Keeping German Shepherd Dog Warm, 13 powerful tips you need to know on how to keep your dog warm in all-time or when needed most.
Knowing how to keep a german shepherd warm is vital for the health and happiness of your pet. In this article, you’re going to find out the best ways to keep your German shepherd warm, as well as some things you’re definitely going to want to avoid.
We’ll also touch on heatstroke, what to look for and what to do. And lastly, some of the best products for keeping your pup cool when it’s hot.
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Short On Time?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick list of all the ways you can keep them cool.
What To Do
- Make sure they always have shade available.
- Keep fresh water available for them.
- Give them a paddling pool.
- Entertain them indoors.
- Give them damp towels to lie on.
- Fill a hot water bottle with cold water.
- Keep the garden sprinkler on.
- Groom them regularly.
- Give them cooling treats.
- Mist their feet and face.
- Check for symptoms of overheating.
- Keep cool air circulating.
- Add ice cubes to their water dish.
- Give them an elevated bed.
- Put sunscreen on their nose.
- Work on keeping them at a healthy weight.
What Not To Do
- Avoid cutting their hair.
- Don’t walk them on hot sidewalks.
- Avoid walking them during the hottest parts of the day.
- Never leave them in a hot car.
- Keep them out of greenhouses and conservatories.
- Avoid long car journeys.
- Make sure it’s not too humid.
- Don’t keep them outside for too long.
How To Keep A German Shepherd Warm
Keeping your german shepherd cool isn’t hard when you follow the advice you’re about to read. So keep reading to get a more detailed idea of what you’re supposed to do.
1. Give Them A Paddling Pool
If your German shepherd likes water, then they’re going to love a paddling pool in their garden. This is one of the best ways to keep them cool on a hot day. It’s also going to have the added benefit of keeping them entertained when they’re on their own as well!
When picking a paddling pool, make sure you pick one that can withstand its paws. So it’s best not to use an inflatable one.
2. Turn Your Garden Sprinklers On
If you have garden sprinklers, why not leave them running throughout the day?
This is going to keep the temperature in your garden nice and cool. And if your German shepherd is getting too hot, they can go directly underneath the water.
Obviously, there are also some downsides. One such downside is the fact that it can be a waste of water, and in some states, you may not be allowed to do this.
The other problem is that at some point, you’re going to have to let a soaking wet german shepherd into your home. So if you’re not careful, dirt could end up getting everywhere.
3. Mist Their Face And Paws
If you’re inside with your german shepherd, and you think they’re getting too hot, then try misting their face and paws. It’s another fantastic way to keep them cool, and it doesn’t make much of a mess.
Misting their paws is especially effective. Their paws are one of the few areas they can sweat from, so misting them is really going to help.
4. Keep Cool Air Circulating In Your Home
If you’re keeping your german shepherd inside, then you should make sure cool air is circulating throughout your house.
Keeping windows and doors open where possible is your best bet, however, using fans can also be effective.
When you’re at home, try to keep your backdoor and front windows open. This way air can continuously circulate through your home. Moving cool air in and pushes hotter air out.
5. Make Sure They Have Enough Shade
Making sure your german shepherd has enough shade is vital to keeping them cool. Without shaded areas they can retreat to, they’re going to overheat extremely quickly. When choosing a shaded area, you need to make sure the shade will remain constant, no matter the angle of the sun.
If you don’t have this in your garden, then consider setting up a parasol or something similar, and when you’re out and about, it may be best to avoid large open areas.
This is especially important for german shepherds. Because of their dark color, they absorb heat from the sun much more than lighter dogs. Which means they’ll end up overheating quicker.
6. Try Playing With Them Indoors
When it’s extremely hot outside, sometimes it can be a good idea to keep your German shepherd inside.
However, to keep them entertained (and not energetic) you’ll need to keep playing with them. Fortunately, there are lots of fun games you can play.
My favorite is a tug of war. A good 15 minutes will tire you AND your dog out. However, if you don’t want to play tug of war, you can also hide treats for your german shepherd or play hide and seek with them.
Both of which are going to exercise their minds as well as their bodies.
7. Freeze Food To Keep Them Cool
If you want to give your german shepherd a little treat, then freezing some food is going to do this. Plus it’s also going to keep them cool!
There are so many different types of frozen food you can give them, and they’re going to love all of it.
Carrots, apples, strawberries, watermelon, and even peanut butter can all be frozen! When they’re given to your german shepherd in moderation they also make a healthy treat.
8. Consider Putting Suncream On Their Nose
While this may not directly cool them down in hot weather, it’s something you’re going to want to consider.
Your german shepherd’s nose is very sensitive to the sun and it can get burnt. In fact, just like us, german shepherds can also get skin cancer.
There are many different sun creams to choose from. If you’re not sure then my personal recommendation is Epi-Pet.
9. Make Sure You’re Grooming Them Regularly
You should be grooming your german shepherd regularly anyway, but in the summer it’s even more important. By removing any excess fur from their coat, you’ll make their coat thinner, which keeps them cooler.
As well as this, if their fur is matted or knotted, it’s going to trap heat. So once again, removing these areas is going to keep your German shepherd cooler as well.
It may be a good idea to take your german shepherd to a groomer before the summer begins. (Just makes sure you’re not shaving your german shepherd.)
10. Buy An Elevated Bed
Elevated beds provide extra cooling as they’re not absorbing heat from the ground. Instead, the temperature of the bed will stay more consistent with your german shepherd’s body temperature (which is also why they’re great in the winter).
And if you want to make the bed even colder you can add a bowl of ice or something similar underneath to cool the air below the bed.
They’re a great alternative and a worthwhile investment for any german shepherd that’s kept outside for extended periods of time.
11. Make Sure They Have Access To Fresh Water
You should also make sure your german shepherd has constant access to freshwater. In the heat of the sun, they can become dehydrated and overheated extremely quickly. Freshwater, will help keep them hydrated as well as cool them down internally.
It’s best to place the water in shaded areas. Not only is this going to help keep it cooler for longer, but it’s also going to encourage your german shepherd to stay in the shade.
12. Fill A Hot Water Bottle With Cold Water
Filling a hot water bottle with cold water can also help to keep your German shepherd cool. They’re designed to keep the temperature in. So if it’s hot it’s going to stay hot for a long time, however, when it’s cold it’s also going to stay cold for a long time.
If you have a hot water bottle handy, it can be a great way to keep your German shepherd cool.
However, just be cautious, your german shepherd has sharp claws and if they try to rip it up, they won’t have a hard time doing so.
13. Make Sure They’re A Healthy Weight
If your dog is overweight then they’re going to get hot a lot more easily. This is because they have trouble regulating their body.
However, make sure your german shepherd isn’t losing too much bodyweight at once. Before you put your german shepherd on a diet, make sure you consult your vet.
As a rule of thumb, they should be losing between 1-2% of their body weight a week.
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Cold Weather Care Tips for German Shepherd Owners
Though German Shepherd’s are considered to be the world’s ultimate working dog, they require some special attention during the cold winter months. Depending on your climate, you may want to consider adding a few of the following tips and tricks to your routine
You should physically look your dog over when he comes in from outside, paying close attention to his paws and belly. Most cities chemically treat their streets with salt, and it’s likely that it’ll stick to his fur and paw pads. Wiping him off with a towel or dog wipe is good practice, and has the added benefit of keeping your dog comfortable with handling his paws and legs – a skill every dog should have.
Taking your dog to the vet during the early onset of winter can also help you get handle pre-existing medical conditions before they become a problem. Even dogs who appear healthy can be at risk for the onset of chronic health conditions, like hip and elbow dysplasia. These dogs may become especially sensitive to the cold and could require additional care to get them through the winter happy, and comfortable.
Keeping your dog clean is a good policy for all German Shepherd owners, but keeping your dogs coat brushed and healthy is especially important during the winter, where your dog will be relying on his coat more than ever to stay warm. A daily (or at least weekly) brushing will also mean you can keep a close eye on your German Shepherd’s coat and skin.
German Shepherd’s come in several coat types — namely, standard, plush, and long-coat varieties. Stock coat dogs will have the easiest time during the winter, as their hard outer coat is designed to repel water and keep them dry. While plush and long coat dogs may look like they’ll do well in the cold, they get wet easily and can quickly become sick or even die if they aren’t kept warm.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF BLANKETS
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important. Keep plenty of blankets on hand for your German Shepherd during the winter, even if it means picking up a couple of new ones. Consider switching out blankets that they may use during the summer months for material that is more insulating in plush.
For example, while my dogs may only have a towel or sheet in their kennel during the summer, they’ll usually get upgraded to a fluffy throw blanket during the winter to keep them extra warm.
It’s important to remember that dogs kept in indoor kennels at night will get much warmer, much faster than dogs kept outdoors. If your dog sleeps in a kennel, make sure he has plenty of space to get away from blankets and beds, in case he gets too hot.
If your dog sleeps with you, or in his bed, this is less important as he will be able to move around freely and probably won’t risk getting too hot.
Most German Shepherd’s tolerate cold weather quite well – even extreme conditions, as you might find in your typical Berlin winters night. But with the popularity of plush and coated varieties of German Shepherd, whose coats are not as water repellent as their stock-coat counterparts, a special mention should be made for the value of dog blankets and shoes.
Tough 1 company makes a great dog jacket that’s similar in style to a horse’s winter rug and will help keep them dry and warm.
I personally like these jackets because they don’t look like “little dog clothes” (grin) and with their adjustable chest and belly straps, they’re very easy to take on and off. Note that these jackets are not only for a plush and coated Shepherds – and are a great way to keep any dog warm, especially young dogs and seniors.
Dog Shoes are hit or miss. If your dog is especially tolerant, or if he’s had injuries to his paws before, it’s something you may want to look into.
They can go a long way toward keeping your dog safe, especially if you’re in the inner-city, where your dog may encounter salt and other chemicals added to the street and sidewalk while he walks through the snow. And speaking of which-
Can German Shepherds live outside?
So, can German Shepherds live outside? While German Shepherds may sometimes prefer to sleep or spend time outside, it’s not good for them to live outside full-time.
German Shepherds are social animals and they need to spend time around people to be happy.
German Shepherds are dogs whose behavior is largely dependent on socialization and on their training, and keeping them inside or outside can have an impact on that.
Why Shouldn’t German Shepherds Live Outside?
There are a few reasons why a German Shepherd should not live outside full-time. The following are some of those reasons and why they may be bad for a German Shepherd.
German Shepherds are generally pretty healthy dogs. However, any dog that stays outside all the time can be prone to health issues. Some may come from a lack of hygiene.
If they aren’t washed enough, they can get really dirty and that can mess up their fur and possibly the protection that it provides. And it’s pretty easy for a dog to get dirty when left outside.
There are also environmental dangers outside. Poisonous plants that a dog could get into are a risk.
There can also be antifreeze melt in the winter, or other chemicals around, from acid rain top pesticides to gas that could have leaked in from a shed or garage. These chemicals are dangerous and possibly deadly for German Shepherds, as well as any other dog.
A German Shepherd may also hurt its paws on salt and chemical melt. If there are sharp tools or objects left outside, that could injure them as well. And if you have a fence, they could hurt themselves trying to jump over it.
One of the most basic reasons is the weather. German Shepherds are double-coated and so they have thick fur. This keeps them nice and warm in the winter and it can cool them off in the summer after they shed.
If they are always kept outside, however, the summer sun may become too much. German Shepherds are prone to getting heatstroke due to the heat on their thick fur.
Heatstroke is unpleasant for anyone. If a dog gets it, it can vomit, faint, become lethargic, and have many other symptoms that are unhealthy. Depending on where you may live, summer can be extremely hot, as well as humid, a combination that is not good for German Shepherds.
While they may also be okay in the winter, for the most part, temperatures can get extreme in some places. If they aren’t acclimated to the harsher temperatures, they can struggle.
When they are let inside, they are given a break from the cold. Staying outside in it constantly may be fine in some cases, but it can have adverse effects for other reasons as well.
What Should You Avoid Doing To keep german shepherd Dogs warm?
As well as certain things you can do to help your german shepherd stay cool, there are definitely a few things you’re going to want to avoid doing as well.
Doing any of the things below will not only cause discomfort to your german shepherd, but they could potentially be damaging.
Avoid Hot Sidewalks
When it’s hot outside, you should also avoid sidewalks. Especially when the sun is beating down on them.
As a test, try putting your hand on the ground and feeling how hot it is. If it’s too hot to keep your hand in contact with it for 20 seconds, then it’s too hot for your german shepherd to be walking on.
In severe cases, your german shepherd can end up burning the pads on their paws, which can be extremely painful for them.
Don’t Leave Them In A Hot Car
We have all heard this advice a hundred times, but it’s something that can’t be said too many times. Make sure you’re not leaving your german shepherd in a hot car.
Sometimes it only takes a few minutes for the damage to be done and the results can often be fatal.
When you see a dog in a hot car, make sure you call the emergency services, they will advise you what to do next.
Remember if you cause damage to the car unnecessarily, you may end up convicted with criminal charges.
As a side note, make sure you’re not keeping them in confined spaces either.
Limit Their Time Outside
Make sure you’re limiting your german shepherd’s time outside. You already know to avoid 11-3 but the hours before and after them can be too hot if your german shepherd is outside for too long.
So during the hotter months, don’t keep your german shepherd outside for too long, and make sure they’re not doing anything too strenuous either.
And don’t count on your german shepherd to stop when they’re too hot. As bright as they are, they’re not going to stop having fun because they’re too hot.
Avoid The Hottest Parts Of The Day
It’s generally best to keep your dog indoors between 11-3. This is the hottest part of the day, so obviously the part of the day when they’re mostly going to feel the heat.
In fact, this year where I lived, some dogs died of heatstroke when they were being walked at midday.
Even drinking water alone isn’t enough to keep them cool. So make sure you’re giving your german shepherd plenty of shade and cool areas during the hottest part of the day. And definitely don’t take them for a walk.
Don’t Shave Them
So many people question whether they should shave their german shepherd when it’s hot. And the answer is a huge NO.
German shepherds aren’t supposed to be shaved. Mainly because they have a double coat. And once their double coat has been shaved, it may not grow in properly.
If you think there’s something wrong with your german shepherd then take them to the vets. There are rare times that a german shepherd may need to be shaved, and your vet will know when!
Avoid Long Car Journeys When Possible
Any sort of hot car isn’t good for your german shepherd, even if you’re in it as well. When possible avoid long car journeys.
If you do have to drive a long way, make sure you keep the AC on. Or if you can’t do that makes sure there’s a good breeze coming in.
It only takes a traffic jam, for a car journey to become dangerous for a german shepherd.
And obviously, make sure you’re packing plenty of water as well.
Conclusion On Keeping German Shepherd Dog Warm
Now you know all the ways to keep your german shepherd cool (And all the ways you’re definitely going to want to avoid).
Remember, your German shepherd is going to get hotter a lot quicker than you or me. In a lot of cases, uses more than one of the methods above is your best choice!
If you liked this article make sure to check out the rest of the website. Otherwise, have a great day.
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