How to care for a dog in winter

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dog with scarf

With the arrival of cold and winter rains it is necessary to take certain measures so that our dog can spend the winter well, comfortably and without getting sick.

Caring for a dog in winter requires some basic care that we will explain in detail, although depending on where you live and how low the temperatures drop, it will be necessary to apply all or only some of them.

Remember that puppies and elderly dogs are the most susceptible to suffer the consequences of the cold, so we must be even more careful with them, without a doubt.

Index of contents

  • 1 Should I shelter my dog ​​in winter?
  • 2 The baths and the rain
  • 3 Does your dog live inside or outside the home?
  • 4 A good diet rich in fats
  • 5 Puppies and elderly dogs

Should I shelter my dog ​​in winter?

Many people put coats and even jerseys on their dogs to protect them from the winter cold, especially when they go for a walk. But … Is it really necessary?

It depends, the dogs of Nordic breeds or large breeds generally do not require any type of protection against the cold, however the small breeds and specifically the “mini” if they need help not to freeze.

The health and age of our dog will also influence whether he needs some kind of coat to help him keep warm. Especially when temperatures drop below zero degrees (when it freezes).

You can find detailed information from: When to shelter a dog in cold weather.

dog in the snow

The baths and the rain

In order to take care of a dog in winter in an adequate way, we must be aware that if it is cold and our dog is wet, it is very likely that it becomes ill, being able to contract from a cold to a serious respiratory illness.

We just have to apply a little common sense and towel dry our dog on the way back from the walk, if it has rained and is wet. Even better idea is to put a cape or raincoat to protect you from the rain, this way we only need to dry your legs.

If we plan to bathe our dog, we must do it after the walk. Once bathed, it must be thoroughly dried with towels and then with the dryer, being careful not to burn it.

Even with all this bustle, dogs have two layers of hair and it is really difficult to dry them completely, so after a bath it is not recommended to go for a walk, but to be warm at home to finish drying.

Does your dog live inside or outside the home?

If our puppy lives indoors with us, we must place his bed in a warm place, away from drafts that can cool him. On the other hand, putting some old blankets or towels on your bed will help you to conserve heat better.

If our dog lives away from home, it is very important that he has a good doghouse to protect you from cold, rain, wind and humidity. For this, the best option is a wooden hut facing south and protected from the air.

Even so, if the temperatures drop a lot, it is always advisable to let the dog live inside the home. Dogs are very familiar and love to always be with their family. Having them isolated in a garden or patio on their own is actually a form of torture.

dog with raincoat

A good diet rich in fats

Food is essential for the health of a dog, but mainly in winter. Taking care of a dog in winter requires feeding it well so that it can gain a little weight and be protected from the cold.

There are pre-made dog foods (balanced / kibble / feed) that contain a little more fat than usual. Normally intended for working dogs, but in colder climates, we can always use them with our puppy.

On the other hand, you know that we always recommend feeding our dog with natural products, since it is the best possible diet. Don’t forget to take a look at these BARF homemade dog food recipes.

Puppies and elderly dogs

It goes without saying that puppies and older dogs are extremely sensitive to climatic changes, so for them we must be even more cautious and apply all the advice above.

Don’t even think about letting a puppy or an elderly person live outside the home in winter, especially in areas where winter is cold and usually freezes or even snows. Having a dog is having a great responsibility, take care of the how of your own family because for him, you are his family.