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July 05, 2022 3 min read

We're not the only ones who feel cold in the winter months – they may be furry, but our dogs get chilly too! It's important to keep your dog warm in cold weather so that they're safe and comfortable.

There are many ways to keep dogs warm, whether for indoor or outdoor dogs. Giving them warm bedding and a thick blanket, protecting their paws, and updating their diet are just some methods to keep your dog healthy in cold temperatures. There are also many dog coat options for all shapes and sizes.

Dog owners preparing for winter, are you ready to bundle up and snuggle with your furry friends? Here are some key tips for keeping dogs warm in cold weather.

#1 – Adjust their sleeping arrangements

If your dog spends its days inside, get them a cosy winter bed and some blankets for extra warmth. 

For an outdoor dog, or if your dog sleeps outdoors, give them a sturdy dog house with warm bedding so they can shelter from the elements. If the temperature drops particularly low, it's better to bring your dog inside.

Puppies and specific dog breeds are especially susceptible to colder weather.

#2 – Protect their paws

A lot of a dog's body heat is expelled through a dog's paws. Because of this, it's important to protect your dog's feet from cold surfaces, such as sidewalks and tile floors. Dog boots will go a long way to providing warmth for dog paws.

Not all dogs tolerate wearing boots, though. For these pets, keep them out of cold-floor rooms as much as possible. Wipe their feet after every walk, and rinse ASAP if they step in salt.

#3 – Update their diet

Your dog's activity level will change during the winter months – either they love going out, or they'd rather stay indoors. Adjust their diet accordingly to give them more or fewer calories. You can also consider feeding them less food but at more frequent mealtimes; eating and digesting can help them stay warm.

#4 – Be conscious of grooming

Many dogs grow a thick winter coat to help them stay warm. Brush and groom your dog regularly to prevent that coat from matting and knotting. (This goes double for long-haired dogs!) But don't brushouttheir coat – remove too much fur, and they'll lose that all-important warmth.

Besides brushing your dog's coat, you should also extend the time between baths. Use warm water – not hot! – when bathing them, and get your dog dry as quickly as possible. Wet fur and winter weather do not mix well.

#5 – Change their exercise and play routine

In the colder months, you'll want to minimise exercise and playtime outdoors – if you go out at all. Most dogs will adapt well enough to living indoors for a few months so long as they have enough stimulation. Encourage indoor playtime to keep them happy, and only take them outside if they need to do their business.

For dogs living outdoors, or dogs that must be walked outside, let them exercise during the warmer hours of the late morning or early afternoon. Avoid taking your dog out during cold nights since this could be a health and safety hazard for both of you.

Keep your dog on-leash in winter – letting it run free could result in injury or hypothermia.

#6 – Be mindful of heat sources

Dogs will naturally seek a warm place to stay, whether that's in a dog's bed or near a heat source. For the latter, it's important that you don't let them get too close since they could risk burning themselves or singeing their fur.

Make radiators and fireplaces inaccessible to your dogs – they can get close, but not close enough to touch. This way, you can let your dog sleep near heating sources without worrying about injury.

If you are in need of a new bed for your pooch, you can find a great selection here.

#7 – Keep your dog warm and happy

Your dog's comfort is a priority in cold weather, as all responsible pet owners know. Keep dogs warm in winter so they stay safe and happy despite the long periods of grey and cold. You may even find that you and your dog are closer than ever – they're very good for a cuddle, after all!