Everyone who has dogs, regardless of whether they are in the house or outside, often wonder what during the winter – are they cold. Although we humans, and some dogs, find that during the winter months the comfort of couches and lounge chairs are more tempting than being outside, it is important that your dog maintains adequate fitness to avoid weight gain and minimize the risk of stress, lethargy, and insufficient stimulation. Contrary to the widespread belief that all dogs are warmed by their hair more than enough and that it is normal for them to adapt to external conditions by themselves, pets need to be helped and provided with a safe and warm place to sleep, as well as being watched over during walks.
Does this mean that all dogs need warming in winter or only certain breeds? There are dogs that tolerate the cold very well. These are dogs with long and thick hair, such as Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, German Shepherds, Akitas, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you see some clothes on these breeds, believe me, it’s only because of fashion. On the other hand, we have short-haired dogs such as dachshunds, Boston terriers, and Jack Rusell, for whom winter can be disastrous, and they need some kind of warming, especially if they stay in a colder place. Today, the trend is that almost every family has a dog in the house. Of course, we’re talking about breeds that can’t stay outside, such as the Chihuahua, Maltese, Bichon, and others. Considering that they live in the house, these dogs don’t really like winter, and at low temperatures, it is necessary to put on some clothes. Given that the most wonderful time of the year is approaching, dog christmas pajamas are something you could buy for this family member so you can be sure your pet is cozy and warm during cold winter nights.
Whether your dog stays outside or you are planning a walk, winter clothes will definitely suit him. Of course, except for the breeds with long hair that we have already mentioned. It is also recommended to smear the paws with a protective balm that will prevent cracking and damage to the skin of the paws.
How can I tell if a dog is cold?
Sometimes dog owners (not all) forget that their pet is also used to a warm home and central heating, and winter and cold can damage the dog’s health as well as yours. There are several clear signs that your pet will appreciate being warmed up a bit. A frozen nose may seem harmless at first glance, but in reality, your dog is more sensitive to the negative effects of cold weather than you are. If you notice that he is whining, trembling, seems agitated and weak, or maybe breathing slowly, it means that he is cold and you should take him to a warm room. The best rule of thumb is: if it’s too cold for you, the same is probably true for your pet, so dogs suffer from the cold in winter just like us.
Do you need to take your dog out when it’s cold?
When it comes to extreme cold, it is better to stay at home or go for a short walk. If the dog stays outside, keep in mind that it will be cold if its movement is restricted, i.e. if it is tied up. In that case, put a blanket in the box to make him warmer and let him off the leash so that he can run around the yard and warm up that way.
Nutrition of dogs in the winter period
The diet of dogs in winter should be adapted to the daily level of activity and realistic energy consumption. Now you probably spend less time with your pet walking and playing intensively, compared to the time when the temperatures outside were higher. Due to reduced energy needs because there are fewer playful activities, reduce the amount of food you give your dog during the winter. It is recommended to reduce the daily food intake by 10%, which is really not much, so there is no fear that your dog will be hungry, and there will be no unwanted increase in body weight.
How to choose clothes for a dog?
Today there are many pet shops where you can find modern outfits for your pet. There are also many online shops for those who like to shop from the warmth of their homes. In any case, how to choose the right clothes is a big mystery for most dog owners. When choosing a coat, it would be ideal to have one warm breathable coat for dry, colder days, and one raincoat for days when it rains or snows. It is also recommended to measure the length of the dog’s back, and the width of the shoulders, and to know how much it weighs. That way, you will be sure that you have bought the right size.
Another important tip is to take care of his fur because only healthy and well-groomed fur has a satisfactory role in thermoregulation. If your pet requires certain hair care and an occasional visit to the groomer, make sure that the hair is not too short in winter. However, it should not be too long to avoid your dog getting wet as soon as he goes out into the field because he may freeze and catch a cold.
A dog needs love and that is what will warm him the most in cold winter days. Dogs sometimes resent it when it’s time to put a bib or coat over their head, so make sure you have plenty of treats that your dog likes and offer them the first few times you put the coat on, and when they first start moving around in it because they can to be unusual. It will take time for them to get used to a new piece of clothing and the way it affects their natural movement, so spread the treats around the room and let them move freely and search for them on their own.