Now that Winter is almost upon us and the evenings are getting cooler, most of us are rediscovering our winter wardrobes and putting on some extra layers to keep warm and cosy. As our 4-legged friends don’t have the luxury of reaching for a jacket when they get cold, it’s up to us as their owners to ensure they stay healthy and warm during the colder months.
Winter is a time to be particularly mindful of your dog’s health and wellbeing as, like humans, they can catch colds and be more prone to illness with the change of seasons. Even with their fur coats, dogs can feel the cold and this is especially true for breeds with short hair.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog warm and comfortable:
1. Provide a warm and cosy place to sleep
Make sure your dog has a soft bed and/or a thick blanket to provide plenty of warmth during cold winter nights. If your dog sleeps outside or in the laundry on a cold floor, bring them inside the house to sleep if possible so they are well protected. If they must be outside, ensure they have well-insulated shelter that is dry and draft-free where they can curl up and keep the warmth in.
2. Provide them with warm clothing
Dressing your dog in a coat or sweater is an easy way to keep them warm when spending time outside. There are so many super cute designs for all shapes and sizes. Make sure they provide a snug fit but not too tight.
3. Access to sunshine
During the day, your dog will seek out sunshine and areas of warmth such as carpets, beds and couches. Ensure they have access to sunny areas either inside or outside the house. If your pet loves to be near heaters or fires, keep a close eye on them – if they’re too close or fall asleep their skin can dry out or it can even lead to burns.
While it’s important to maintain a good grooming regime all year round, for breeds with longer fur, try to avoid cutting or shaving their hair too short, as the longer fur keeps them warm during winter. This means they will need to be brushed more often to prevent their fur from becoming matted.
When bathing your dog, try to do so indoors and make sure you use warm water. Dry them off completely with a towel before they go back outside so they don’t get a chill. Or better yet, bring them into Paddington Pups for a bath and blowdry service, leaving them feeling like they just stepped out of a salon!
You may notice your dog is a little hungrier during the winter months – this is because they need more energy and burn more calories to keep themselves warm. You may need to increase the amount of food you provide in their daily meals, but be careful not to overfeed them to avoid winter weight gain. Contact your vet for advice on how much you should be feeding your furry friend if you are concerned you are overfeeding them.
We hope these tips will keep your pups warm and dry in the cooler months.