As we sit in our camp house enjoying the peaceful snowfall with today’s guests all snuggled up by the fire; we are reminded of the importance of keeping your pet warm and safe during the winter.

As a regular practice during the winter we regularly keep tabs on all of our guests to make sure that no one is getting too cold. While our guests are free to roam, we regularly direct them between the inside and outdoor time as a group. We even create paths throughout the yard almost like a winter corn maze to ensure that they are getting plenty of play and exercise (who doesn’t like to play in the snow), while also making sure they are keeping warm too.

We know that while animals have fur and different body mechanisms to help them deal with hot and cold, extreme temperatures also affect them. This means that not every breed of dog is able to handle the cold the same way. For example: How well do you think a Chihuahua, whose natural habitat is closer to the equator, would survive in low temperatures compared to say a Siberian husky, who is predominately found in colder conditions?

Of course, just because a dog has a thicker coat of fur or is more accustomed to cold does not mean they do not get cold.  So with these thoughts in mind we wanted to share some tips on helping your pet to be as comfortable as possible this winter.

Should you bundle up your pup?

This is a question we get from time to time and while many owners feel silly about asking it, it is a really good question. We know that thanks to the Paris Hiltons of the world, pet owners with genuine concerns for their pets get the eye rolls from people for layering their pets in sweaters that help them cope with the cold

Long story short, yes. You are your pet’s owner and you should be attentive to how they react to the cold. If you see your pet shivering after a quick trip outside to use the potty or maybe while out for a walk, consider getting them an additional layer or two.

Of course if you decide to get your pet a winter sweater or coat, be sure to measure them and make sure the sweater fits comfortable, yet snug. You don’t want your pet to be able to easily pull it off.

Don’t forget the paws

Another thing to consider with your pet while enduring a tough winter is how to safely care for their paws. Think of it like this: when your pet goes outside in the cold they are going out barefoot. Yes, they have thickly padded paws and that helps, but cold snow is still cold snow. Then there is the ice and rock salt. Rock salt in the winter for a dog’s paws can be the equivalent to stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night. Be sure to thoroughly check their paws and if you are going to be out for extended periods of time, consider using a salve or even dog mittens that will provide that additional layer of protection.

The cold is driving my dog and me crazy

Lastly, as winter is really just starting, it could be a while before we get some nice weather again. If your pet is used to going out regularly to play or requires a lot of exercise you may just see them getting a bit stir crazy. If you’re not up for regularly taking them out, it may be a great idea to consider The Dogwoods as a great outlet for you and your pet. This way they are getting the exercise they need in a dedicated pet environment and you aren’t always out in the cold with them.

-The Dogwoods


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