
Cold weather changes can exacerbate existing conditions like arthritis so be sure to check in with your vet for cold-weather advice and stock up on any extra medication that may be needed to help your pet be comfortable in the cold. Young puppies and older dogs will benefit from being brought inside during cold snaps, even if they usually spend their time outdoors.
5. Maintain grooming
As the weather changes your pet’s coat will thicken to help protect against the chill – groom your dog well to guard against matting, which makes your dog’s coat less efficient at insulation and keeping out cold rain, and after bathing ensure you dry your dog well.