Is it safe to keep a dog outdoors in winter?

In the summer, your dog will be more than happy to run around, nap outside and be completely taken care of. But what about in the winter? Is it safe to keep your dog outdoors in winter? There are a few things to consider.

Shelter

If your dog loves to embrace its wild side, remember that they are still domesticated and need shelter. It is best to have a dog house or enclosed building for them to cuddle up in. The floor of the shelter should be elevated and lined with blankets to keep in heat.

However, if your dog lives indoors then they will not be used to the temperature drop, so should not sleep outdoors unaccompanied. Like us, dogs can be affected by frostbite and hypothermia especially if they are used to our heated homes.

Walking

You might already have a dog coat for when it rains to save you from another bath time, and it’s important to keep the coat around in the winter time too. Just like we wrap up to venture outside, your dog will appreciate the extra warmth and protection.

After you get back home and dry off your shoes make sure to do the same for their paws. As the streets are sprinkled with salt to melt away any ice, it can dry out and crack your pup’s paws so it is essential that you wash and dry them off. The snow can also cling to the longer fur on your dog’s underbelly and the backs of their legs, which is equally as important to towel down.

Age

The age of your dog will affect how they cope with the winter months for many reasons. The winter cold will affect a puppy’s ability to regulate their temperature, so it would be best to keep them inside. Puppy behaviour is often associated with boredom and in the colder months with less exercise, destructive behaviour can increase. You can fight this with longer playtime sessions and plenty of distractions.

Likewise, if you have an older dog it may not be the best idea to have them sleep outside. With a lot of dogs developing arthritis in their senior years, the cold will worsen these symptoms and give your dog added unnecessary pain.

Diet

Your dog’s diet will need to be adjusted if you are to keep them outside because of the cold conditions. Even when you give them a well-insulated shelter it takes extra calories to maintain a normal body temperature. So, your dog will need extra food to boost their calorie intake and keep them warm.

Shelter

If your dog loves to embrace its wild side, remember that they are still domesticated and need shelter. It is best to have a dog house or enclosed building for them to cuddle up in. The floor of the shelter should be elevated and lined with blankets to keep in heat.

However, if your dog lives indoors then they will not be used to the temperature drop, so should not sleep outdoors unaccompanied. Like us, dogs can be affected by frostbite and hypothermia especially if they are used to our heated homes.

Is it safe to keep a dog outside in winter

Will your dog be looking out for reindeer or curled up by the fire?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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