Winter is coming and you have pulled out your sweaters and turned on your heater to protect yourself from the cold for the next few months. But have you thought about your dog? Indeed, our four-legged friends need special attention. Some breeds of dogs, more fragile than others, are not made for freezing temperatures and winter cold as are the Nordic dogs, including the Husky. Leaving them outside, without shelter when they are not used to it is strongly discouraged.
A dog house in winter is the perfect accessory to protect your companion against bad weather (rain, wind, hail, morning frost). It will also be essential to avoid thermal shock or sudden temperature changes. Moreover, a heating mat or any other warm accessory is also very useful. Vigilance must be all the more important for your senior pet whose joints are fragile. The cold often accentuates joint pain. Here are our 5 good tips to better protect your dog during winter.
1/ Insulate your dog’s kennel, inside and out
It is important to choose the right dog house according to its material. There are doghouses made of wood, plastic or even resin, but note that plastic is less insulating than wood. Indeed, it is a naturally robust material with high insulating power.
A good exterior insulation
The insulation of a niche must take into account heat loss. The cold rushes in through the floor, the roof and the openings. It is important to insulate a dog house well in winter, no matter what basic material you choose. Upgrading and improving an existing structure will make it more insulating.
We tend to neglect the floor, which is a mistake, because no matter how well you insulate your dog house, if your dog is on the floor, it will still get cold. For this, you can raise his little hut on stilts or with small wooden cleats.
Most kennels have an insulated roof, but you can add extra insulation. Choose the same materials as for garden sheds, such as corrugated tar panels, bituminous shingles or corrugated sheet metal. These are very effective covers that are easy to screw onto the roof structure of a niche.
If you choose the best insulation, but always leave your front door wide open, there is no point! So, create a barrier against the breeze at the entrance of your dog’s kennel with insulating panels, flexible PVC curtain bangs or a transparent plastic panel. Your choice should be made according to the number of times your pet passes through and whether or not it is apprehensive about a door system.
An efficient interior insulation
Commercial kennels often do not have very thick walls. It is therefore wise to reinforce the interior walls with polystyrene panels, plywood or chipboard panels, or even simple wooden boards.
A bed of straw in the bottom of the kennel will allow your pet’s body heat, and the insulating power of straw, to create a cozy, warm and dry cocoon in its shelter. It will also be very effective to provide the dog with a heating mat, a thermal blanket or an adapted dog house heater.
2/ Increase your dog’s daily food intake
Just like us, your dog feels the changes in temperature. Its metabolism adapts to these variations and will require more energy in winter, because a cold animal burns more calories. It is therefore recommended to increase his daily ration by 15%, unless there is a health problem. No matter what diet you choose for your dog (BARF diet, kibble, pâté), you will help him to protect himself effectively against the cold.
If your dog’s diet consists of kibble and pate, you should know that bi-nutrition has its advantages. The chewing involved in kibble will keep your pet busy longer than with food, which is good for helping him pass the time by warming him up. On the other hand, kibble is low in water, so you’ll have to offer him hydrating food and make sure your dog has access to water. Be careful that his water does not freeze. Chewable bones are very interesting because they allow the dog to warm up, maintain good oral hygiene and keep a minimum of activity during a long winter day.
3/ Take care of your pet’s painful joints
From a certain age, a dog can suffer from osteoarthritis, that is to say from wear and tear of the articular cartilages. He can also suffer from arthritis, an infectious, metabolic or genetic inflammation of the joint. In winter, it is important to avoid aggravating these pains, which can become much worse, and to listen to your pet. To prevent them, you can make his kennel elevated with a ramp for example. You can also give him senior or premium kibbles adapted to his specific needs, food supplements or vitamins, without forgetting caresses, massages, comfort and constant warmth. All this in agreement with your veterinarian of course.
Memory foam and/or heating mats can greatly contribute to the relief of your pet’s joint problems when they are aggravated by the cold and cause pain. In fact, the Warmy Up Premium mat is the perfect answer to his sensitive and painful condition. On this occasion, always be careful to choose a model that is smaller than the size of your kennel, as it is important that the dog can lie down inside, next to the mat, if he gets too hot.
4/ Offer a heating mat to your faithful pet dog
Our online store offers a new line of self-heating mats for your pet dog. With a wide choice of sizes, they fit perfectly in all dog house sizes. Whether you have a small or large dog will not be a problem thanks to the possibility of different sizes available. Your pet will certainly be warm all winter long if you optimize its kennel with the Warmy Up Out heating mat.
5/ Think about the accessories adapted to your dog
A wide range of accessories can also keep your pet warm, in your home, by the fire or outside in its kennel. A soft and warm blanket will undoubtedly be appreciated by your dog. If you’re into dog clothes, you can invest in a down jacket for your dog, a coat, a raincoat or a sweater. Don’t forget the pads, which are sensitive areas and can become fragile. Don’t hesitate to equip his paws with socks or shoes that are totally protective.
Paying special attention to your pet in winter is not to be neglected. Investing in a heating mat or a dog house in winter will allow your pet to spend a harsh season in more comfort and he will certainly thank you for it.