When the mercury falls and the snow flies, you can almost hear the rustle of dogs’ hearts as they fly in the sky. Most, but not all. There are dogs who yearn to avoid even a hint of Jack Frost. While others look forward to this wonderful time of year, age and health conditions can make the common cold a tougher opponent.
To help our beloved friends, we can add an extra layer of warmth for insulation, but when does a dog need fur?
It would be phenomenal to simply insert a few variables into an algorithm and find out whether our four-legged friends are uncomfortably chilled and at what temperature they would appreciate an additional shift, but unfortunately the result would always be: it depends.
When are dog coats needed?
Physiologically, dogs have the ability to keep their body temperature within optimal limits, even when the ambient temperature differs in large part due to several factors. In the truest sense of the word, size is important, and when it comes to the body’s heat retention, the larger the dog, the lower it is usually in which it can happily let off steam. In addition, the quality of the coat, the level of activity, age, health and the conditions for what a dog acclimates are also important factors.
Nature is full of surprising tricks that can quickly change the equation.
Should a typically cold-resistant, extra-large Pyrenees born and raised in Northern Minnesota develop diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalance (like Cushing’s disease) – physiological conditions that result in body temperature regulation – she would be very challenging likely to benefit from adding an extra layer.
Your dog will tell you if he needs a jacket
When your dog is cold, the behavior will tell you. They seem reluctant to go outside, walk very slowly, whine or bark, even shiver or shiver. When you share your heart and home with a stoic dog who can endure pain and difficulty without much fanfare, your job will be a little more difficult. They need to look carefully and look for subtle changes in their typical daily behavior and those that seem completely unrelated to the cold. It may take some investigation, but once you identify it you will never miss it again.
The most important thing we can do for our four-legged friends is to become an attentive observer, especially when conditions outside and in time change. As with all relationships, developing this awareness takes work, but it is the work that is so worthwhile.
Read On: The Best Winter Coats and Jackets for Dogs