Keeping Dogs in Cold Weather

What does your dog need to stay warm?


If you live in a colder climate, you need to provide some extra help to your loving pooch. When the temperature turns downward, dogs can lose body heat just like we can. Although they have thick coats, they sometimes isn’t enough. Even breeds that were bred for cold climates take some step to keep from freezing on cold nights.

The best way to keep your dog warm is to let them inside the house. But if you have a dog that is kept outside full time, then you need to provide your dog with some assistance in staying warm. Your dog needs a place to get out of the weather, either wind or rain. He needs to be able to get into a dry place if it’s raining, and he needs to be sheltered from the wind.

This could take the form of a dog house, a small shed, or a burrow dug into a hillside or under a deck.Even sled dogs that are out in blizzards find a way to burrow themselves down into the snow so they are out of the wind.

In this dry area, you should give your dog plenty of warm, dry blankets. This will keep the dog up off the cold ground and allow him to use his own body heat to keep warm. If you have more than one dog, allow them to snuggle together, thereby sharing their body heat.

Another way to help a dog stay warm is to give him more food. By having more food, the dog is better able to generate body heat and replenish the calories he is burning through by trying to keep himself warm.

Why you can’t leave your dog outside on freezing cold nights


Just like human beings, dogs are warm blooded, and they need to maintain a constant body temperature in order to stay alive. When the temperature dips below freezing, the clock starts on a dog’s ability to keep himself warm enough.

Sled dogs are maintained and kept in such a way that they can survive frigid nights, but the majority of outdoor dogs are not given the same care and attention that a sled dog is given. For the average dog, being chained to a tree during a frigid cold winter is a death sentence.

If it’s going to be an excessively cold night, please consider bringing your dog in for the night or at least providing him with plenty of ways to stay warm while outside.