Will your dog be warm enough this winter?

Rae HennessyArticles

It is true that Mother Nature has very cleverly given dogs self-adjusting fur coats that can adapt to the natural changes of season. However, this does not mean that we can curl up in our nice warm beds at night and just assume that Fido and Fluffy won’t feel the cold. We, the ever clever human race, have long since taken dogs into our hearts and caves, selectively bred them for different coat types and lengths and made them very dependent upon us for most of their daily requirements.

So in my, possibly not so humble, opinion it behoves us, the humans, to at least give some thoughtful consideration to your own dog’s specific requirements at this chilly time of the year.

If your dog lives and sleeps outside it is quite true that their coat will thicken in the winter, but is it enough? If your dog is a fit young Malamute and you live in an area where the temperature doesn’t get too far down into single figures then a good raised bed under the carport or on the verandah might be warm enough. But if your canine companion is an older whippet and you live in the frosty highlands then obviously a nice warm coat and a snug kennel inside the garage or laundry would be more appropriate.

But what if my dog sleeps in the house? I hear you ask. Well, in that situation, as long as your pooch has a bed up off the cold floor, all is well… until it is time to go outside for a walk or a piddle. If Sooty or Snoopy lives and sleeps in the house, their coats will adjust to that environment. So think about it, if their coat is adapted to the warmth of your lounge room or bedroom and you take them out for a piddle in the middle of the night or for an early morning walk, they are likely to feel the cold. Imagine climbing out of your warm bed and going to squat on the icy lawn in just your pyjamas. So if your furry friend is an indoor dog, the general rule is, if you need a jumper or dressing gown on to go out… so do they. Obviously this would be truer for a sixteen year old newly clipped toy poodle than it would be for a three year old longhaired German Shepard but the point is you need to think about it.

So give it some thought, consider the age and general health of your dog, the climate you are in, the type of coat your dog has and the type of bedding or shelter you are providing and then sleep soundly knowing that your much loved doggie is just as warm and snug as they deserve to be.