February 07, 2007

Winter Care Tips for Outdoor Dogs

Here are some tips to help you keep your outdoor dog safe:

1. Provide them with a good dog house, one that is as watertight and wind-proof as possible. Hang a heavy rug or piece of carpet over the doorway to help block wind, and try to place the dog house where it can get sun during the day. Ideally, their house should have a raised floor, but if not then try to provide some sort of a buffer between them and the cold ground. A thick bed of straw is a good idea in any dog house--- it is very inexpensive, and quite easy to sweep out and throw away as needed.

2. If you keep your dog in a garage or shed, be aware that though such buildings give them good protection from the elements, they will not neccessarily keep your dog as warm as they need to be. Large spaces won't heat up with the dog's body temperature like a well-fitted dog house does, so be sure to provide them with a "cubby" space in the shelter so they can climb in and get warm.

3. Check their water bowl often. If it ices over, run hot water in it to break the ice free and then refill it with *cold* water (cold water freezes slower than hot water). Don't believe that eating snow or licking the ice chunk in their bowl will save them from dehydration.

4. Feed them a couple of times a day (if you normally feed only once, just split the portions in two), and consider adding some warm water to it. Eating raises body temperature slightly, and a warm meal can go a long way in keeping your dog comfortable.

5. Check your dog's paws frequently for signs of frost bite.

6. Keep your dog as dry as possible. Big dogs especially seem to like to play in the snow, but do try to towel them off and keep them as dry as possible before bedding down at night.

7. If you know the temperatures are going to drop below freezing, do try to find a way to bring them indoors.


Justin said...

Oh! That was so cute..Whatever means we can take up to comfort our pets, we will do that..Simply love 'em

jack said...

nice blog.. liked it very much....can someone give me some other related blog address..???
neways appreciated..!!!