How to keep dogs warm

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Keep dogs warm indoors and out when you know what they need to save body heat

Alaskan malamutes, Anatolian shepherds, chow chows, Keeshonds, and Siberian huskies are all bred to survive the blistering cold of the greater out-of-doors. That Taco Bell chihuahua is not. So, what can you do if you own a short-haired dog banished to your backyard during the winter months?

Short-haired animals, or those with ailments such as arthritis, can feel the effects of a cold night just like their human counterparts. How then do you keep dogs warm?

Whether they sleep outdoors, trek with you across frozen tundra, or simply feel the chill deep into their bones due to age or infirmity, there are many ways (and products) to keep them snug, satiated, and protected from the elements.

Animal Clothing/Snuggies

When even your canine wonders aloud how the two of you look in matching new Snuggies, it may be time to rethink your fashion sense. All kidding aside, blankets, Snuggies, and sweaters can help to keep your furry friend immune from the elements.

Writer Crystal Ray -- in addition to her Yahoo article on the subject -- offers multiple options for owners looking to purchase sweaters, fleece pullovers, blankets, and even Snuggies. Not only can your pet look like you, but they can be heated for maximum comfort as well -- indoors and out.

These products offer a simple way to keep dogs warm while creating a stylish (and sometimes hilarious) appearance. On one of those cold nights, they will thank you, no matter what your sweater fashion sense happens to be.


And you thought that Fisherman knit sweater was cute? Wait until you see him in booties. As a  way to keep their feet in pristine condition, booties can provide a barrier against salt, ice, and snow.

Canines regulate their temperature through the soles of their feet so it's important to keep them as warm as possible. For extreme treks -- or for those looking to protect their pet's feet from snow and ice in your particular section of the country -- try a pair of these Polar Trek Boots.

Let Them Sleep Indoors

You could just let your pet sleep indoors and you could solve the problem right there. If they still get cold sleeping indoors, a pet igloo can provide a little bit of added comfort; the enclosure design can provide extra protection from the colder elements of the home (air conditioning, draft from under the garage door, etc.).

Options for Better Outdoor Living

For those animal owners still looking to find better options for their backyard, here are a few other stellar options:
  • Buy a proper doghouse: You can find options that include insulation, a sloped roof, and even heater additions.
  • Use a hot water bottle: Heat up a heavy rubber water bottle and place it underneath a towel beneath your animal's bed; a heated disk can work as well to provide protection from the elements.
  • Buy a heated bed: Buy one specifically made for Fido; it will keep them in the style and comfort of which they have become accustomed.
  • Build a blanket fort: If you don't want to purchase any of the above mentioned items, at least provide enough blankets for them to snuggle in with as they sleep.

And with that, you have a wide range of options for creating the most comfortable and relaxing environment for your pet. You can always feed them slightly more in the winter months; pets tend to burn up more calories during this time trying to stay one step ahead of the cold.

No matter if it's more food, an animal Snuggie, or even a Christmas themed sweater -- Your pet will love you no matter what.

Resources: 10 Ways to Keep Your Pet Warm this Winter. Ways to Keep a Dog Warm at Night.

Above photo attributed to Perfecto Insecto

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