Cold weather is no joke for pets.
Please make sure your pet has adequate shelter from the cold. Outdoor dogs need a well insulated dog house that is not too big and has some sort of door or barrier to keep wind and snow out. Make sure they have plenty of food (they will burn calories trying to keep warm) and water that is not frozen. Better yet, consider keeping them indoors.
If it is too cold for you to enjoy staying outdoors, it is likely too cold for your dog as well – quick trips outside for a bathroom break may be all that they want.
For longer periods outdoors, like going for a walk or play, it might not be just little dogs that need coats and or booties. Many larger breeds have short coats or are clipped and don’t have enough insulation on their own. There are a wide variety of high quality coats, jackets, “onsies” and booties available for dogs – Just like you, your dog may need different options for different weather and activities.
Here are some guidelines for when to consider a coat for your dog:
Young pups – puppies 5 months or younger probably need coats their first winter season.
Tiny dogs – the smaller the dog the more winter protection they probably need.
Old dogs – the older the dog the more winter warmth they will need.
Thin dogs – especially sighthounds who are thin of body and thin of coat (fur). They need warm sweaters inside, extra blankies to curl up in and another layer when going outside.
Recovering dogs – when a body is fully engaged in healing it has fewer resources for other things like body temp regulation – so recovering dogs need to be coddled accordingly.
Dogs with no ‘winter coat’ of their own – thin fur on a dog is like wearing a tank top only in the winter. Macho or not, you’d be cold! Dogs already sporting their own warm winter coat probably don’t need any additional wardrobe from us (northern breeds or breeds with a thick, dense undercoat).
Dogs who act cold – if your dog stands hunched and bunched, lifting one paw then the other, tucking their tail and looking miserable then they ARE miserable. They need your help! Either bring them inside or dress them appropriately for the weather.
Cats: Keep it simple and keep them indoors!