Make sure your dog has a warm and dry shelter. A doghouse with proper insulation and bedding, such as straw or blankets, can help protect them from the cold and wind. Ensure that the shelter is well-ventilated and elevated to prevent moisture buildup.
Some dogs, especially smaller breeds and those with short fur, benefit from wearing a doggy sweater or coat. These can help keep them warm when they go outside, but make sure the clothing is comfortable and not too tight.
Minimize the time your dog spends outside during extreme cold weather. Shorten walks and bathroom breaks, and ensure they stay active indoors with playtime and mental stimulation.
Cold sidewalks and roads can be harsh on your dog's paws. Consider using dog booties to protect their feet. You can also use paw balm to moisturize and create a protective barrier against the cold and salt.
Know the signs of hypothermia in dogs, which include shivering, lethargy, weakness, pale gums, and a drop in body temperature. If you suspect hypothermia, warm your dog slowly with blankets and seek veterinary attention if needed.
Wet fur can make your dog even colder. Towel dry your dog thoroughly after outdoor activities, and consider using a dog-friendly drying coat to speed up the process.
Providing your dog with a balanced diet is crucial during the winter months. Dogs may require more calories to stay warm, so consult your veterinarian to ensure they are getting the right amount of food.
Snow can cover familiar scents and landmarks, potentially leading to your dog becoming lost. Keep your dog on a leash during walks to prevent them from wandering too far.