If your dog normally spends the winter outside, then the least we can do for him is to prepare a warmer, cozier, place to sleep and get in out of the weather. Dog houses have come a long way in the past few decades, from a mere wooden box to a house that is actually geared toward comfort. The size of the doghouse is one of the most important features and should be determined by the size of the dog. How can we make sure our furry friend’s house is warm and cozy?
Here are a few tips to make your dog house warm during the winter:
1. Adjust the size of the house
Since most of the warmth generated inside the house is due to body heat, a house that is too large will not retain enough heat. On the other hand, a house that is too small will not allow your pet to sit up, stand up, or stretch out. Where the doghouse is located is another important factor. We have all seen doghouses in some open backyard or field, where it is susceptible to winter winds and hot blazing summer sun. Doghouses should be placed in protective areas, shielded from the wind, and certainly shaded from the summer sun.
2. Insulate the House
Today’s doghouse models often come with insulated flooring and walls, and heavy plastic flaps over the doorways. But if you are building your own, or renovating an existing model, you can easily add needed insulation. Make sure that the house isn’t placed directly on the cold ground. Just as we need flooring insulation, so does your pet.
If possible, add some Styrofoam or other insulation to the underside of the house, and to the walls. Check for air leaks around the house, and seal with caulk, and do make sure that the roof is leak proof. In an emergency, you can seal the sides and roof with heavy plastic sheeting. Also, if your doghouse doesn’t have a flap over the door, this is an easy fix. Any heavy plastic or heavy material that is relatively waterproof will do.
3. Add A Warm Blanket
Some dogs like something inside the house to bed down on and some do not. There is straw bedding available that can be used, but it will need to be replaced on a regular basis. Mats can be added to the floors where your pet will be sleeping, but if you add a blanket or other heavy material, you will need to take them out and wash them periodically since they do become matted and hard.
When temperatures drop…
Of course, unless your pet is used to Arctic cold, pay close attention to winter temperatures, and when they drop below zero, or even when you just know it too cold outside for your dog, let him get inside and into a warmer area.
Photo by Matthew Wells from Pexels
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Too Cold?
Dogs with short hair, small breed, puppies, older dogs and dogs with health conditions are particularly sensitive to the cold and may feel too cold faster than others.
These signs can indicate your dog is suffering from cold.
Your dog is Shivering
Shivering or Trembling, are the first signs for cold because dogs react to the cold a lot as humans do. If the dog is shivering, and holding his tail close to his body, he may be feeling cold. Shivering, shaking and trembling are ways that the body reacts to try to keep warm.
Cold Ears & Cold Body
Feeling your dog’s ears is a good way to tell his temperature. If the ears feel cold, particularly around the edges, you might consider taking him inside. Also, pay attention to your dog’s body – if his body feels too cold, staying outside is probably not a good idea.
If your dog walks slowly, and keep his tail close to his body as if he’s trying to keep himself warm, it is better taking him inside the house.
If your dog is curling up into a ball shape? Or keeping his tail tucked in and shivering, he is probably trying to warm himself with body heat. It’s another sign it is better inside the house.
Remember: If your dog acts in an unusual way (Whining or barking, agitated or anxious), make sure he has enough protection from wind and cold.
Main image source: @leakelley Via Pexeles
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