It has been cold!
Over the past few days we have seem some pretty extreme cold weather and like we humans our dogs are susceptible to the cold as well. Long haired and thick coated dogs, such as huskies, are bred for colder temperatures but no dog should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing temperatures.
Healthy dogs are more able to deal with cold weather temperatures than dogs with health issues. This also goes for young and old dogs as well. It is important to understand how well your dog can tolerate extreme temperatures.
Exercising your dog in cold weather
Most dogs will still want to be exercised if the weather is bad. However, if your dog is usually well exercised it won’t do them any harm if they don’t get as much exercise as normal. Healthy medium or large dogs can walk for 30-minutes if the temperature is above -6 degrees C. Smaller dogs should limit the walk to 15 or 20 minutes if temps are between -6 to 0 degrees C. If the temperature is significantly below this, no dog should be out for a walk. Don’t forget they might need some appropriate canine clothing such as a waterproof and windproof coat.
If they can’t go out make sure they get lots of mental stimulation so that they don’t get bored and possibly destructive.
Bathing your dog in cold weather
It is still possible to bathe your dog during the winter and it is very important to wash their paws after a walk. Keep their coats free of any snow or salt that has been put on roads and pavements to treat ice. However, if you do bath or shower your dog always keep them indoors until they are completely dry. It is much more difficult to maintain an ambient temperature if they are wet which increases their risk of hypothermia.
Feeling your dog’s ears is a good way to tell his temperature. If the ears feel cold, particularly around the edges, it might be time to take him inside and cover him with a blanket. You can also touch their body. If it feels cold rather than warm, it is likely your dog is too cold.
Even in these extreme cold weather conditions it is still important to have fun with your dog. However, do remember these top tips compiled by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. https://www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/dog-care-advice/winter-dog-care
DISCLAIMER: While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied it is for educational purposes only. The author and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.