How to Keep Dog Warm in Winter

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It’s important to know how to keep dog warm in winter. If it’s below freezing, any dog, even with a thick coat, shouldn’t be outside for any length of time. Also remember that the smaller the dog and the shorter the dog’s hair, the more vulnerable the dog is to cold weather.

Keep your pet dry and away from drafts. Gently towel or blow-dry your dog if he gets wet from rain or snow. Make sure your pets have blankets or pads on cold floors.


Your dog’s coat provides natural insulation against the elements. Keep your dog’s coat brushed and free of mats and burrs. Trim the hair between the foot pads to help prevent ice balls from forming. Regular grooming helps ensure proper body temperature during the winter months.

Food and Water

Some dogs, especially those kept outside, require extra food during the winter months. Discuss these nutritional needs with your veterinarian or pet professional. If your dog is kept outside, make sure that he has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Snow and ice are not appropriate for hydration. Be careful to make sure that the dog’s water has not frozen over.

Outdoor Dogs

If your dog lives primarily outside, make sure you get him a good quality shelter. Many pet supply stores and online manufacturers make great quality dog houses in a variety of styles for every budget. Find one that will help keep wind, rain, and snow away from your dog. Make sure that the opening to the dog house does not face the wind.

You also want to lay down straw or provide a bed or several blankets to help protect your dog from the frozen ground. Change the straw and/or bedding periodically. Blankets and beds can get wet. Straw, when wet, can get moldy. Moldy straw can lead to upper respiratory and skin infections.

Some people like to provide heat to their outside dog houses. Do not use heating pads or space heaters with electrical cords. Your dog can chew through the cords, causing a hazardous accident. If you choose to provide heat to an outdoor dog house, have it done professionally. Some pet storesoffer heated beds that contain a disc that can be heated in the microwave or with hot water.

Waterproof Insulated Dog Blanket is another way of how to keep dog warm.

Updated: March 1, 2014 — 7:05 pm

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