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How to Ensure Your Dog Is Happy During the Cold Winter

When you think about how to give your dog the highest quality of life this winter, start with these four tips.
Paisley Hansen Nov 4, 2019
Winter is a season of holiday festivities and fun outdoor activities. But, depending on where you live, it can also be a time when temperatures dip down to extreme lows. If you are hunkering down and staying bundled this winter, make sure you do not forget to do the same for the four-legged members of your family.

Keep Them Inside

Though summer, spring, and fall tend to be fine seasons for pets to roam around outside and even spend the night in their doghouse or in the backyard, winter is the one season where it may make sense to bring them inside.
Especially at night, when the sun goes down and temperatures dip far below freezing, keeping your dog or cat inside can protect them from harsh weather.
If you need to keep your dog outside in the dog house, look into how to keep a dog house warm in the winter. Layering thick carpets against the walls or installing a heat lamp may be two ways to keep your pup warm outside.

Bundle Them Up

Another way to help your pet through the winter is by making sure they are kept warm when they do go outside. Warm, waterproof booties for dogs can help protect the pads on their paws from freezing and can keep snow, ice, and salt from getting stuck between their toes.
Dressing your dog (or even your cat!) in sweaters or jackets specifically made for pets can also help keep heat close to their bodies and prevent them from getting too cold or experiencing life-threatening conditions like frostbite or hypothermia. Some styles include leg coverings and others include faux fur-lined hoods for added warmth.
Choosing the best style for your dog’s coat and body type will help ensure your dog stays warm enough when they go outside. Owners who have dogs with short fur or no fur should take extra care to bundle up their pet before letting them go outside.

Reduce Time Outside

When it gets really cold, you may want to shorten your dog’s daily walk or make sure your cat is getting playtime in the house. Depending on the temperature, staying outside for more than thirty minutes at a time can be dangerous for pets, particularly those with shorter fur.
Even if your pet is bundled in plenty of additional layers, freezing temperatures can still do them harm. Before taking your pet outside, be sure to check the weather and plan accordingly. If the temperature drops below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be best to skip your dog’s walk that day.

Don’t Skimp on Exercise

Just because your pet cannot spend as much time outside does not mean they will not still need their usual amount of exercise. Getting creative with the ways you play with your dog can make even the worst winter days go by much faster. Try playing games or teaching them new tricks to get through the winter together.
Making sure to spend time playing with your cat can be helpful, too. They need exercise just like dogs do, and in the winter, when there are fewer critters to watch through the window and fewer opportunities to go outside, play time can often be their only outlet.
Mental and physical stimulation will help keep your pet healthy during the winter, and you may find that it does good things for you too. The last thing you or your pet needs is a case of the winter blues!
With reduced daylight hours and freezing temperatures, winter can be hard on pets and owners alike. But with a little forethought and planning, you can get through it without breaking a sweat. Try out these four tips this winter to help your pet stay warm and healthy.