When the bone-chilling weather knocks at the door, you rush to the market to buy warm clothing as it is essential to keep yourself warm in the cold. It is equally important to ensure that your dog is safe and warm in the cold weather.
Whether your dog stays outdoors or indoors, you must know how to keep them warm, especially at night. Most importantly, pet owners having puppies or dogs with thin coats must provide a warm and comfortable environment for their dogs at night.
Overview – How to Keep a Dog Warm at Night?
With warm clothes, cozy beds, and burning fireplaces, we do everything to keep ourselves warm at night. Then what about our dogs?
Dogs are vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite in bone-chilling winter weather. They do not speak, of course, but their shivering and sneezing can tell you when your dog is cold.
You must take measures to keep your dog warm, like a warm bed and a woolen blanket, insulating the dog crate’s floor, giving dogs heat-inducing food, heating pads, and heated water bowls.
Warm clothing such as winter pajamas, dog snoods, and sweaters is essential for your dog. Moreover, let them sit near the fireplace or buy heat lamps to regulate their body temperature.
Why Should You Keep Your Dog Warm at Night?
If your dog remains cold at night, it can get sick. Most commonly, dogs get flu and fever when they get cold, just like humans. However, some dogs may even be afflicted with severe health conditions.
One such potent risk is hypothermia, a medical emergency in which the body temperature drops significantly, leading to a slow heart rate and muscle stiffness. Similarly, in areas with extreme winters, dogs are vulnerable to frostbite, a condition where skin and flesh freezes and turns blue, making amputation the only option.
All dogs are vulnerable to the cold, but puppies are at severe risk because they are more sensitive. Some puppy breeds find it difficult to regulate their body heat because they lack two coats of fur.
For instance, Yorkie puppies are single coated, meaning they only have a single layer of hair; therefore, they are more vulnerable to the cold weather. Pet owners must keep them.
How to Keep a Dog Warm at Night?
Here we have mentioned some of the ways which can help you in keeping your dog warm at night in this freezing weather;
1. Warm And Cozy Sleeping Place
The most basic yet essential way of keeping your four-legged friend warm is using a warm and cozy sleeping place.
a) If your Dog is in the Bed
If your dog is spending the night in the dog bed, make sure your dog has a warm bed and a woolen blanket. A regular blanket won’t be enough to keep them warm in winters, so get them a wool blanket, which is a natural insulator.
If you want to go a step further, buy a bed with an in-built heater. Pet owners highly recommend these beds because they effectively keep dogs warm even in extreme weather. Similarly, if your dog is comfortable sleeping on the mat, consider using a heated dog mat.
Moreover, don’t put the dog bed directly onto the cold floor as it leaches away warmth. Instead, make sure your dog bed is on a plush rug or elevated by bed legs.
b) If Your Dog is in the Crate
If your dog prefers sleeping in its crate, add a layer of newspaper at the bottom to keep away the cold and dampness. However, change the newspaper every other day; otherwise, it will disintegrate and develop an unpleasant odor, making it difficult for the dog to spend the whole night in the crate.
You can even line your dog’s crate with a plush blanket, cushion, or comforter to keep them warm.
2. Warmth-Inducing Foods
Another most effective way of keeping your dog warm is giving them a sufficient amount of food at night. If they eat less, the chances of catching a cold and shivering at night will be more. They need a certain amount of calories to regulate their body temperature constantly.
Make sure your dog’s winter diet contains a certain amount of fats. Fats insulate the body against heat and cold and keep the dog comfortable for a longer time. I suggest you give more animal-based foods to your dogs, such as fish, meat, cheese, eggs, and fowl.
Instead of giving only dry kibble to your dog, you should try using cooked meat, chicken, and poultry twice a week. These foods are easy for dogs to digest and keep warm.
3. Try Warm Clothing
If your dog is comfortable wearing clothes, warm clothes such as dog pajamas and dog sweaters are the best options. If you want to wear more and more clothes to keep yourself warm, why not get them for your dog?
Dog pajamas are warm, comfortable, and flexible. When you put your dog through an elasticized opening, they get swaddled in warmth!
Dog pajamas are available in every size, but they are most suitable for small dogs with less body fat and small fur. Such dogs do not get troubled to wear these pajamas.
Dogs’ ears are very delicate and are more prone to frostbite and hypothermia in chilly weather. So put on a hat on your dog to keep their ears warm. The dog snood is another appealing option for your dog. It is like a knitted head covering that keeps your dogs’ ears warm.
4. Install Heat Lamps
In winters, when the temperature drops below zero, warm clothes and oily food are not enough to keep out the cold. You can use heat lamps to warm up your dog’s bed or crate.
But bear in mind that you should not keep the lamp switched on for the entire night. A medium-sized dog needs an hour to get warm, and a small-sized dog requires even less than an hour to balance their body heat.
Switch off the heat lamp as soon as your dog stops shivering.
5. Try Dog Heating Pads
Try heated pads if you can bear the extra expense to provide a smooth and comfortable life for your dear dog. The pad is placed under the dog’s bedding or on the floor of the crate. It works by evenly distributing the heat throughout the pad.
Keep the dog heating pad at a temperature slightly higher than the body temperature of your dog so that your dog can feel the warmth all over his body.
But be cautious while increasing the temperature. If you exceed the required temperature, it will cause discomfort to your dog and may even burn it.
6. Bowl of Warm Water
Coldwater will lower the body temperature of your dog. So you must heat the water before pouring it into the bowl. But even after heating, it will become icy-cold later at night.
So I recommend using a heated dog bowl to take the hassle out of warming water repeatedly. A heated bowl will keep the water at a temperature suitable for your dog.
Keeping your dog warm at night is challenging because they cannot tell you if they feel cold. So you must work hard to provide a warm and healthy environment for your dog.
If possible, let them sleep with you because your body heat will be a blessing for them. But of course, many owners do not like to share their beds with dogs.
We have mentioned 6 practical tips above to keep your dog warm during cold nights. It is your responsibility to keep them warm at night. Watch for signs that your puppy is cold and follow this winter solution guide to keep them healthy and fit in this frosty weather.