Recently, temperatures here in the Pittsburgh area have dipped well below the 20’s and wind chills have been in the single digits or negatives. When it gets cold like this, it quickly turns miserable for those of us who crave the heat. You can’t go outside without a hat, gloves, and tons of layers and everything is frozen from your car to your driveway. As a result, you throw on a jacket and some sweatpants and burrow deep under some thick blankets.
Trying to stay warm can occupy a lot of our energy and in our own attempts to keep warm, it can be easy to forget that we aren’t the only ones suffering from the bitter cold.
Don’t forget that the cold can be hard on your pets as well. Ever since the frigid temps began, I’ve noticed that my dogs are sleeping a lot more and they tend to spend the day curled up on their beds under their blankets. They hardly move all day long!
Ivy, who is are littlest dog, shakes and shivers when she has to brave the cold and it’s obvious that she hates to step on the frozen, salty ground during bathroom breaks.
So what can we do as responsible pet owners to ensure that our pets are as comfortable as they can be during the coldest winter spells?
Follow these tips to help your dog beat the winter chill!
How To Keep Your Dog Warm This Winter
1. Invest in a heated dog bed.
For dogs who really struggle to keep warm, (seniors, small and short haired dogs, or sick dogs) investing in a thermal dog bed or pad for the crate can be a real life saver. A heated dog bed can provide your shivering pet with the extra boost of heat that they need. Consider this heated bed from Chewy.com (about $63 for a medium sized dog bed), but know there are a ton of options out there! Check out Amazon, Wayfair, and other pet retailers for more options!
Gifting your dog his own heating bad and slipping it on his bed is another option. Just be sure to keep the heat on low and provide a barrier between your dog’s skin and the heating pad.
2. Purchase a blanket especially for your dog.
While some pet owners let their dogs have the run of the entire house (couch, blankets, and all) others are more strict about what their dog can and can’t lay on. Purchasing a small, warm blanket that’s specifically theirs not only provides them with a way to stay warm this winter, but can also be a great source of comfort for your dog.
3. Limit the walks and outdoor time.
Even when it gets really, really cold out your dog still might beg for a walk. If that’s the case, still be sure to limit their time out on walks to thirty minutes or less. In addition, if you tie your dog out for bathroom breaks be sure to bring them back inside. Some states and cities now have laws that dictate how long your dog can be outside in the extreme temperatures.
4. Invest in a quality jacket for your dog.
With dogs it’s impossible to avoid braving the frigid temps in the winter time as bathroom breaks are a must. For dogs that really struggle with the cold, consider investing in a jacket or hoodie for your dog. Quality jackets such as this jacket from the Dog Outdoors are the best option, but if you aren’t looking to spend a ton of money, any jacket that covers your dog’s belly should help.
5. Protect those paws.
The salted roads and sidewalks can reek havoc on your dog’s tender paws. Be sure to invest in pet safe salt for your own driveway or sidewalk, but for protection from the salted roads consider purchasing a good pair of winter booties for your pup.
If your dog refuses the boots, make sure to slather some paw pad protector such as Musher’s Secret on their paws before walks and outdoor trips and wipe off their paws when they are back inside. If you run out, Vaseline will do the trick as well!
(You can also check out this recipe for a DIY paw pad ointment from the AKC)
6. When all else fails-cuddle with your dog.
Having a deep cuddle session will keep you warm and happy as well as your dog!
How do you and your pet keep warm during the winter months? Leave a comment below ☺️