Canines get cold too! If you’re heading out for some winter camping or planning on going out on a hike with your dog, you’ll want to make sure they stay warm and safe! Here’s how to keep your furry friend warm for winter camping!
Take Age and Breed Into Consideration
Before you head out on any cold-weather excursions, be sure to think carefully about whether your dog can handle the cold weather! If your pooch is very young or very old, they are more sensitive to cold temperatures! Likewise, certain dog breeds will respond differently to cold weather! Breeds like huskies love the cold and can handle lower temperatures for much longer, while breeds that are smaller and sit lower to the ground will get colder more quickly! These factors aside, each individual dog is different, so consider whether your dog likes to be in the snow, and for how long! Just because they like to do a few excited laps around the yard doesn’t mean they’re ready for a 5 mile-long hike!
Just like us humans, dogs will stay warmer when they keep up with physical activity! Sure, it’s important to rest when hiking or doing any physical activity, but sitting idle for too long can cause dogs to lose essential body heat! Even if you’re just hanging around your campsite, bring your dog’s favorite toy so they can move around and keep the blood flow going!
Keep Dogs Dry
Whether your canine friend gets into some water or gets wet in the snow, it’s important to keep your dog dry! Wetness will certainly lead to cold and freezing, which is the perfect recipe for hypothermia. Keep a towel with you on hikes and walks so that you can dry your pup off if he gets too wet!
Feed Dogs Regularly
A dog's efficient metabolism causes him to stay heated rather well, but exerting a lot of energy on a rigorous hike or walk will leave him feeling cold quickly. Bring food along on hikes, or just keep a regular feeding schedule at your campsite so dogs can always have energy to burn and stay warmer! Don’t forget to bring water along too!
Clothing Isn’t Just For Good Looks
Can you imagine going out in subzero temperatures without a coat on? Then why would you make your dog do the same? Insulating pieces like a thermal base layer and a puffy jacket or vest provide maximum warmth! Just like when humans get dressed for cold weather, layering is essential to protect canines from extremely low temperatures! Also, outfit your dog in a set of durable booties, even for short walks. The sometimes icy, rugged, and cold ground can literally tear up paws, and walking for long distances can cause ice balls to form on paws. Nobody wants to go outside barefoot!
Invest In Insulated Bedding
This is essential if you’re tent camping, and probably less important if you’re basking in the warmth of your RV’s heated interior, but insulated bedding can help your pooch stave off the cold! An insulated and waterproof pad underneath a dog bed can help cushion against the hard ground and help to retain warmth! If your dog really needs help keeping warm, give them their own insulated bed or sleeping bag, like the NobleCamper which is a durable and lightweight insulated dog bed!
Cuddle For Warmth
One of the easiest, and probably the most enjoyable, ways to keep your canine from feeling too cold is simply cuddling together for warmth! The benefits are mutual if you have a larger canine, as you’ll provide warmth to each other! If you have a smaller breed, they’ll surely appreciate the warmth, even if they can’t really give it back! An added bonus is that you get to snuggle with your furry friend, which is always a wonderful activity!
As you’re out on your cold-weather adventures, it’s imperative that you regularly check on your dog to ensure that they’re still warm, dry, and enjoying themselves! Exhaustion is easy to spot, and you can feel if a dog is too cold just by petting them, but you’ll also want to ensure that your pet isn’t suffering from hypothermia! Pets aren’t able to simply tell you when they’re too cold, so keep an eye out for these signs of hypothermia:
- Cold to the touch and low body temperature
- Stiff muscles
- Low pulse and shallow breathing
- Lethargy that leads to unconsciousness
If you notice these signs of hypothermia in your dog, immediately cover them in blankets and seek shelter right away. Give them a warm mixture of sugar and water. The water warms them and the sugar provides some energy to help get revive them a bit. Regardless of the situation, get in contact with a local veterinarian for further instruction and safety!
Ready for cold-weather adventures? These tips on how to keep your furry friend warm for winter camping will ensure that you can get out and have fun in the snow with your beloved canine! Have recommendations for quality clothing items to help keep dogs warm, or any other tips for cold-weather excursions? Leave us a comment to let us know!