6. Open a door to the dog. Even cold-weather dogs cannot handle severe temperatures, so make sure dogs have an option for coming inside. If you don’t want to constantly open the door, consider installing an electronic dog door. To deter entry by thieves and unwanted critters, these doors only unlock when your dog nears wearing a special transmitter collar.
7. Dress the dog for the weather. We think some dog clothing is silly and degrading, but boots and sweaters for some dogs just make sense in the winter. Dogs regulate heat through their paws, and snow and ice on their feet can be very uncomfortable, particularly if ice builds up in hair around the paws. Dog boots can protect those paws. Also, small dogs and short-haired breeds may be more comfortable in a sweater outdoors in winter.
8. Groom dogs appropriately for the weather. While short-haired dogs may need an extra synthetic layer of clothing, long-haired dogs have a natural extra layer, but only if their hair is left to grow long and un-knotted. On the other hand, as noted above, the hair around paws can accumulate uncomfortable and dangerous amounts of ice and snow, so keep it trimmed.
9. Warm the dog’s indoor bed if the dog lies directly on cold, hard flooring. Make sure the dog’s bed is protected from drafts. Raise the bed off the floor and consider using a hot water bottle or a microwavable heating pad. These pads are designed to stay warm for up to 12 hours.
10. Feed dogs appropriately for winter. Dogs that are spending time outside in the winter may be burning more calories just staying warm, so they need an extra helping of food. Also consider a fatty-acid supplement to keep indoor dogs from drying out in heated homes. On the other hand, some indoor dogs are getting less exercise in the winter, so they might need less food.