The Polar Vortex has Arrived!

Certain dog breeds - think Newfoundlands and Huskies - have warm, thick coats to help keep them comfortable during frigid temperatures - but many breeds do not - think Dobermans, chihuahuas and Great Danes. It is important to know how to keep your dog safe and comfortable in the winter months. And while you're inside, we've got some great ideas for indoor playtime!

Tips to keep dog warm when temps dip:

1. Frequent Walks with Shorter Time Outside. 

Dog’s paws are their foundation and if your dog’s breed is not commonly associated with sled pulling, you will want to limit their exposure to the snow.

  • Keep trips outside short and sweet.

  • Keep the fur around their pads short and neat. This will help prevent them from picking up dirt, ice and other irritating debris.

  • Always wipe off their paws when they come inside. Doing so will keep their feet dry and warm and remove any salt or other chemicals.

  • If your dog doesn’t like the snow, or you are planning a longer outing, consider getting them shoes to protect their paws.

2. A Coat for All Seasons

While your dog’s coat naturally helps them regulate temperature fluctuations, not all coats provide enough warmth.

  • If you are able to let your dog’s hair grow out – do it. A little extra fluff goes a long way.

  • Keep your dog dry and mat free. Dry off your dog when you come inside and brush out any tangles.

  • If your dog’s natural coat isn’t cutting it, buy him one. There are many great waterproof options that will keep your dog warm, clean, and dry.

3. Feed the Beast

Your dog can get dehydrated and extra hungry in the winter because their body is working overtime to stay warm.

  • Make sure to provide plenty of fresh water and if it’s in a spot that may freeze up, get a heated bowl, or move the bowl to a warmer location.

  • If your dog is curled up sleeping through winter you can skip the extra food.

  • If you have an active, working dog, who spends time outdoors, consider adding a little extra treat to their toy.

 Photo courtesy of  @kate_white7718

      4. Create a cozy space to lounge and stay warm

      Dogs can get extra-chilly in winter, so be sure that your dog has a warm place to snuggle up, away from the commotion of the household.

      Senior dogs are especially susceptible to the cold, so it's important to keep your dog's body off of the ground when they are lying down to avoid conductive heat loss. West Paw's Heyday Bed® has an extra plush base making is a great solution.

       

      5. Expend Energy with  Indoor Play

      Regardless of the weather all dogs need play time as well as physical and mental exercise.