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Keep Your Dog Warm

In winter, dogs can feel the cold a lot more than their owners sometimes realise. It is important to take steps to ensure that they are properly kept warm in the older months. The exact steps you take depend on factors such as the breed of dog you have and where they tend to spend their time both during the day and at night. However, in general there are a number of measures you can put in place to keep them warm and comfortable.


Your Breed
Some breeds are more susceptible to the cold than others, so knowing where your breed stands is an important first step. In general, smaller dogs or those with shorter hair are more susceptible to the cold than those with longer hair, but you should look for information specific to your breed if you are unsure.


Bedding
Obviously, providing warm bedding is the first and most important way to keep your dog warm overnight. A good bed, preferably soft, will be an instant step up from sleeping on the cold floor. Warm blankets should be added to this to ensure that dogs have the warmest place possible to spend their nights.


Kennels
If your dog spends a large amount of time outside, make sure they have access to a kennel or some other source of shelter. To help ensure that they can stay warm effectively while inside the shelter, consider adding insulation to the inside or a heater. As indoors, provide blankets and other bedding so that they can settle down and keep themselves warm. Try to keep an eye on them, if possible as even the most hardy dogs may struggle to stay outside when temperatures get very low.


Dog Clothing
When you are going out and it is cold, you put on extra layers. This tactic can also work for your dog. If your dog is going out into the garden or being taken for a walk, consider putting some form of dog clothing on them. Some people like the way this looks and some don't, but the fact is that dog clothing can really help a dog stay warm and this is more important than personal taste.


Grooming
During the colder part of the year, dogs benefit from different grooming habits compared to the summer. You should avoid cutting or clipping your dog's hair at all. Their coat is their main source of warmth, and the more hair they have the better their bodies will be at retaining heat. This doesn't mean that you should avoid any sort of grooming. Matted hair does not keep the cold out nearly as well as hair that has been cared for. Keep your dog clean and brush their coat regularly. Make sure you only bathe or wash them indoors, and make sure they are able to get completely dry before they are allowed back out again. Like humans, dogs feel the cold a lot more when they are wet.

 

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