It is becoming more and more common, especially in cities, to see dogs out in the street wearing warm clothes, something that for some may seem an absurd fashion or simply “postureo”. But is it really a fashion or a necessity to keep dogs warm in winter? Is it good to keep dogs warm in winter? And How to keep your dog warm in winter? If you also have doubts and you don’t know how to keep your dog warm in winter or when to put clothes on dogs, keep reading!
Is it advisable to keep dogs warm in winter?
Well, the answer, as in many other questions, is that it depends. Specifically, it depends on the breed and characteristics of the dog, and it depends on the temperature to which we are going to expose him.
It is true that in the past dogs were not dressed. Among other things because they used to live outside the houses and they sheltered and managed as they could. They led a “dog’s life”. But precisely because of this, clothes and comforts can be a sign of progress and improvement in the quality of life of our furry friends.
You may also think that dogs have their own mechanisms to adapt to inclement weather and temperature changes. This is partly true, and that is why they shed their fur, generating a longer and thicker coat in the cold months, which serves as a thermal insulator.
However, not all dog breeds can easily fight the cold. There are dogs that are very prepared and happy to live in very cold climates, such as the Husky, St. Bernard, etc. But if your dog has short hair and is a small or mini breed, like the yorkshire or the short haired kaninchen teckel kaninchen you will surely need to know how to keep your dog warm in winter.
It may also be necessary to keep dogs over ten years old warm in winter, since with age they lose the ability to regulate their temperature. In addition, older dogs may suffer from health problems such as osteoarthritis in the spine or hip that worsen their symptoms with low temperatures.
And if you have a puppy, you should also learn how to keep your dog warm during the winter. Puppies have not yet finished developing their immune system and are more vulnerable to colds and flu, also known as kennel cough (https://almenas.es/la-tos-de-las-perreras-sintomas-tratamiento-y-prevencion/). Therefore, to prevent them from getting sick, you should know how to keep your dog warm during the winter.
What temperature is cold for a dog?
Most breeds don’t need to be kept warm. But if your dog is a puppy or a very old dog or is a small breed, it is advisable to keep him warm when you take him outside and it is cold. Lest he catches a cold, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and, in the worst case, pneumonia.
What do we call cold when we refer to a dog?
It is usually recommended to wrap dogs lightly when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius. And with thicker warm clothing when the temperature drops below five degrees.
What happens if I put clothes on my dog when he doesn’t need them?
Above 10 degrees Celsius, it is not advisable to keep your dog warm.
It is just as bad to expose him to low temperatures as it is to expose him to excessive heat that can cause heat stroke.
A heat stroke happens when the dog’s temperature rises more than normal and his body is not able to cool down. For this to happen it must be quite hot, as you can have at home with the heating too high and, even more, if you put warm clothes.
Keep in mind that dogs do not sweat, so it is difficult for us to know if they are overheating.
If you keep him warm at home, in addition to the possible heat stroke, you also expose your dog to thermal shock due to the temperature difference between the house and the street.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to only wear clothes to go outside when it is essential.
5 signs to know if your dog is cold
You are probably not aware of the signs that your dog is cold. Don’t worry, from now on you will know! From Las Almenas we want to tell you about five gestures that can indicate that your dog is cold and how to keep your dog warm in winter:
The same thing happens to people. When we are cold we shiver and this could be happening to your dog. But be careful! Your dog can also shiver because he is afraid, because he is excited or because his metabolism is like that.
Have you noticed that your pet’s muscles are too tight? It may be a sign that he is cold. Just as it happens to people, your dog’s muscles can also contract, causing tension in the whole body. In this case, in addition to keep him warm and provide him with heat, you should give him a massage or brushing and see if he relaxes.
If you notice that your dog is especially tired, that he sleeps a lot or that he is drowsy, it may be because he is cold. Of course, there are also other reasons for drowsiness, such as having eaten too much or simply being fatigued by exercise. Take this into account!
If you see that your dog’s movements are somewhat slower and clumsier than usual, it is because his muscles are stiff, as they try to fight against the cold. You may also notice that his breathing is slower and calmer.
Dry skin is one of the most characteristic signs that your dog is getting cold. If the nose area or his skin is dry, it is time to apply some moisturizer. In addition, the massage will improve circulation and raise its temperature.
How to keep your dog warm in winter
Nowadays it is very easy and quite inexpensive to get warm clothes for dogs. There are all kinds of garments: sweaters, vests, raincoats, scarves, blankets, dog coats, etc. But if you don’t know how to keep your dog warm in winter, no problem! Here are some simple tips:
1-Don’t choose according to the style.
There are so many types of dog coats that you can go crazy and not know how to keep your dog warm in winter. The essential thing is not to look so much at the design or style, but at the type of garment. If it is warm or not, if it is waterproof or not, if it fits what your dog needs and its physical characteristics and corpulence. In short, the important thing is that it is useful and that your dog is comfortable.
2-Take into account the climate of your area
In order to choose how to shelter your dog during the winter, you must take into account whether you live in the open country or in the city and the climate of the area. These factors are key when selecting the most suitable warm clothing for your dog.
3-Watch out for fabrics
If your dog has allergy or dermatitis problems, you should pay attention to the fabrics of its warm clothing. You can consult your veterinarian for specific details.
4-Choose the right size
If you want to get the size of your dog’s coat right, you will have to take the measurements around the dog’s neck and around the chest at the widest part. As for the length measurement, it will be from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. If the dog’s size is between two sizes, or if it is large, it is better to choose a larger size.
5-Protect him also from water
In addition to protecting him from the cold, you should have a raincoat for dogs. These are thinner and usually have a hood. This way you can prevent him from getting wet or, if he does get a little wet, it will be easier to dry him when you get home.
6-Cover his ears
Poorly protected ears can lead to otitis. To avoid this, you should use hooded clothing that covers his ears and, if it rains, you should dry the area around his ears as soon as you get home.
7-Protect his paws
The pads of his soles crack in the cold and when they dry out they cause severe pain, forcing him to walk with difficulty. Check regularly for cracks in the paw pads or redness between the toes. If there are any problems, we advise you to use some moisturizing cream on your dog’s paws.
8-Keep his bed warm
What can you do to keep your dog’s bed warm? Well, you can put it near the radiator or heater to keep it warm. It is also convenient that your dog has a blanket nearby, so he can lie on it to be warmer or, if necessary, you can tuck him in with it.
9-Keep your house always at a good temperature.
In addition to his bed, remember to always keep your home warm, even when you are not there, so
that your dog doesn’t catch cold. And, of course, don’t have him sleeping outside, even if he has a kennel.
10- Don’t cut his hair
If you don’t know how to keep your dog warm during the winter, this is one of the most basic and logical recommendations. Hair is your dog’s natural tool to protect itself from the cold, so don’t cut it during the winter.
On days of excessive cold, rain or snow, it is better to go out only for your dog to relieve himself. Try to replace street exercise with play sessions at home. Take advantage of sunny days and the warmest hours of midday to take those pleasant steps.
12-Pay attention to their diet
As it happens to us people, in cold weather it is better that your dog’s diet contains more calories. He will need them to protect himself from the cold.
Do you agree with our tips on how to keep your dog warm in winter? Did we miss any recommendation? Leave us your comment below! If you found these tips on how to keep a dog warm, you can rate the article or share it. In our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube profiles you can find even more information for the care of your dog that we provide from Las Almenas.