As the winter sets in we need to think about our favorite pets well-being. I have a Frenchy. My dog is very active always wants to play. She loves being outside, loves playing with her tennis balls in the tennis court, loves rustling through the fallen leaves on the ground and exploring every new corner she has not seen 1000 times before. Now that it’s cold I have to reevaluate when and how long she can go out and play. She’s a small dog and very low to the ground. When it’s near freezing out I always worry that her paws get too cold or the little fur that she has isn’t going to keep her warm enough and then how long do I keep her outside? Do I set a timer? Not really sure.
So in my research I’ve come to believe that when it’s very cold out I put sweaters or sometimes a jacket on her to keep her body temperature warmer. If the ground is super cold out, 40 or below then I’ll put some sort of socks or booties on her to protect her paws from the super cold ground. I think of it as if I had to walk around barefoot what would I do?
So for the apparel I think she’d be nice and happy and warm but now how long do I keep her out for.? This one’s a little tougher. I see bigger dogs out and about with really no care for the cold and that’s fine. If I had a bigger dog I would probably be less inclined to worry about the cold affecting them but still follow the same procedure I do with my little Frenchy, sweater and booties. Honestly some might think it’s ridiculous but my dog is my baby and I want to make sure nothing happens to her and I’m sure you feel the same if you’re reading this.
Now how long do they stay outside for? I go on the basis of how cold is it? How do I feel? What if I was not completely bundled up? What if I was not running around in circles chasing a ball? So I usually limit it it to under 30 minutes depending on how cold it is. I live in Georgia so it very rarely gets below freezing, but if I lived in an area where it does get below freezing I would of course shorten the time.
You’ll have to really play this one by ear. But most of all try and read your dogs body language. Of course they want to stay and play but if they’re shivering then they need to be taken inside immediately and warmed up. Hopefully it doesn’t get to that. I hope this helps you if you’re not sure how long to let them play outside or what to dress them in.
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