Keep your dog feeling warm this winter
Does your dog shiver and shake through New Zealand's winter? Many dogs feel the cold just as much as their owners, and when a wicked southerly slices through town it doesn't matter where you live, north or south.
We've compiled some tips and ideas for keeping your dog comfortable this winter:
1.Provide adequate shelter
Keep your dog indoors as much as possible, braving the outside for necessities like exercise and toilet time. If you must keep a dog outdoors ensure they have access to shelter with warm bedding and a protected entrance to keep out the wind and rain. (During periods of extreme cold allow them indoors if possible.)
2.Warm them up
A Scandinavian friend once said: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing." Very true. Dog coats and sweaters are an excellent way to keep your dog warm and toasty. For wet conditions pick a garment with a waterproof outer layer. At Animal Outfitters we offer a wide choice of dog coats, sweaters and robes, using lightweight fabrics to make your pooch as comfortable as possible, all the time remaining stylish too of course!
This season we've added a snug winter merino sweater, the Alpine, and a range of Hound Gowns made from ultra warm polar fleece - a real favourite for our dog who sleeps in his. Here's a selection:
Make sure bedding is well-placed and warm. We recommend a firm dog bed, not one that sags, else your dog is sleeping directly on cold floor boards. Something to snuggle into like a throw blanket or pet sheepskin rug is also a good idea...you might even try and share it with your dog (if he'll let you)!
Matted hair is less effective at keeping snow and ice at bay so a regular grooming schedule should be maintained. Avoid trimming the dog's coat too much since this is his principle source of natural warmth. And when bathing your dog is a mission too far try our deep cleansing spritzer to keep them smelling sweet between baths.
Dogs burn extra calories to keep themselves warm, just like us, but avoid the temptation to overfeed them. Dog walks are likely to be shorter in colder weather so excessive portions can lead to an overweight pet. Make sure clean fresh water is always available and it hasn't frozen over.
Your dog will still benefit from a daily run out regardless of temperatures therefore try to maintain a regular exercise regime. When this isn't feasible keep them entertained around the house with toys, treats and games - you certainly don't want a bored dog to contend with. If you're looking for something fun and interactive check out our range of dog toys.
Dogs are vulnerable to winter ailments. Arthritis will be aggrevated for affected dogs and a firm, well-supported bed is proven to help (we favour a high density foam inner). Frostbite can be a problem in extreme conditions so check ear and tail tips regularly - if dis-coloured and dry or hard, frostbite might have occurred. Immediately wrap them in blankets and hot towels and consult your vet. Make sure toxins such as anti-freeze are kept out of reach too.
We hope you find these tips useful and have a warm safe winter. Please note they in no way substitute veterinary advice - always seek professional support where necessary.
(First published 21 June 2016, updated 24 May 2017)