July 29, 2015

Do Dogs Feel The Cold?

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I don’t know about your neck of the woods but over here it’s cold! Especially at night. Last night Andrew, Toby and I were all snuggled in bed with the heater on, hot water bottles at our feet and two blankets and we were still cold. We always try and keep Toby in bed under the blankets with us on cold nights but most of the time he gets out of bed and sleeps on the ground. When he does that we always say, ‘What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy! Get back into bed.’

The way Toby has been behaving on these cold nights got me thinking. Do dogs even feel the cold the way humans do?

A friend who is a vet has said that pooches definitely feel the cold and to not let your dog’s fur coat fool you into thinking otherwise. It is important to understand the breed of your dog as some tolerate the cold weather better than others. For example, pooches that have a double coat are able to stay warmer than those with a single coat.

Puppies and older dogs are much more sensitive to cold weather and it’s extremely important to keep them warm, especially at night. If you have a pooch and they sleep outside in the colder nights without adequate warmth, you can be sure they are shivering and suffering all night long.

In winter, regardless of the type of dog you have make sure they have a warm, safe place to sleep at night, away from draughts. If your dog sleeps outside, make sure their kennel is waterproof and line the base of the kennel with a blanket so they are elevated off the ground.

If you give your pooch a blanket to sleep on, a wool blanket is better than a synthetic blanket as it retains the heat much better. Like humans, dogs can get too hot during the cold nights when wrapped up too much so make sure your pooch has somewhere to go to when they are too hot, like tiled floors. And most importantly make sure they have access to fresh water.