Fall is here, and while that means some glorious days ahead for us, here on the California coast, we know many parts of the country are starting to see temperatures drop. When the weather turns cold, we humans bust out a new wardrobe, as well as change some of our routines and eating habits – it’s super important to do the same for our doggies.

If you live in a climate that gets cold and windy – we’re talking snow and ice on the ground, especially – think about how you’re going to keep your doggie happy, healthy, and warm this fall and winter.

Proper Attire
It’s coat and sweater season for everyone! Besides being distinguished and dapper, dress your doggie in a warm layer and they’ll feel warm regardless of the elements. Small, short-haired doggies have harder times maintaining a comfortable temperature when it’s cold, so definitely prepare to dress them well. Senior dogs and puppies struggle with this as well, so plan accordingly for those pups.

Proper Hydration
We often think of warmer months being the time to ensure one’s doggie is drinking enough water, but the truth is – hydration is crucial year-round. And in the cold and winter months, we need to make sure that doggies have access to clean, fresh water so their systems keep chugging along smoothly. Also, if their water bowls are typically kept outside,bring them in, or check frequently to make sure the water hasn’t frozen over.

Outside + Active
Keeping your doggie inside during the worst of the weather is your best bet. Even dogs with thick coats should not be exposed to freezing temps all day. Limit their time outside, and plan to be outside only when they are going to be moving – going for a walk or getting exercises in other ways. And, as noted above, bundle them up and make sure they have access to drinkable (i.e., not frozen) water.

Outside + Protected
If your doggies must stay outside for extended times during rough weather, you can do a couple things to keep them safe from the worst weather. Providing shelter from the wind is crucial, so a small a cozy dog house, raised off the ground, would be good. Plus, cover the door with something waterproof, like a heavy plastic, so keep out rain, sleet, and snow. Covering the floor of the space with hay or cedar chips will also cozy it up.

Clean Feet
Just like you’d wipe your boots after being out in the rain and snow, wipe off your doggie’s paws, too. Especially if you live somewhere it snows, ice, salt, and anti-freeze could be on your doggie’s paws. The latter is poisonous if doggies ingest it, and the other two would be just uncomfortable.  

Pay Attention To Signs
The biggest threats that inclement weather can bring to your doggies, are the same ones we humans face, too. Hypothermia and frostbite can happen to doggies, so watch your doggie to see if they are shivering, or trying to get warmer, or if they have painful patches of skin.

Does it get really cold where you live? How do you keep your doggie comfortable? Tell us in the comments below.