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4 Tips to caring for your dog this winter

1 August 2018

Winter can be a tough season. And for all of us, when the cold weather hits, we quickly look for ways to keep ourselves warm and protected from the elements. There are a number of things we can do as pet owners, to keep our dog happy and healthy until the weather warms again.

Here’s our top 4 tips for keeping your dog safe, warm and well during the winter months:

Protect your pet from heaters

When the weather cools, dogs (just like us) will often head right for our indoor heating sources. Eliminating space heaters and covering baseboard radiators , along with pet-proofing fireplaces or gas-radiant heaters will make sure your dog stays out of harms way.

Grooming and groovy coats

When the temperature drops, it’s easy to assume that your dog’s furry coat will provide all the insulation they need. Short-haired dogs like the Dobermann or Jack Russell lack the necessary long coat to keep them well insulated and will need the extra protection of a (groovy!) dog coat. A good  coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail for affective insulation.

Long coats on breeds like the English Setter, have natural insulation, but debris and matting can have a detrimental affect in keeping your dog warm. Regular grooming and a clean coat is a must over the winter months!

Health risks in winter

When the weather becomes extreme, the risk of hyperthermia or frostbite can play a part in our dog’s wellbeing. Hyperthermia (abnormally low  body temperature) can happen when your dog spends too much time in the cold, perhaps gets wet while in really cold temperatures or when a dog with existing poor health is exposed to the cold for too long. Frostbite is an injury or destruction of the skin and results from long periods of time exposed to freezing temperatures. It can sometimes not be as obvious, but can cause a great deal of pain for your pet as the skin warms after exposure.  Protecting your dog from these two damaging health risks is essential during the winter months.

Shelter from the elements

Whether your dog is indoors or outdoors at night, it’s important to keep your dog warm during cold winter nights. For indoor dogs, change the location of their bedding if needed, preferably keeping them off the ground and out of drafts. For outdoor dogs, provide protected spots in your yard out of daytime winds and a good dog kennel for night time warmth. Ideally, the kennel should be large enough to keep them comfortable, yet small enough that their own body heat will keep them warm overnight. Placing a flap on the entrance to their kennel can block out the wind and make sure they have a comfortable night.

Winter can sometimes be a season to endure…depending on the weather. At Playgrounds Geelong we have a range of high quality dog kennels available and would love to chat to you about the right one for your place. Check out more here.

Keeping a comfortable environment for your dog can mean a safe and healthy winter, so that when the change of season comes you and your pet will be ready for lots of fun in the sun.