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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 or Wee-Wee Pads 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 intake.

 

 

 

Top 5 Dog Life Jackets for Safety on the Water

If you’re taking your best friend out on the high seas or local lake, you’ll want to make sure you’ve outfitted him in the safest gear possible. Perfect for boating and sailing. As you put on your life jacket, don’t forget about your dog’s life jacket – you want to keep him safe too!

Here are some great dog life jacket options:

All linked for easy shopping

ruffwear dog life jacket Ruffwear K9 Dog Life Jacket
This dog life jacket from canine outdoor adventure gear company, Ruffwear, scores top reviews. Perfect for dogs that love to join their humans rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing and paddle boarding, this life jacket is designed for dogs of all shapes and sizes. This premium, fully-featured dog life jacket has a strong handle, optimally positioned to lift dogs out of the water.
Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket
Dogs’ swimming abilities can vary dramatically depending on age and breed. Even “water” dogs can be susceptible to panic in strong currents. The Outward Hound award winning life jacket sports high visibility colors, multiple reflective strips, easy-grab handles, and outstanding floatation. It’s an ideal life jacket for dogs.
ezydog life jacket EzyDog Doggy Floatation Vest
The EzyDog life jacket combines top performing flotation with the comfort of life vest versatility. It also keeps your dog stylish with plenty of color options for your next trip out on the water. The grab handle makes it easy to take your dog out of the water. Adjustable neoprene straps form an ergonomic and secure fit.
Hurtta Dog Life Jacket Hurtta Life Jacket
The Hurtta Life Jacket is designed for use in swimming, water rescue, rehabilitation and boating. An adjustable belt and front allow the life jacket to fit most breeds of dog. The back of the jacket is fitted with sturdy handle so your dog can be easily lifted out of the water. A protective underbelly section distributes the dog’s weight over a larger area and keeps the jacket firmly in place.
1# Rated Dog Life Jacket in Europe!
WOpet Dog Life Jacket
Who says you can’t have a little fun with your dog safety! This comes in the shark (shown here) or fish tail versions. It has velcro and buckles around the waist and neck which are adjustable so you can tighten or loosen as much as you need. Will definitely be a crowd-pleaser at your next pool or boat party!

Get a Custom Dog Raincoat

Kobi in his Custom Dog Raincoat

When it rains in NYC, our dog, who is blond, can get super dirty. I call it the “half Oreo effect” as he ends up black on the bottom half and white on the top half. We’ve used various raincoats, but decided to get a custom dog raincoat for Kobi because none of his raincoats gave him full neck to paw coverage.

We researched for a while and found a link on Etsy that took us to Custom-Made 4U. There we entered in all of Kobi’s measurements, picked out a style plus colors and ordered the custom dog raincoat for Kobi.

Julija from Custom-Made 4U, emailed us back to confirm our order and answer our questions. In a few weeks, we received the raincoat (from Lithuania) and we are super happy with it! We always get stopped of the street when Kobi is wearing his custom dog raincoat. Best of all, it’s well made and keeps him very clean from neck to paw – no more “half Oreo effect” when it rains!

Top 10 Dog Coats for Winter

Here are our Top 10 Dog Coats for Winter! With the freezing temperatures across the U.S., we’re sure you want to keep your best friend as warm and comfortable as possible. We’ve selected these stylish and functional dog coats for our Dogsized fans. If you’re looking for dog boots too, please check out our post on: Top Dog Boots and Paw Protection for the Winter.

Top 10 Dog Coats for Winter

dog coats Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece Jacket dog coats  Zack & Zoey Duck Ranch Dog Coat
Zippy Cozy Dog Suits Suede Shearling Coat Hurtta Frost Jacket for Dogs Ruffwear Quinzee Dog Jacket
Hurtta Pet Collection Winter Jacket, Red Hurtta Rainwear Slush Combat Suit

If you’re looking for something a little different – let us know. We’re always searching for great products for our Dogsized fans. You can also check out our Apparel & Accessories page which has more coats and fleeces.