Winter time can present some challenges to keeping your dog both safe and comfortable. Here are a few tips.
A clean coat is a better insulator than a dirty coat. In Western Washington, we have a lot more mud this time of year, make sure you bathe your dog as often a necessary in the winter to keep them clean. But make sure they have plenty of time to completely dry before they spend much outside again. If necessary take them to a groomer to get the bathing done. If they are dog friendly consider taking them to a doggy daycare that offers grooming services where they can get a bath and then dry off while they are playing indoors like here at the K9 Korral.
Make sure your dog has clean drinking water available all the time. This time of year dogs can get just as dehydrated as the summer months. They will drink just about anything that is available so make sure they have the option of clean water. If they have a water bowl outside, make sure it is not frozen. Don’t rely upon the rain to refill the bowl, outside the bowl will collect more than just rain and needs to be cleaned daily.
Dogs feet are a part of their body where they lose (and gain) heat in a hurry. When they come in from the snow, make sure you remove any snow from between the pads on their feet.
You also need to think about shelter. For dogs that are outside during the day, they need a place to get out of the elements. This could be a doggy door to a garage or mud room, or a doghouse. A doghouse should have a small an opening as possible to limit the wind entering. Around here, if possible the door should face the East where our winds come from the least.
And finally, if you normally have some house and pet sit when you away, in the winter you should seriously consider a good boarding kennel. You know your dog will not be left out in the cold for long periods of time. For a dog that is use to being indoors most of the time that could have tragic results. Here at the K9 Korral we may not have queen size beds (with a person in the bed) for the dogs, but we have radiant floor heat so even the most tempurature sensitive dogs will be nice and cozy.