Quantcast

Top 5 Tips for Cold Dogs and Winter Weather

cold dog yorkie

Geez – I’m cold!

It’s freezing across the country and most people are huddled up inside. So what should we do with our dogs? Clearly they still need exercise and have to “do business”, so when is it too cold for them?

1. Identify Your Dog’s Susceptibility

There are many different factors in determining a dog’s resistance to cold. According to Dr. Susan Whiton and Dr. Sophia Yin: “The animal’s ability to tolerate really cold weather depends on age, nutritional status, health and coat density.”

cold dog - husky

This Freezing Weather Is Awesome!!!

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences has stated “it is clinically accepted that indoor pets that are not acclimated to cold weather should not be left outside when the average daily temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Dogs that tend to do well in the cold include Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Chow Chows.

Dogs that are more susceptible to the cold are toy dogs (e.g. Yorkies) and dogs without hair (i.e. Chinese Crested) or do not have thick coats (e.g. Greyhounds).

If your dog is a puppy, very old or sick, you might want to consider using an Indoor Dog Potty while the temperature is below 45 degrees.

2. Know the Signs of a Cold Dog

If your dog is shivering, whining, stops moving, starts looking for warm places to burrow or is in a curled position, it is probably too cold. When the weather is severely cold, take shorter walks. Don’t try to take your dog on the same length walks as during warmer weather. A shorter walk can still accomplish enough exercise and relief breaks without causing your dog (and you) to become too cold.
In regards to dogs that spend more time outside in the winter, according to Dr. Susan Whiton and Dr. Sophia Yin: “The dogs that are not doing well will have ice on their fur. It indicates that they are losing enough body heat to melt the snow. Because their coat is not insulating well more ice will build up making the hair less lofty and less insulating.”

3. Get a Dog Coat and/or Dog Boots

dog coatSweaters and Dog Coats can keep your pets warm. Make sure they fit correctly. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Using a dog coat with good under carriage coverage will be very helpful for dogs with longer coats that more easily collect ice on their fur.

Dog boots and paw protectants (e.g. Musher’s) can protect your dog’s paws from the cold and salt. After a walk outside, check to make sure any salt or antifreeze products are removed from paws or fur. To remove any snow from a dog’s coat, use a towel or hairdryer.

Let's Play Indoors!

Let’s Play Indoors!

4. Play Indoors

If it’s too cold for your dog outside, then make sure to spend more play time with your dog indoors. If your dog is a fan of fetch – this is probably really easy – just keep throwing a ball down a hallway. My dog isn’t a super fan of fetch, but if I do it with treats, he’s happy to play fetch indoors.

You can try teaching your dog tricks or play some of their other favorite games to keep them active during the winter. If they need more exercise, consider organizing a doggy play date or taking your dog to a doggie daycare so they can play with other dogs.

5. Adjust Your Dog’s Diet

If your dog is spending a lot of time outside (e.g. they’re a Siberian Husky), then you probably need to increase their food consumption.

If your dog is spending more time indoors, you probably need to somewhat reduce their food intact.

See our article on: How to Check If Your Dog is Overweight

Top 10 Indoor Dog Gates

You love your dog, but sometimes you need your dog to stay in a specific area of your home. Maybe you’ve got a puppy on your hands or you don’t want your dog in the formal living room. We’ve looked around for some of the best designs that we think our Dogsized fans will love:

dog gate 1. Supergate Deluxe Decor Gate
This Supergate Deluxe Decor metal gate offers both security for your family and style for your home. It is very durable and constructed with a strong powder-coated metal. The arched gate offers a one swinging walk-thru panel built with a double-locking system, as well as, a stay-open feature.
dog gate 2. Convertible Elite Dog Gate
This 6-panel elite dog gate configures into a free standing dog gate, a room divider, or a pet pen. It’s designed to confine your dog safely in areas with larger openings, yet fit beautifully in any home decor. The gate includes a lockable door that allows you to move freely from room to room. Each panel locks in place at 90- and 180-degree angles using a specially designed cap, which also provides extra stability.
dog gate 3. Elegant Dog Gate
There’s no reason to sacrifice style for function with this beautiful dog gate. This is a freestanding dog gate made of chew-resistant, rich, solid wood. It also has a walk-thru door which allows easy movement between spaces. This dog gate by Primetime Petz is easy to use and folds down to store in seconds.
dog gate 4. Hardwood Dog Gate
A handsome, versatile gate you’ll enjoy having in your home. Customizable, panels can be configured to work in any open space or doorway. Place into a C-shape into the corner of a room to use as a crate or play pen. The collapsible feature and integrated carrying handles make it easy to store. Made of solid hardwood with walnut color finish.
MDOG2 free standing pet gate 5. MDOG2 Free Standing Pet Gate
Looking for something more modern and white? This chic free standing pet gate is designed for small to medium breed dogs and comes in different finishes. This gate comes with EVA feet for protection of the floors and is very simple to set up.
dog gate 6. Free Standing Wood Dog Gate
We love the look of the arch on this solid wood dog gate. The Free Standing Dog Gate by Majestic Pet Products is ideal for keeping your dogs confined while still keeping your home elegant. Built with solid-wood and triple hinge construction, it is both durable and versatile. It comes in a cherry stain wood or white.
dog gate 7. Wood One-Touch Dog Gate
This dog gate is beautifully crafted and has a “tension-mount” design that allows you to easily attach it to a doorway/hallway opening to keep your dog confined to their own “special” area. The gate door allows you to move freely from room to room. The “one-touch” handle design provides the option of opening/closing the gate with one hand. Lockable gate door provides additional pet security. It’s made of polished wood and metal and comes in 3 colors.
dog gate 8. Wood and Steel Designer Gate
This steel streamlined design has a gate with natural-grain dark wood that complements the style of your home. For convenience, the gate swings open in both directions. It’s easy for adults to open with one hand and shuts firmly with a simple push. The designer gate includes extensions that provide a custom fit and works for all areas of your home.
bindaboo gate 9. Indoor or Outdoor Retractable Gate
This award winning retractable gate may be used both inside and outdoors as it’s made from a UV treated durable mesh to keep it from fading in the sun. It fits narrow to wider openings up to 55in (140cm). Very space efficient and the gate retracts out of the way when not in use.
Extra Wide Free Standing Pet Gate 10. Extra Wide Free Standing Pet Gate
This Design Studio 2-in-1 Free Standing Dog Gate is designed with premium hard wood and black accents. It expands to fit a variety of openings from 40-70 inches wide. The patented slide and wide latch system is simplistic and allows you to easily move this gate to different openings around your home. Easy to install and quick take down.

Canine Flu – Be Aware and Protect Your Dog

canine fluRecently, there’s been a “bug” circulating around the neighborhood dogs and it was believed to be kennel cough (i.e. bordetella). However, with the number of dogs it affected in such a short amount of time, tests were made and the “bug” is kennel cough caused by canine flu (aka canine influenza), which is highly infectious. According to Dr. Kristin Lester, DVM, kennel cough can be caused by numerous organisms and frequently occur concurrently (e.g. bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, advenovirus type 2 and canine influenza, distemper, reovirus).

canine fluIf your dog has not been vaccinated against canine flu, then your dog will have zero immunity towards this virus. Of course, no flu vaccine is a 100% guarantee you won’t get the flu (just like the human flu vaccine), but it’s better than zero defense. While this might not be going on in your neighborhood (yet), we thought it would be good to update everyone to help keep your dogs safe and healthy.

If your dog frequents doggie daycares, dog parks, or any other locations where dogs play and hang out, you might want to have a discussion with your vet and consider getting your dog vaccinated. I just made an appointment today to get my dog, Kobi, vaccinated and apparently it’s a two shot treatment. Kobi will get a flu shot today and then we’ll go back in 3 weeks for the next round.

sick dogUnfortunately, a friend’s dog caught the canine flu. We thought it would be helpful to let you know how it ran its course. They first had their dog (we’ll call her Bella) on antibiotics, which was possibly more preventative than reactive, but was suggested by their vet. Bella’s parents kept her away from other dogs to prevent spreading the virus. To be safe, if your dog catches the flu, they should not be in contact with other dogs for at least 7 days after symptoms have resolved. The flu virus can also take up to 10 days to gestate and your dog may not show symptoms for over a week.

sick dogBella had a nasty cough (sounded like choking), which lasted about a week. The cough got worse before it got better and it was horrible sounding. Bella’s parents gave her honey, to try and coat the throat a bit (mixed reviews on this, but regardless she loved it) and gave her a couple of spoons of coconut oil with her food (a natural anti-viral). They also gave her lots of water, including luke-warm chamomile tea as it apparently reduces stomach spasms from the cough and made her drink lots. They also cut back on the length of Bella’s walks, much to Bella’s annoyance.

After 7-8 days from presenting signs, Bella was no longer coughing and had a lot more energy. She is back to playing, chasing and chewing her toy duck and was bouncing around on their walks. We’re so happy Bella’s feeling better!!!

Thanks to Dr. Kristin Lester, DVM, Fetch Club and Downtown Dog NYC for keeping us up-to-date on canine health issues in the NYC area!

Top 5 Tips to Create a Pet Friendly Home

In honor of National Puppy Day, we’re bringing you our Top 5 Tips to Create a Pet Friendly Home. We would highly advise them if you have a new puppy, but they could even help your relationship with your fully grown dog.

pet friendly home1. If it’s on the floor – consider it fair game

Dogs are literally living at a lower level than us, so they really notice first what’s on the floor. They particularly like it when there’s something tasty or smells good. Real leather fits the bill perfectly. Puppies that tend to chew a lot, will find your shoes and handbags on the floor irresistible. Even my dog, who’s trained quite well, went through at least 4 pairs of shoes and almost a handbag (I quickly rescued it before major damage was done) when he was a puppy. So just don’t tempt them, if you like it, keep it off the floor.

2. If they can reach it – it’s also fair game

Pappy

Pappy

When creating a pet friendly home, you need to take into consideration how tall your dog is – including how tall he is on his hind legs and stretching. Dogs will use all their efforts to get to something they really want. Did you read our post on how Pappy nabbed the family rotisserie chicken? Pappy was 8 years old when this happened, so this isn’t just a puppy problem.

There’s also the issue of the coffee table – your dog reaching it from the front with his mouth or from the back with his tail. You’ve got to be the responsible pet parent here and realize the coffee table is a potential disaster zone. Keep and eye out or make sure your dog can’t get near it.

bad foods for dogs Did you know it’s National Poison Prevention Week? As a reminder, please make sure those potentially dangerous human foods are out of reach of your best friend. A friend of mine had some chocolates on the dining room table and while she was away at work, her puppy dachshund jumped on the chair and then up on the table and ate all the chocolates – which very sadly resulted in her puppy’s passing. If in doubt, put it away!

3. Give your dog his own personal space

While most of us would agree that a dog’s life is quite nice, they still need some personal space. At times they’re going to want to escape from the family chaos and retreat into their own little spot. Perhaps it’s a special spot in your home or your dog’s crate (read more about crates at: The Dog Crate – An Essential Part of Your Home). Make sure it’s comfortable, cozy and preferably den-like.

4. Baby-proofing is not just for babies

pet friendly homeWhen you start to look at some things in the pet and baby departments, you’ll notice some cross-overs. For example, there are baby gates which are useful not just for babies but also for dogs. There are play pens for babies and also for dogs. You’ve got diapers for babies and pee pads (which are essentially flat diapers) for puppies.

Most importantly, you want to make sure your babies and doggies cannot get to harmful chemicals or drugs. Babies and doggies also tend to have their mouths on a lot of things you would prefer they avoid, so store things appropriately and avoid harsh chemical which they could potentially come in contact with.

5. Clean up – your dog will appreciate it

Pet friendly homeLet’s say you’ve abided by tips 1 & 2 and have stored all those things away that you don’t want eaten or chewed. Next is to reduce the dirt and dust in your dog’s life. Certain allergens, dirt and mold can affect your dog’s health and greatly decrease their quality of life. It’s probably not healthy for you either.
Not to mention, if you keep the toilet seat up and you have a lab (or similarly larger breed) – they’re probably going to try to drink out of the toilet a some point when you’re not looking – let’s keep the bowl clean if not for you, then for your best friend.

To conclude, we’re not recommending you to become some sort of neat freak. Having a dog (or babies) definitely makes life a bit messier, but with that comes a lot of laughter and love.