Just like us, dogs need to stay warm in winter weather. If your dog stays inside most of the winter, you can add extra bedding material like a couple of old blankets to its sleeping area to keep it cozy and warm in cold weather.
If you live where the winter climate is frigid, your dog should be kept indoors during the entire season. If this is not possible or reasonable, there are a few ways you can protect your dog from icy cold weather and keep it comfortable during cold spells.
Arrange to shelter your dog in a warm dry place if it has to be outdoors in the winter. Be sure your dog has access to a warm garage or enclosed porch to stay in when winter temperatures drop too low for comfort.
Another alternative is an insulated dog house enclosed on three sides with a swinging door just large enough to allow easy entry and exit. The door can be made of wood or by using the vinyl flap reclaimed from an old doggy door. Place the dog house where the doorway faces away from the wind. The best protection for your dog is to place the doghouse next to a sheltered side of your home so at least one side of the doghouse has added weather protection from the outside wall of your house.
Straw makes a perfect bedding material to keep your dog warm and can easily be replaced when the bedding needs to be cleaned.
If your dog spends a considerable amount of time outside during cold winter weather, it will need additional food because its body will burn more calories just to keep it warm and to create a layer of fat insulation. Just add a little more food to the daily meals or supplement the meals with more canned dog food or other protein sources.
Jackets and sweaters to keep a dog warm are often considered nothing more than cute fashion statements. But if your dog spends most of its time indoors, its body will not have adjusted to a sudden cold climate change. Dogs with short coats and little body fat will be more comfortable wearing a coat or sweater when they go outdoors. If you live in a part of the country where it’s wet and icy during the winter months, rain jackets or boots can provide additional protection from nasty weather.
If you live where the winter weather is extremely cold, and you have access to a Petco or PetSmart store, you can find items ranging from clothing to comfy beds in just the right size for your canine companion. When you bundle up for the winter, be sure to bundle up your best friend too and keep him or her warm in winter weather.