Winter has arrived and the challenge is back again: how can we keep our dogs warm even during the most freezing-cold days? Some breeds like Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies are just ready for the cold, but most breeds just aren’t.
Hypothermia, which is an critical medical condition affecting dogs who suddenly lose heat faster than they produce it. In short, hypothermia happens when dogs become too cold and unable to fight the elements. The body’s low temperature means a slower blood circulation, cold extremities, and often some frostbites (more or less obvious depending on where they show up.)
Obviously, most dogs and their owners can feel the cold coming and take preventive measures, ranging from kennel heaters to a warmer bed. It all depends where does your dog spend most of his or her time. Remember, senior pets and puppies are the most at risk and require extra preventive care and measures!
In this article, I want to give you three simple, yet very efficient, ways to keep your dog warm even during the coldest days of this winter.
1 — A Warmer Dog Bed
Unless your needs are very special and you need your dogs to remain outdoors most of the day and night, your pets will be indoors at home with you. When it is cold, dogs lounge even more in their favorite bed so you do want to add some warm elements to it.
If your furry friend does not yet have a comfy bed, look at our Snuggle Bed — the faux fur offers a very smooth finish and added warmth! If the cold is still somewhat unbearable, especially overnight, you do want to throw a throw in there (#punintended.) You will love our range of premium double-sided blankets for dogs.
Most of the time, changing the location of your dog’s bed is enough to avoid harsh cold streams of air. Stay away from doors and corridors, prefer the places where you yourself spend a lot of time in (living room, kitchen) as these are generally the ones that are heated up enough. I’m sure you do not enjoy the cold very much yourself, do you?
2 — Dog House Heater
Now, some people need their dogs to remain outdoors for various reasons; and these people are not monsters at all. Guarding dogs obviously spend all their nights outdoors, so do dogs kept in kennels run. The latter dogs are usually owned by large breeders, or farmers and are working dogs.
Keeping dogs in kennels during harsh winters and icey days is possible but you will generally need a couple of things: enhanced insulation, and external help using a kennel heater (do not use regular home heating fans or the likes, they are not conceived to be used outdoors.)
Indeed, a handful of well-made dog house heaters are available on the market (i.e. on Amazon ha!) and Akoma Hound Heater is generally the go-to product. However, do not expect a very easy and straightforward heater that you simply buy, plug in, and leave working. It’s more of a professional tool costing over $100 and needs to be attached to your kennel or garage. Dogs should not get burned since there are shields, and the kennels should not be overheated thanks to the thermostat embedded in.
Being a professional product, expect a long-lasting life, but it is somewhat of an overkill for most dog owners who are not owning working dogs. Which brings me to the third option to keeps dogs warm during winter: heating pads.
3 — Heating Pads
Dog heating pads are cheaper, more convenient, and are most definitely good enough for most dog owners out there. They come in three different types of pads:
1. Self-heating pads — thermal fabrics and materials used to retain heat to pass it on to the dog
2. Electric pads — require to be plugged into a socket but also the most effective heating pad type
3. Microwaveable pads — provide hours of decent warmth after a few minutes spent in your microwave
Obviously, outdoor dogs would most likely need electric dog heating pads especially with close to subzero temperatures. These pads are left on the floor and dogs love lounging on them. The heat is never too hot thanks to a self-control system that detects the dog’s body temperature and stops as soon as it is reached. As you can imagine, such electric heating pads are not advise to aggressive chewers (but they use a low wattage, just in case.)
If your dogs are kept indoors but still get cold (e.g. toy breeds and hairless dogs), go for a fleece blanket and a microwaveable pad. The best selling product is the Snuggle Safe and you can find it on Amazon, too.
To conclude, we all ideally would keep our dogs indoors with us but it is not always possible. And when it is indeed possible, it may not be enough. Some people have large homes and the heating system cannot cope with the entire property. You have plenty of options available and you can pick the most appropriate one.
Budget dog owners will most likely go for comfortable blankets or heating pads, while farmers and working dog owners may prefer the efficiency of a professional kennel heater. Regardless, make sure you monitor your dog’s overall movement, as well as touch his or her ears, to be sure they are not too cold. If they are, offer a lovely warm chicken broth (careful with too much salt!) to warm your pet up really fast.
And please, do not panic unnecessarily, most dogs spend their winter without any glitch!