If your dog is a cold-weather breed like a Husky or a Malamute, they probably love the winter time! Whether they are just lying in the powder like it’s a comfortable bed or running around chasing snow flakes, they are built for these extra cold months of the year. But what about when it starts to warm up? Here are some survival tips for those cold-weather breeds in the coming months.
When to Go Out
Like all dogs, ones that are cold-weather breeds still enjoy taking long walks. However, those types of walks should be restricted to only early mornings and late evenings when the sun is low and it is not too hot out. Just remember, you may not think it’s too hot, but they are wearing a double-layer fur coat so they may be feeling the heat more than you are.
During times of extreme heat, try providing them with some indoor activities in an air-conditioned environment that will keep them active. When you do take them out for walks, instead of a long trek, try shorter walks over varied areas in your neighborhood.
Cool Down Zones
When the weather warms up, your cold-weather dog will look for places they can cool down. Inside your home, try creating a non-carpeted space away from the windows but in an area that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. Your pup will love sprawling out on the cool floor when the temperatures rise.
Another option to help cool your pup is one of those small kiddie pools for the backyard. Just fill it with a bit of cool water and they will enjoy just dipping their paws in the pool. All dogs sweat through their paws so this option will help them cool down quickly.
Winter dog breeds have both an overcoat and an undercoat of thick fur. Be sure to give these pups daily brushings to get rid of any excess hair that could be both weighing them down and creating extra heat.
The option of shaving your pup to help keep them cool is not ideal as all that hair will protect them from sunburns. Any excess hair that protects them in the winter will come off through regular brushing in the spring time. Just have a good vacuum cleaner nearby as these breeds can sometimes shed a lot!
Watch Their Weight
As with all dogs, make sure your cold-weather pup is not being overfed. Excess weight can actually make them more likely to feel that oppressive heat and humidity. Be sure to follow the instructions on their dog food to determine exactly how much to feed them on a daily basis.
If they need a low calorie treat, try creating frozen PUPsicles. Use your imagination, try it with sodium-free chicken broth or water with bits of cheese or their favorite treat inside.
I Mist Again
One final tool to purchase for your pup is a hand-held mister. Keep it filled with cold water and occasionally give them a spray when they need a quick cool down while out walking. A mister is an inexpensive way to ensure your dog doesn’t overheat when they don’t feel like drinking water.
With these tips in mind, your cold-weather dog can thrive in any season. Just don’t hold it against them when they start counting down the days to the next snowfall. Winter is still their favorite time of the year!