Cold Weather and Your Dogs Safety
by: Kelly Marshall

Birds fly south in the winter; people shop for winter wardrobes, weatherize their homes and even prepare their cars for protection against cold weather. When preparing for dropping temperatures, it is equally important keep dogs warm and safe. While many dogs live outdoors in kennels or in 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 in cold weather and dog clothes or other protective devices should be used to keep them warm day and night.

Protection in Outdoor Habitats:

If a dog lives outside in a kennel, consider covering the top of the kennel with a water-resistant tarp, or other protective covering, to insulate the dog from the elements. Or, consider placing a doghouse inside of the kennel, so that the dog has safe shelter from rain and snow. The dog's bedding should also always be slightly elevated to keep from becoming wet or frozen. Special heaters or heating pads may also be added to the kennel or doghouse to provide additional warmth. If using a heating device, be sure it is designed for use in pet shelters, as regular space heaters are never to be used in animal shelters or enclosures.

If it gets too cold outside, consider bringing a dog inside, especially during the evening hours, and prepare a warm space for them to sleep through the night.

Dogs with Special Needs:

Whether the dog lives indoors or outdoors, aging pets often develop arthritis. Just as humans experience painful joints in cold, damp weather, such can be as painful for an arthritic dog. To help alleviate the effects of the cold on a dog's arthritis, consider dog clothes to help provide additional warmth during the winter season. A dog sweater is advisable to keep their joints warm and to make sure arthritic dogs are as comfortable as possible in severe weather.

Walking Outside:

Remember, also, that paws can become irritated when they come into contact with cold surfaces and salt used on icy surfaces. Special boots that are made for dogs are advisable when walking a dog in the snow or on icy surfaces. This can also help keep the dog from sliding on such surfaces. Be patient, however, with dogs that aren't used to wearing boots as such may take some time for them to get used to.

Protection for Indoor Dogs:

For indoor pets, allowing a dog to sleep in warmer parts of the house and even making sure that their bedding is kept warm is a good way to make sure that an animal is comfortable when cold weather sets in. Just remember to never leave a dog unattended in a room with a space heater or with an open fireplace.

Keeping Dogs Healthy in Winter Months:

During the winter months, dogs often need to eat more calories to help them produce sufficient amounts of their own body heat. Consulting a veterinarian on how to increase the dog's caloric intake, without overfeeding, is the best way to accomplish this.

If a dog ever begins to shake or shiver from cold temperatures, make an effort to slowly, but steadily, warm her, as persistent shivering is a sign of hypothermia, which can be very dangerous to both dogs and humans.

A dog's temperature is always slightly warmer than the average human's temperature. When forecasts get too chilly, a few special precautions are all that's generally needed to make sure that you and your dog are comfortable on winter days.


About The Author

Article by Kelly Marshall of, your top spot to buy tiny dog clothes online.



 © Copyright 2010. Lee's Weather, All rights reserved

Make a free website with Yola