3 Ways To Keep Your Outdoor Dog Warm

The winter months can be cold. Whether you live in a dry climate or a wet one; whether you get rain, snow, wind, hail, or a nasty combination of the three, it’s always nice to be able to head inside and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a crackling fire. Of course, if you happen to live outside, that might not be a possibility. Outdoor pets can have it really rough during the colder months of the year. Here are three things you can do to help keep your outside friend comfortable and warm when the weather is anything but.

1. Give Him a House

wolfdogIn the wild, wolves have been known to huddle together to conserve body heat. Much of this instinct has been passed down through the generations into the mind of you four-footed friend. However, when your dog runs in a pack of one, being a lone-wolf sometimes means being a cold-wolf. Instead, help him get out of the frigid air by building or purchasing a dog shelter. It doesn’t need to be complex, but there are some specific things you should remember to include:

  • Make sure the shelter is several inches off the ground (perhaps on concrete blocks) so that rainwater and snow don’t pool inside of it.
  • Keep the structure small so that you’re dog’s body heat can collect inside.
  • Slant the roof so that snow won’t build up on top of it and cause a structural collapse.
  • Provide some soft bedding. Make sure to change the bedding regularly.

2. Provide Some Additional Warmth

Once you’ve got a nice shelter prepared, consider doing something more to help heat it up. Hot water bottles are easy to use, and can be placed in your pet’s bedding to help keep him warm. Alternately, a wide range of electric pet house heaters are available for purchase online and in stores. As with any outside heat source, be sure that all necessary safety precautions are taken. Being warm in the winter is good; being on fire is never good.

3. Bundle Him Up

A house with a heater is good, but if your dog ever wants to step out into the frozen wasteland that is your yard, he’s going to need something more. After all, fur or not, he’s still stuck outside in nothing but his birthday suit. Well, your dog need not be naked any more. A wide variety of pet clothing options is available for purchase. Jackets, sweaters, and dog shoes all go a long way towards keeping your dog happy and healthy. For wet climates, waterproof clothing might be advisable.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that your dog is a member of the family. Even if he lives outside, he should be checked on regularly to make sure that he’s alright. Increasing his food intake will give him the extra calories he needs to keep warm, and always be sure to keep his water from freezing. Yes, winter can be rough, but with just a little bit of preparation, any pet owner can create an environment for their dog that is both comfortable and warm. Just don’t be surprised if he tries to share your cocoa.