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How to Protect the Dog From the Cold : Rain, snow, and icy wind – the cold half of the year doesn’t just make us people tremble. In some dogs, the fur is no longer sufficient to protect against the cold. They should also be protected from the cold. With a little consideration from you as a dog owner, adapted walks, a coat, or even a redesigned berth in the house, you can protect your dog from diseases and increase its well-being.

Why protect the dog from the cold?

Protect the Dog From the Cold

Depending on their size, age, state of health, and the condition of their coat, dogs can tolerate the cold more or less well. As a dog owner, keep an eye on your dog and watch how it copes with cold and, above all, wet and cold weather. The cold can make dogs sick. It weakens the immune system, leads to bladder infections and respiratory diseases. In some cases, it can lead to hypothermia or even frostbite.

Hypothermia in the dog

Especially when the dog jumps into cold water, there is a risk of hypothermia. Depending on the condition of the fur, the fur either offers no protection at all or loses its insulating function due to the moisture. The dog cools down, trembles, and has circulatory problems. This can lead to the loss of consciousness and even the death of the dog. Affected dogs must be brought into a warm place immediately. They need to be dried off and warmed up slowly, but without overheating.

Frostbite in the dog

Frostbite is rather rare in dogs in Central Europe. You should keep an eye on your dog if it is short-haired and has drooping or tilting ears at the same time. The ear tips are poorly supplied with blood and at very low temperatures slight frostbite can appear on the edges of the ear tips. In short-haired dogs, the tip of the tail is also a bit more sensitive. In uncastrated males, the testicles can also be affected. Always see a veterinarian if you suspect frostbite.

Tips to protect dogs from the cold

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Puppies, sick and old dogs as well as dogs with little fur or undercoat usually benefit from additional protection during walks in autumn and winter. But the berths in the house sometimes have to be redesigned so that they are also adequately protected from the cold of the ground and drafts.

Protect dogs without an undercoat from the cold with a coat

Dog coats are still controversial among dog owners. “After all, the wolf doesn’t wear a coat either,” is the argument. But today’s breed diversity brings with it great differences in the condition of the fur. There are dogs without fur, with excessive fur, and dogs that lack the insulating undercoat. Many dog ​​owners realize that dogs without fur should wear a coat in winter. But even dogs with fur are not always adequately protected by it. Some dog breeds today no longer have an undercoat. This mainly affects dogs with very short fur, but also dogs with long, silky fur. The undercoat is a woolly layer of fur under the outer hair that is visible to us. It acts like an insulating layer that prevents the cold wind from even getting through to the dog’s skin. If the dogs lack this undercoat, a dog coat or a raincoat for dogs can be useful.

Dry your dog well in the cold

Dogs cool down faster when they get wet. Sensitive dogs in particular should not jump into the water when they are out and about in winter. Rain, snow, and sleet, but also high humidity, soak the dog’s fur. If your dog is soaked, dry off thoroughly at home and make sure he is warming up in a warm place. Bathrobes for dogs made of terrycloth or similar material also help the dog to dry faster.

Puppies need special protection in the cold

Puppies are particularly sensitive to the cold. They are small, close to the ground and their belly is not yet completely hairy. Bladder infections are a common condition in puppies born in winter or moved to their new owners in the cooler half of the year. It is not always recognized in time. If your puppy just does not want to be house trained despite training, it is better to clarify this with a veterinarian. Short walks without unnecessary breaks and subsequent drying off in a warm place prevent cold-related cystitis in puppies.

Keep the dog away from the cold

Your dog can also get cold where he is lying down. Drafts are often the cause. Through the cracks under the doors, a stream of cool air flows across the floor through the living rooms and is seldom noticed by us humans. Draft-stopping seals under the doors can prevent this. The cold floor can also freeze a dog. Not only the dog’s place on the tiled floor can be cold. Warm air always pulls upwards, so that it is always significantly colder near the ground. Normal dog blankets and beds are sometimes no longer sufficient, especially for dogs that are no longer able to maintain their own body temperature as well. This can be the case with older dogs, dogs without an undercoat, or even sick dogs. An additional, insulating layer under the dog bed can help just as well as a well-insulating sheepskin in the dog basket or a thermal blanket for dogs with a film that reflects the dog’s body heat.

With movement against the cold

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If you rest, you don’t just rust. He also freezes in winter. Movement keeps you warm by moving your muscles and increasing blood flow. This is why a dog also begins to tremble when it is cold. The tremor is the body’s own protective mechanism because the muscle contraction produces heat. Avoid long conversations with neighbors or other dog owners when your dog is with you. Better to keep moving or bring your dog home.