Having your furry buddy along with you reveling in the adventures of winter camping sounds like perfect bliss, right? But, with this bliss comes great responsibilities. In order to, ensure your dog’s comfort and safety during the freezing temperature, it’s essential to recognize small details.
Like, you must know exactly how cold is too cold for your dog, how to keep your dog warm, and the best dog gear for winter camping. In case, if you’re yet not familiar with these, no worries. In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know for winter camping with your dog. Read on –
How Cold is too Cold for Winter Camping with Dog
The tolerance of a dog towards the cold depends upon the breed it belongs to. On a much general scale, temperature above 45 Fahrenheit is enough to keep any dog warm. However, if the temperature drops below this limit then a few breeds might start getting engulfed by the cold.
It is seen that larger breeds like Husky, Malamute and, German shepherd are more compatible in colder conditions than smaller breeds. Here’s this range of temperatures that dogs can tolerate according to their size:
60 to 45 Fahrenheit: This range of temperature is optimum for larger dogs as no potential harm can be caused.
35 to 0 Fahrenheit: This ranges from the potential cold temperature to a life-risking drop of temperature.
60 to 45 Fahrenheit: This temperature range imposes the minimum problems to dogs of medium size.
45 to 0 Fahrenheit: These are potentially harmful temperatures that can lead to life loss.
60 to 45 Fahrenheit: This will not cause any potential risk to the dog.
45 to 0 Fahrenheit: This range of temperatures might lead to the death of your pet.
Alongside that, the size of the dog, the amount and, the length of the fur on your dog should also be kept into account. Now, if you’re wondering what to do if in case the temperature of your dog drops, no worries, we’re here to tell you everything.
So, when the temperature level is around 32 Fahrenheit, your dog’s fur shouldn’t be sufficient to provide heat, in this case, a coat or blanket is highly suggested. If the temperature drops to about 20 Fahrenheit then the coats or blankets won’t be able to supply enough heat to keep your buddy warm.
Why the Cold is Bad for Your Dog
In the cold, there’s always a probability of your dog being hunted by hypothermia. We hate to mention but the reality is this condition can cause dangerous health hazards to your dog. This can cause dysfunction in breathing, blood circulation, nervous system, basically, no organ can work normally which can lead your dog to fatal death.
Then again, the cold can make your dog a victim of frostbite. When the temperature drops to a bare minimum the blood vessels constrict and send blood only to the core organs at that point. This leads to the cut-off of blood supply to the paws, nose, and legs of the dog. This, in turn, leads to frostbite. Frostbite can cause severe pain to your dog.
Tips for Winter Camping With Your Dog
Being concerned regarding how to prepare or handle your fluffy mate during winter camping is pretty common. There are a lot of things to look after. Among numerous things to take care of, the following are the most essential ones:
1. First of All, Recognize the Potential of Your Dog
The urge to take your four-legged partner camping with you is undoubtedly sky-high. Yet giving importance to your dog’s capabilities to endure the cold must not be overlooked. You see, all dog breeds cannot handle the cold very well.
Some have the ability to face the dreading cold, while others are most comfortable indoors near the fireplace away from any coldness. In this scenario, let your dog choose this. Wondering how to do that?
Just take him outside around the house on a cold day for a walk or you might take him for a one-day hike. Observe how your dog responds to the weather. Ensure if he is feeling comfortable while moving through the snow.
However, if you see that your dog is constantly shivering then you should not take it with you. Don’t push his limits, we’re sure keeping him comfortable is your priority. Otherwise, if your dog does seem good at dealing with the cold, then you’re good to go.
2. Check If the Camp-Spot Is Dog-Friendly
Wherever you’re planning to go for winter camping with your dog, be sure that spot is safe for your little friend. On top, many camping sites don’t allow you to keep your dog. This might be due to safety or health precautions.
Whatsoever, it’s always better to check if the dogs are allowed. This piece of information is mostly available on the websites of these camping sites or if they have a hotline then try calling them up for ensuring before planning it all.
3. Be Self-Prepared
Before taking responsibility for a dog, most guardians tend to enrich their children in acknowledging how to take care of that vulnerable buddy. Likewise, to take your beloved dog for winter camping, why not train up yourself beforehand? In case you are new to winter camping then try going camping for yourself first.
Get accustomed to the way things work during chilly weather. After spending some time camping by yourself, you will have a good idea of how to survive comfortably in the cold. We can assure you that this experience will prepare your mental state for handling your dog in the cold as well.
4. Prepare Your Dog’s Winter Gear
Unlike Siberian huskies, most breeds are not adapted to survive in the cold. They need winter gears, as much as you do. Then again, your dog might absolutely be comfortable with your presence or smell, but not that much with your clothes.
There are clothes made particularly for dogs of all shapes and sizes. You can find them in any pet supply store or you can order online as well. So, when you sketch a plan for going camping in shivering weather, ensure to pack these wisely to keep your pet buddy warm and comfortable as much as possible.
5. Don’t Forget The Paws
What most people tend to forget are the paws. You have to keep in mind that your four-legged companion needs to be covered completely, that includes the paws as well, as they will be touching the cold surface. This is when the booties make their heroic entry.
Not only do they provide warmth and prevent the cold from attacking them but also keeps them safe from potential cuts and crackling in their paws. It is essential to take into note that at first, your dog might not seem comfortable walking in those shoes. A little practice can make them accustomed to the shoes.
6. Ensure A Warm Place To Sleep
Just like us dogs too require warm places to sleep on. Who doesn’t seek a comfortable sleep after an entire day of overwhelming adventures? As your pet depends upon you, it’s your responsibility to ensure that they have the access to a warm resting place. For this purpose, you can purchase a sleeping pad that is specialized for a dog.
7. Be Able To Recognize Hypothermia in Dog
It is obvious that your dog won’t be able to tell you when it is feeling cold. But, we are sad to tell you that the cold can make your favorite buddy the victim of hypothermia. If you’re new to this term, then let us break that for you.
Hypothermia is a medical condition caused by long exposure to extremely cold temperatures. When you have hypothermia, your body temperature lowers rapidly, causing your heart, nervous system, and other organs to dysfunction.
There are a few symptoms with which you can instantly know if your dog is suffering from hypothermia or not! As a responsible owner, you got to recognize it before things get worse. Below we’ve added some of the commonly observed symptoms of hypothermia that can help you recognize it immediately –
- Slow breathing
- Feeling cold to the touch
- Dilated pupils
8. Know How To Deal With Hypothermia
The probability of your dog falling into the craws of hypothermia is undeniable. You can’t ignore it. If you have to face situations where your dog is suffering from hypothermia then you should be prepared on what should be your next major step.
There’s no scope for hesitation at that moment. The step is simple. Do anything you can to raise your dog’s body temperature. You can wrap him around a blanket, sleeping bag, use a small heater, use hot water bags, or anything.
However, if not much change is observable, the best option at hand is to take your dog to the nearby vet or if you are deprived of this opportunity then try contacting a vet and, seek immediate advice.
9. Stock Up A Lot Of Food And Water
As we all know, that in winter more energy is required to keep your body working properly. Your dog also needs more amount of food than usual. You might also notice that the appetite of your dog is not as same during winter camping as before.
Therefore, pack up as much food as possible for the little camper. To make your work easier, you can organize the food into portable boxes. These will allow you to stay organized and, maintain the correct food in taking timetable for your buddy.
Not to forget there will be an enormous intake of water during the winter camping. Find a source of drinkable water nearby or carry your own drinking water in large carry-able bottles. Remember, always stay hydrated.
10. Carry A Thermometer
As mentioned previously, dogs are not blessed with the ability to express if they are feeling cold or not; so there is always the chance of them becoming extremely cold and being the prey of hypothermia.
In this case, having a small thermometer at hand really comes in handy. By using the thermometer you can check your dog’s body temperature and be extra sure that your dog is warm and, functioning just fine
11. Keep Your Dog On The Move
The issue is that when your four-legged friend stops moving and, stays in a constant position for too many hours, they will feel cold easily. Therefore, it’s your utmost duty to help assist them in moving.
The more your dog moves the more heat energy it will generate. It doesn’t need to be a whole lot of heat energy. Small movements like chewing will also do the trick. In order to get your dog moving, you can take the help of a toy.
12. The More the Companions, The Easier It is
Handling your dog might not seem like a big deal yet during winter camping it comes out to be a bit challenging. More companions or other campers can come to your aid in this scenario. Furthermore, because dogs are sociable animals, so the more people there are, the more active your dog will be!
Again, apart from humans, other dogs can also come in handy, as they will provoke your dog to play with them thus increasing his activities and, keeping him warm. This automatically halves your concerns and, aids you in enhancing your own camping experience.
Read more: How to camp with your dog in rain?
How to Keep Your Dog Warm When Camping in Winter
It is true that due to having a layer of fur to aid them in tolerating the cold dogs do tackle cold temperatures better than us. Nevertheless, some extra measures might be taken in order to keep them safe, warm, and comfortable during the shivering cold winter camping. Here are some tips to keep your cold adventures heated up:
In movies, it can be seen that dogs are kept outside the tent maximum time. Yet, this is not a good representation of how to treat your dog on winter camping. Letting your dog sleep outside can cause your fluffy buddy numerous diseases. It should be your top priority to keep your buddy safe, sound, and warm. Sharing the tent is the best option in this case.
2. Offer a Warm Blanket
Warm blankets can do wonders when it comes to keeping someone warm. Then why not use one for your dog? Blankets prevent the body’s warmth from escaping into the surroundings through conduction.
Their insulating properties allow them to do this. If your dog has a blanket that he frequently uses at home, then don’t forget to bring it to the camping site. If it doesn’t have one, we highly recommend you to purchase one before going winter camping with it.
3. Consider Using a Coat
A warm blanket can keep your dog warm while it is in stationary mode, yet as we all are accustomed to the fact that dogs love to move around and, stay active. Therefore, a blanket is not going to be enough on the run.
This is where the coat comes in. Haven’t heard of a dog coat before? Well, they are small coats that you can especially get designed for your little partners. This will add an extra layer of warmth for your dog. Furthermore, they prevail over the dog’s skin from coming in contact with the cold habitat.
4. Dog Bed for Winter Camping
Dogs don’t only have their own blankets, they also have beds for them. A warm bed consisting of flooring made up of warm clothing is surely going to get those tails wiggling. You can easily get access to any store where you will get beds for your dogs at a reasonable price.
5. A Sleeping Bag for the Little Ones
While talking about dog beds we often forget about sleeping bags. In fact, the dog bed is too heavy for you to carry to the camping site, whereas sleeping bags are light and easy to carry.
The bags are particularly designed for dogs keeping their size into consideration. You can find the perfect size for your four-legged buddy. In addition to keeping you warm, these bags will avoid your dog from coming in contact with the cold flooring.
This indeed is very essential for dogs. The material from which these bags are manufactured is easy to keep clean as the dirt doesn’t easily stick to the surface of the sleeping bags. So, you see, a dog sleeping bag can keep both you and your beloved pet happy and, satisfied.
6. Keep It Away from The Water:
Your dog might show the desire to play in the water before going to bed. In a situation like this, don’t get carried away with your emotions instead prevent them from drenching themselves before bed.
The main aim of this cruelty is to not let your dog go while it’s wet. As the coldness of the water can cause the temperature of the dog to decrease. This will cause him to feel cold which might lead to many potential diseases.
7. Hot Water Bottles to the Rescue:
Just like hot water bags, hot water bottles can do miracles in keeping the constant circulation of heat around the body. Just fill up a water bottle with hot water. Most dogs are fond of curling around water bottles.
Therefore, they will keep the bottles close to their skin surface. Nevertheless, there are some precautions that are necessary to be taken. There’s the probability of the hot water leaking and, cause skin burns.
As a means to avoid this, you can use cotton covers for the bottle, or use plastic bottles instead of the typical water bottles as they are less prone to leaking. If neither of these is an accessible option for you, then you might use an old cloth to keep the bottle covered.
8. Lots of Snuggles:
Snuggling doesn’t only enhance your bonding with the little buddy, but it also avails in keeping them warm. While hugging, your body shares the body temperature with the dog’s body temperature. This constant body heat sharing assists in keeping your dog as warm as a freshly baked apple pie.
Do keep in mind, the more skin-to-skin contact with your dog, the warmer it will remain. This doesn’t only benefit your dog but also keeps your body temperature from dropping. Next time while on a winter camp with your dog, infinitely snuggle it.
9. Keep Your Four-Legged Buddy Fueled Up:
In cold conditions, the human body needs to provide energy for keeping the body temperature to a normal level. The same goes for the dogs. They also require to provide the energy to keep their body warm. All this energy is originated from the food consumed.
Therefore, the diet of your dog must consist of high-protein nutritious food. This food will keep fueling the respiration process in your pet’s body, which in turn will provide them the energy to keep themselves warm during the chilly ventures.
10. Keep the Camp Fire Going On:
Campfire is not only one of the most symbolic things about camping, they are the saviors of winter camping. The warmth provided by the campfire is comforting as it generates heat.
Therefore, keeping your dog near the campfire is a pro move as it has the ability to keep you and your pet warm. Nonetheless, keep an eye on your dog and make sure it doesn’t get too close to the fire.
Best Dog Gear for Winter Camping
We can’t think of winter camping without some of the specific winter camping gear, can we? As the weather gets cold and rough the gears become one of the key elements for our survival. Whether you consider it or not, your dogs need them too.
Breeds like Siberian Huskie, Alaskan Malamute and, Saint Bremond are adapted to survive in the cold habitat, but unlike them, some dogs that are small, without much fur, old or weak are not accustomed to the cold. In this case, you must provide them with the essential gear to keep them warm and comfortable when camping in chilly weather.
Dog gear has already been discussed in our essay, but it is such an important consideration when it comes to winter camping that it deserves special attention. So, we’ve thrown light on it in a detailed way in the following, so without further ado, let’s have a look at them —
Winter Dog Jacket:
The skin surface is where most of the heat escapes from. To prevail this from happening you can use a winter jacket for your dog. There are several types of winter jackets are available for dogs out there.
Try choosing the jacket that provides your pet with enough comfort. Keep an eye for the thickness of the jacket. The size of the jacket also plays a key role. There should be enough space for your dog to comfortably move around.
This Vecomfy Fleece Lining Dog Jacket can be a great choice that includes all the said amenities precisely. Then again, if you’re planning to get something fancy then we’d suggest you check this ASENKU Fleece Dog Jacket.
Furthermore, there are also some jackets with additional sleeves that can aid in keeping the legs of your dog from exposure to cold weather. PetBoBo Dog Down Jacket is one of the best of these varieties of jackets.
As we’ve mentioned earlier that a sleeping bag can do wonders to keep your furry pet warm, then why not invest in it? There are different types of sleeping bags out there that are made up of different materials.
This suede-made fluffy SPOT Cuddle Cave Pet Bed is a masterpiece, however, it’s a bit on the expensive side. So, if you want to go for a more budget-friendly then opt for this Polyester and Fleece combined model Lifeunion Waterproof Dog Sleeping Bag.
A Trendy Pair of Boots:
Paws are also important when it comes to keeping your dog warm. You can easily find some high-performance boots from the stores or online.
According to our research, this pair of XSY&G Waterproof Dog Boots are one of the best options that you can get. Moreover, to bring a vibrant vibe to your dog’s feet you can also go for this model Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots.
An Absorbent Towel:
As the name suggests, this towel is made to absorb the water. Being drenched in water for a long time is not good for your buddy on winter camping. So, carry a towel that can come in handy anytime you want your pet to be absolutely dry. Both Bone Dry Pet Towel and Wooflinen Ultra-Absorbent Dog Towel are great options of the current time.
After going through the article by now you must be accustomed to how to go winter camping with your dog. This does require a little bit of hard work but if you really want to enjoy the camping experience with your dog then the dedication should come by itself. Happy pet winter camping campers!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.