Preparing your pup for winter

Would you wear shorts and a tank top during the winter months? In most parts of the country, the answer would clearly be no. Why? The weather would be too cold, so you would wear your warm things. Well, what about your pup?

We are a bit hypocritical when it comes to our pets. We treat them as though they are a part of our family, but then expect them to be able to handle certain aspects of life as though they are a wild animal. This often manifests during the winter when we don’t prepare our pup for the season.

Dogs have fur for a reason, right? Yes, but the fur is not armor. Dogs can freeze to death. This is true even for huskies and bigger dogs with thick fur. This means you need to make sure you have a dog house for your pup. A good dog house is well insulated and just big enough for your pup to stand up, turn around and lie down in. The dog house opening should also be turned away from the wind. Your goal is to create an environment that shelters your pup from the wind while being small enough to retain some of the heat from your pup.

To make things really cozy, you should do two other things. The first is lifting the dog house up off the ground a few inches. You can put a 2×4 frame around the bottom. This will keep water from building up and flowing in the front. Second, you should put a blanket or two down to create a buffer between a cold floor and your pup. He or she will thank you for it.

Winter is a time for hibernation, right? No! Exercise is a key for your pup year around. It keeps them in shape and the activity generates heat as well. Get out and throw the ball around and take them for walks.

Finally, water is a necessary element of life for humans and animals alike. Your pup can dehydrate just as easily as you and I. To avoid this, you need to provide them with water. In winter, the water can freeze over. Take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen. Frozen water is no use to your pup.

You treat your pup as part of the family most of the year. Don’t let that change during the winter months. Your dog gets cold just like you do, so take steps to make things more comfortable for your furry friend.