How to Keep an Outside Dog Warm in the Winter

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No dog, not even an Arctic sled dog with very thick fur, can withstand a long amount of time outside during the winter. They may still feel chilly and even get frostbite and hypothermia from the cold weather. 

Today, we’ll show you how to keep an outside dog warm in the winter. 

You’ll learn that they still get cold because their ears get exposed, their paws are in direct with the cold ground, and their nose sticks out there in the wind.

We also discuss how to dress your outside dog warmly and our top recommended heated beds for dogs!

dog warm in the winter

Dog House with Heated Beds

If your dog stays outside, make sure they have a dry, well-insulated doghouse. You can build your own for them or purchase one!

Take note that the house should have a sloped roof to encourage snow and water drainage.

We recommend the Petsfit Dog House, which comes in five different sizes! The roof is sloped for drainage and can be opened when needed. 

It’s made from natural cedar with water-based paint and asphalt roofing for good insulation. We also love this dog house because it sits a few inches off the ground to keep the floor dry and warm. 

Make sure to place the dog house away from the prevailing wind and to keep it in full view of your house so you can keep an eye on your fur baby. 

Aside from the dog house, a heated bed is needed for extra warmth. When they sleep on the concrete or just the floor of the dog house, the cold surface may pull heat from their body and make their joints cold.

Blankets don’t really help since they pack down very little heat.

What your dog needs is a heated bed or sleeping pad. K&H offers the best heated bed, which is its Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper. Available in two sizes, it has soft foam walls that keep your dog warm and comfy.

It’s an electric dog bed that you can thermostatically control to respond to changes in temperatures. It helps warm your dog’s body temperature when the bed detects they are in it. 

Dress Your Dog Warmly

It’s sensible to wrap your outdoor dog in a coat when they are jaunting through the snow and playing. But you also need to make sure they are covered up when in their dog house. 

Some dogs can acclimate well to colder weather, not needing additional layers, but only if they don’t stay out there for long.

If you’re going to dress your dog up, we recommend Kuoser Store’s Reversible Winter Coat! It comes in nine available sizes and nine designs to better fit your dog. This winter coat is reversible, water-resistant on the outer layer, and soft and warm on the inner layer.

It’s also perfect for the winter season because of the warm fleece lining and windproof feature. We love how this makes your dog feel comfortable because it’s lightweight but still able to keep them warm.

Speaking of coats, you may want to keep your dog’s fur growing during the cold weather because it makes a great natural insulator.

Many breeds have a double coat with an outer layer of hair to protect them from elements, and an underlayer that traps the heat.

You also want to keep your dog’s paws protected from the cold ground with boots. Try Walkee Paws! They are the world’s first dog leggings, dog shoes, and dog boots all in one, and protects your pooch from snow, mud, dirt, and even hot pavements.

Available in five sizes and nine designs, Walkee Paws are unlike dog booties that squeeze their ankles and restrict blood flow. They don’t fit too tightly since they are super soft and stretchy.  

Even dogs who do not need winter coats can still be prone to frostbites if their paws are unprotected, so keep an eye on their tiny feet!

Food and Water

Ask your vet about winter nutrition. Your dog might need additional feedings in a day, especially if they’re still a puppy.

Senior dogs and frail dogs might require small, frequent meals that are easy to digest and help dogs maintain their energy.

The vet will also surely recommend that you feed room-temperature meals. Don’t make your pooch use their body heat to digest ice-cold meals in the winter.

Lastly, make sure they have water 24 hours a day. When the temperature goes down, their water bowls can ice over and your outdoor dog can get dehydrated. Change your dog’s water frequently to keep them hydrated. 

You can also try a water bowl de-icer during winter, like K&H Thermal Bowl. It works by using less electricity than a 30-watt light bulb to keep your dog hydrated with water that is free from ice all fall and winter! 

Limit Time Outdoors

As we have said, no dog can survive a long time outside. In fact, a thick coat does not protect all their body parts, like their paws, ears, and nose. 

Your outside dog shouldn’t be left outside unattended for any length of time. If possible, only take them outside if they’re going to be active and exercise. Even then you might want to shorten their usual routine.

As soon as you let your dog in, towel them off to make sure they are dry and cozy.

You might also want to check your dog’s paws. In snowy conditions, painful ice balls can build up in between their toes.

Keep Your Dog Cozy and Warm!

If your furry friend feels more comfortable in the yard than in the living room, then it is your responsibility to make winter bearable, even comfortable, for them. 

Ensure that the needs of your dog are still met no matter the weather by following our simple tips.

Because even the dog with the thickest fur can’t survive a long time outside in the cold, limit your dog’s time outdoors. 

When they are in the yard, make sure they have the right stuff to help keep them warm.

And make sure you know what to look for so you will be able to tell if your dog is cold.

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