Even if your pooch seems to have a preference for being outdoors most of the time, it's important to consider his safety first. Dogs and very cold temperatures just aren't a good combination. Keep your pup inside with you during the cold and frigid winter -- no matter what.
Dogs require ample daily exercise no matter how cold it may be outside. It's important to make sure your dog gets to stretch his legs -- and go to the bathroom -- even on the bitterest of February mornings. Make sure to take your dog out a couple of times a day, but always, always bring him back in for the rest of the time. Also, it's very important to always closely monitor your pet in unpleasant weather situations. If your dog is especially sporty and outside-oriented, be sure to amp up his food supply during the winter, and make sure it's rich in protein. Hypothermia and frostbite are both very real risks for dogs who stay outdoors for extended periods of time in cold weather. Avoid putting your dog in danger and keep him indoors during the wintertime -- with the exception of aforementioned exercise sessions, of course.
According to the East Bay SPCA, certain breeds manage in harsh winter weather better than others. For example, huskies possess thick fur that can help them get through many inclement climate situations. However, the organization warns against leaving any kind of dog outdoors indefinitely during the winter, no matter the breed type or health of the animal. Cold temperatures are harsh on all dogs -- no exceptions.
Bring your doggie in from the cold especially when the evening comes around. After all, the little guys require cozy warmth in order to sleep well, notes the ASPCA. Give your pet a good night's sleep -- every night -- during the winter and make sure he's away from cold air currents as well as the ground. Provide him with a comfortable doggie bed and cuddly throw blanket, and you'll be all set.
If your pooch is a little puppy, bringing him indoors is especially important. The ASPCA warns that puppies are particularly vulnerable to cold. In fact, if you're in the midst of training your pet to use the potty, you may want to temporarily switch to indoor paper training. Puppies aren't the only types of doggies that have an especially hard time with cold weather. Elderly dogs and dogs with certain medical ailments also may be particularly delicate, so take note.
By Naomi Millburn
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.