Keeping Fido Warm This Winter 
by Dawn Arkin

The weather outside is frightful. Winter winds are blowing hard this year and your four-legged friend still needs to go outside to take care of his business. How can you keep him warm when he's got to be out in the cold?

Some dogs barely notice the lower temperatures, while others can hardly go outside without shivering. Older dogs and puppies have trouble dealing with the chill, as well as dogs with health issues. How can you help your furry friend stay warm this holiday season?

Keep your dog indoors as much as possible. While dogs have to go outside to do their business, they don't have to spend long periods of time outdoors. If your dog is sensitive to the cold, wait by the door while he is outside. That way, he won't have to stay outdoors any longer than absolutely necessary.

If your dog is a short-haired variety that always seems cold indoors or out, consider purchasing him a doggie sweater or jacket. There are many different types on the market today and you will be sure to find one that works for your dog.

Buy your dog a good set of booties. A dog's temperature is regulated through his feet as much as his panting. Keeping his feet warm will help his body stay warm. But be aware that a lot of dogs won't tolerate anything on their feet. It may take some time to get your dog use to them.

Have a bed for your pet that is at least three inches above the ground. This will give your pet a buffer space between the cold floor and his sleeping place. Many dog beds come with the ability to heat them, either through an electric blanket or a warming disk. Be careful with an electric blanket style, you usually can't use them outdoors.

If your dog has to be outside for long periods of time, buy him a good dog house. There are many kinds of houses on the market, and some even have insulation, or a heater, so your furry friend can stay warm if he has to stay outside longer than four hours at a time.

Use a hot water bottle to help keep your dog warm. Place the full bottle beneath your dog's bed to keep his bed toasty. Another product you can try is a microwavable heating disk, which you can find at most pet stores. Just heat in the microwave and place under your dog's bed for hours of warmth.

During the winter months, your dog will use more calories staying warm. Feeding your dog extra food will let him gain weight, which will help keep him warm during colder months.

Take care of your friend's skin during the winter months. Make sure he has plenty of water, a high quality food that helps keep his skin and coat healthy, and only wash your dog when necessary. Your dog's skin has oils that moisturize his skin and these oils can be removed during a bath causing dry skin. If you must wash him, use an oatmeal-based shampoo and conditioner. Don't forget to give him a good brushing afterward to remove all of the loose hair.

Take care of your furry friend's paws. Be sure to clean your dog's pads after being outside to keep the ice and salt from damaging your dog's feet. Keep the hairs between your dog's toes trimmed to reduce ice from collecting between them. You can also put petroleum jelly on the surface of his pads prior to walking outdoors. This will help keep his paws moisturized.

The weather outside may be frightful, but it doesn't have to be for your four-legged friend. Keeping him warm during the winter months isn't difficult as long as you are willing to take the extra effort to keep him warm.

About the Author: Dawn Arkin is a writer and animal lover who enjoys spending time with her pets. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pet Forums.
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