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Help! My dog is feeling the cold in winter, New Farm Vet!

new farm vet fortitude valley winter tips old dog brisbane



If you're anything like me... you're probably wondering where the last four months have gone. Just like that, winter is upon us!

We're pretty fortunate that here in Australia, most of us enjoy a relatively mild winter (or none at all if you’re fortunate to live up North). And while you’re reaching for your second mug of hot cocoa, with your furry kids snuggling up next to you, it certainly is time to assess whether your favourite furry companions are appropriate protected from the elements. Here are my top tips for making sure your pets are comfortable in winter, particularly our senior dogs!

Help! How can I help my dog in winter, New Farm Vet?


Does my dog's physical characteristics make a difference, New Farm Vet?


Some dogs tolerate cold more than others – these are often dog breeds that are bred for colder weather like Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows. They don't mind the chilly weather. In fact, some of them might surprise you on your walks by gleefully jumping into a freezing puddle without any hesitation! Contrast this with lean or short-furred dogs like Greyhounds or Whippets who will feel the slightest drop in the mercury – these breeds may need to don a coat depending on where you reside. Then, consider the age of your dog. Puppies and geriatric canines should be kept indoors where possible because they are less able to regulate their body temperature.

Should I keep my dog outdoor, New Farm Vet?

If your pooch spends the majority of its time outside then ensure that you’re providing them with proper outdoor housing to keep the chill away. Choose kennels that offer rain and wind protection and make sure to check that there are no gaps in the construction. I also prefer kennels that are raised to keep the cold from coming up from the ground. The roof of the kennel should also be sloped to ensure any rainwater is moved quickly away from the kennel. Location is also key – if you are able to face the entrance of the kennel away from wind, or locate the kennel on a sheltered porch, this will greatly enhance your dog’s comfort.

There should be nice, thick bedding inside the kennel, maybe even a little fleece blanket for your dog to snuggle into. You can throw a couple of old blankets over the kennel to add further insulation on particularly cold days – and of course, consider keeping your dog indoors on particularly cold nights. A hot water bottle (please use warm water only) placed into your pet's kennel goes a long way. I generally don’t encourage the use of electric underpads as they can cause skin burns or pose a danger to dogs that chew a lot.

Should I keep my dogs indoor, New Farm Vet?


Indoor dogs can still get cold at night, particularly if you have tiled or concrete floors. A raised cushioned bed with blankets in a place away from drafts will be ideal. Or you can be like me, spoil your furry kids by letting them onto your bed. They double up as feet warmers.


Stay till for tomorrow's blog on more winter tips.


If you are looking for a trusted New Farm Vet, please contact Fortitude Valley Vet, at (07) 3216 0045.