Cold Weather Dog Bed – The Best Dog Beds in Winter
Looking after your dog during the winter means you have to try and think like a dog and go through a 24-hour period imagining where your dog is on a daily basis. Most dogs spend many, many hours on their dog beds, so that is of course the number one consideration in terms of dog welfare. You also need to consider walking in cold weather and other activities.
Dogs Living in the House
Most dogs in UK live in the house with their humans and they have their dog beds in the house. Surveys even show that some sleep in the bed with their humans (!), but at the same time they also need a day bed. And yes, some dogs use the sofa… all day. Some dogs are never treated to a dog bed of their own at all. It seems strange to think that some dogs live all their lives just having to sleep on an old jacket on the floor in the corner, to which we have to say: Really? You would think that if you have a pet dog, you would give them the bare minimum of a nice, waterproof dog bed that can be cleaned easily. Thankfully by far the most dog owners do exactly that.
When dogs live in the house it is important to think about the temperature changes in the room over the 24-hour period. It might seem that your dog is quite hot during the day and evening when the central heating is on, but please remember how cold it gets during the night when the heating goes off for several hours. Especially in an old house with sneaking draught. A good, draught-excluding dog bed, such as a Tuffies Nest bed is essential for keeping the chill off the dog.
Equally, if your dog sleeps in the boiler room where it can get pretty hot as the boiler ramps up for heating the house, perhaps 4 or 5 in the morning, a dog with a thick coat would want to be able to lie stretched out to prevent overheating.
Dogs with very fine coats, such as most lurchers, Vizslas and pointers would, if the night is especially cold, be grateful for a nest with a nest sock. This creates a real den-like feeling and keeps the heat in very well. Tuffies also supplies a Tunnel Cover for the mattress dog beds which gives the dog the opportunity to snuggle in his cold weather dog bed under the cover when needed or to lie on top of the cover if he needs less warmth.
Dogs Living Outside in a Kennel
Dogs can get used to living in relatively cold conditions as long as it is consistent. A dry, sheltered kennel with a good, insulating dog bed with plenty of padding is all they need as long as there is no draught whistling through the kennel. A dog that consistently sleeps outside will usually prefer the kennel to the odd “treat” of being allowed inside over night. The house will feel too hot for such dogs. So if you need to have the dog sleeping in an outdoor kennel without heating for some of the time and in the house at other times, try to make the conditions of the two places as climatically identical as possible. If it is not a heated kennel, you might want to give your dog the choice of a cool place when he spends time in the house. Most people have an unheated room that they can offer to the dog.
A good kennel dog bed should be waterproof and possibly with a machine washable cover for that little bit of extra comfort and ease of cleaning. If your dog has access to the outdoors where there might be rain and wet under foot, he will inevitably come in with wet paws making the bedding wet. A good waterproof dog mattress will hence become a little wet on the surface, which will evaporate quickly, while a dog bed with no waterproof cover will allow damp to penetrate and slowly become damp all the way through, which again causes the insulation properties of the bed to be lost.
Another way to ensure your dog is warm at night is to get a little fleece coat for him. There are several on the market where there are no uncomfortable hard parts and “jumpers” with a little bit of stretch, which all helps.
Keeping your Dog Warm While Walking
If you are walking in the pouring rain and if your dog has a very fine and thin coat, you might consider a little rain coat just to keep him from getting really wet. However, while a dog is moving, there is not really much need for extra coats. When you consider how they gladly jump in a cold pond or the sea in winter to retrieve a stick or even just for fun, it is clear that an active dog is very resilient to the cold. It is indeed during inactivity that dogs can suffer from a sneaking cold. If a dog is running freely around in the woods, a restrictive coat is not ideal either. Sticks can get lodged in the coat. I once did exactly that and it was in fact quite comical because my pointer dog got trapped with a stick in the coat and I had to go and get her off.
Should you be out with your dog and he swims or gets very wet from the rain or wet grass, it is good to take a little time to towel dry him before you let him go in his dog bed. A coat with some dampness can benefit from an absorbing dog bed cover. The Dog dryer cover is ideal for when you come in from a walk and want to allow the damp and mud to dry off your dog in a boot room or similar. The cover accelerates the drying process and helps rubbing some of the dirt off that you would rather not have in the house.
Travelling with your Dog in the Winter
Again, it is important to think about where your dog is when you travel with him in the winter. He might not need a coat when he is moving and active, but if you take him with you and you have to wait some time for the bus for example, he might then sit still on the pavement and get quite cold without you realising.
Travelling with a dog in the back of a car can also prove to be a surprise if you check the temperature. I have been terribly guilty of this. I once travelled to the west coast of Scotland to work my pointers. It was in December and they all had their fleece jumpers on in the back of my pick-up. The entire floor has a made to measure dog bed with a warm cover for comfort. But I had forgotten that there was a window open just a little bit in the back and I never really thought about this till the next day when a friend sat in the back of the vehicle with the dogs on a short journey during the grounds. He said it was Baltic as there was an ice cold draught going through. I have never forgotten that and I now never forget to think about the temperatures in the back when I travel, winter or summer.