How To Keep Dogs Warm In Winter

Is your dog shivering each time you take it outside in the cold weather? You’re not alone. The winter months are a tough time for dog owners to keep their furry friends warm.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help your dog stay comfortable and happy this winter.

From dressing them appropriately to adding some extra insulation to their bed, read on for 8 expert tips on how to keep dogs warm in winter and keep your pup snug as a bug all season long!

How Much Cold Will Be Uncomfortable For Your Dog?

If you can’t go outside without a coat because it’s too cold, your dog probably can’t go outside either.

However, some factors can affect how much the cold will bother your dog.

For example, smaller dogs and puppies have less body mass and surface area, so they lose heat faster. They’re also more likely to have short fur, which provides less insulation.

On the other hand, older dogs and those with medical conditions may have a harder time regulating their body temperature and may be more sensitive to the cold.

Breeds that were bred for colder climates, like huskies and malamutes, can tolerate cooler temperatures better than other dogs.

Ultimately, it’s important to use your best judgment and err on the side of caution when taking your dog out in cold weather.

How To Keep Dogs Warm In Winter – 8 Expert Tips

Keeping your dog warm in winter doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these simple tips, you can help your furry friend stay comfortable all season long.

#1 – Groom Your Dog Properly

One of the best ways to keep your dog warm in winter is to make sure its fur is properly groomed.

Start by giving them a good brushing to remove any dead hair and mats. This will help their coat lay flat, which will trap heat better.

If your dog has long fur, you may also want to consider trimming it. This will help prevent ice or snow from building up on their fur, which can lead to discomfort and chilliness. Also, be sure to wipe off their paws after each walk to remove any salt or ice that may be stuck to them.

#2 – Provide Your Dog Warm Clothes

Just like you need a coat to keep you warm in winter, your dog will need one too!

There are a variety of dog coats on the market that can help keep your pup warm. Look for a coat that covers their belly and chest, as these are the areas most prone to losing heat.

A good dog coat can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your pup warm in winter.

When choosing a coat, look for one that is made of waterproof and windproof material.

pug wearing warm cloth

You may also want to consider getting your dog booties to keep their feet warm and dry. Similarly, a dog scarf or neck warmer can help protect their exposed skin from the cold.

#3 – Bathe And Dry Your Dog Indoors

If your dog gets wet while outside, be sure to dry them off as soon as possible. Wet fur doesn’t insulate well and can make your dog colder.

If possible, try to bathe your dog indoors during the winter months. This will help prevent their fur from getting too dry, which can lead to irritation and discomfort.

Also, avoid using hot water when bathing your dog in winter. This can strip their fur of natural oils, making it less effective at trapping heat.

#4 – Keep His Paws Clean And Well-protected

Your dog’s paw pads can easily become dry and cracked in winter, which can be painful.

To help protect their paws, apply a paw balm or cream before going outside. This will create a barrier that helps to prevent the pads from drying out.

As mentioned, you should also consider investing in a good pair of dog boots. Dog boots can help to keep your pup’s feet warm and dry and protect their paw pads from salt, ice, and snow.

If you don’t want to use dog boots, you can try using dog socks. Dog socks can provide some warmth and protection, but they won’t be as effective as boots.

#5 – Create Indoor Warm Spots For Your Dog

Just like you, your dog will appreciate having a warm spot to relax in during the winter months.

One way to create a warm spot is to use a pet bed heater. These devices attach to your pet’s bed and provide gentle warmth, similar to an electric blanket.

Another option is to place your pet’s bed near a space heater or radiator. Just be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get too close and accidentally burn themselves.

You can also try using a heating pad designed for pets. These can be placed on the floor or inside your dog’s bed. Just be sure to wrap it in a towel to prevent burns.

#6 – Don’t Stay Out Too Long On The Cold (And Keep It On A Leash When Out)

When the weather is cold, it’s important to keep your dog’s exposure to the elements to a minimum. This means limiting their time outside and keeping them on a leash when they are out for a walk.

dog walked by a woman wearing winter clothes

If your dog does start to show signs of cold stress, such as shaking or whimpering, bring them inside immediately and warm them up slowly.

The best way to do this is to wrap them in a warm towel and place them in a quiet, warm room. You can also give them a warm drink of water, but avoid using hot water as this can burn their mouth.

Once they are warmed up, dry them off and monitor them for any further signs of distress.

#7 – Insulate Your Dog House And Make It A Warm, Cozy Place To Say

If your dog spends any time outdoors, it’s important to make sure their dog house is properly insulated.

One way to do this is to add a layer of straw or hay on the floor of the dog house. This will provide extra insulation and help to keep your pup warm.

You can also try using a pet-safe space heater to further warm up the dog house. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep an eye on the heater to make sure it doesn’t overheat.

Finally, make sure your dog’s house is located in a shady, protected spot. This will help to block the wind and keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

#8 – Make Sure Your Dog Is Well-fed And Hydrated (But Don’t Overfeed Him)

A well-fed dog is a healthy dog, and this is especially true in winter.

Make sure your pup is getting enough food and water during the winter months. This will help them to maintain their body heat and stay warm.

That said, don’t overfeed your dog as this can lead to obesity, which can make it harder for them to stay warm in winter.

If you’re not sure how much to feed your dog, talk to your vet. They can help you determine the right amount of food for your pup based on their age, weight, and activity level.

People Also Ask

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Dog?

Dogs are susceptible to the cold just like humans, and they can experience health problems if they stay out in the cold for too long such as frostbite and hypothermia. It’s important to bring your dog inside if the temperature drops below freezing, and be extra cautious if it’s windy or wet as this can make the cold even more dangerous.

Do Dogs Get Cold At Night In Winter?

Yes, dogs can get cold at night in winter, even if they are inside. This is because the temperature inside your home can drop overnight, and your dog may not have access to a warm spot such as a pet bed heater or space heater. If your dog seems cold at night, try placing their bed near a radiator or space heater.

Does Putting A Blanket Over A Dog Crate Help Keep Them Warm?

Yes, putting a blanket over a dog crate can help to keep your pup warm. Just be sure to use a light blanket so it doesn’t trap heat and cause your dog to overheat. You can also try using a pet-safe space heater to further warm up the dog house.


By following these tips, you can help to keep your dog warm in winter and prevent them from experiencing any health problems.

Just be sure to monitor your pup for signs of cold stress, such as shaking or whimpering, and bring them inside if they seem too cold.

And remember, if the temperature drops below freezing, it’s best to keep your dog inside to prevent them from getting frostbite or hypothermia.

If you can’t keep them warm by insulating their little doggie house, try dressing them in a cute sweater or their favorite warm coat!

How do you keep your dog warm in winter? Share with us your experience

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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