Keeping Your Dachshund Warm In Winter
January is traditionally a very cold month all over the United States. Even if you are lucky enough to live in the warmer climates during this time of the year, it can still become quite cold, particularly in the evenings. Pets are vulnerable in the cold, so keeping your dog outside puts them as risk for exposure. This is particularly true for small dogs, even the sturdy hunter breed Dachshund. Dachshunds can suffer from conditions that make them intolerant to the cold weather. Diabetes, heart disease, and kidney problems make regulating body temperature difficult. The same applies to very young and very old dogs. Your vet knows your pet best and can advise you as to what he or she thinks is your best friend’s temperature limit.
Dogs are covered with genetically distributed coats of hair or fur, but they can still reach such low temperature levels that hypothermia will take over their little bodies. Check your pet’s paws for cold weather damage. Treat as recommended by your vet. Also, get in the habit of wiping your dog’s feet regularly after walks. People are using sidewalk salt, antifreeze, or other toxic chemicals. This also keeps your family and especially small children safe from unhealthy chemicals being brought into your home on the paws of pets.
The Dachshund has short legs and animals with short legs come into close contact with snow and cold ground. Walks and time outside should be limited to short intervals. Short-hair Dachshunds are less tolerant of the cold than the long-hair variety. Frost-bite is also a great hazard to this breed with regard to their proximity to the ground.
Getting your Dachshund used to dressing-up is important. A jacket or coat is best for them in the cold weather. Make sure to take it off as soon as you get home and dry it thoroughly before you put it back on your dog the next time. Keep your four-legged baby healthy and well-fed during the Winter months. Keeping body weight appropriate keeps pets insulated.
Making your home comfortable with regard to temperature is important. Give your dog warm options inside. Beds and blankets will help, but you need to keep them near inside walls and away from outside walls as they can hold the cold if not properly insulated. Basements and attics are not recommended as resting locations for pets in extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have any medication your pet may need, extra food, and water for emergencies. If there is a snow storm, you may not be able to leave the house until the weather clears.
Leaving your pet outside for extended periods of time is NOT recommended. If you are can not keep your pet inside when it is cold, make sure to provide a proper shelter. Be sure your dog has access to non-frozen water. Change it all the time and use a heated water bowl. Your pet’s shelter should be off the cold ground, have lots of warm, thick, and dry bedding. Turn the entry to the shelter away from prevailing winds. Heaters should NEVER be used as they can cause a fire. Heated pet mats can cause burns on your pets, so they are not recommended if your dog is unsupervised or long periods of time.
The Dachshund is a breed overflowing with confidence and independence, and they act as though they can do pretty much anything you can do. They are not built for extreme weather conditions, so please be sure to keep them fed, warm, and sheltered during the cold winter.