While some Labradoodles love nothing more than staying cozy inside with their families, more than a few dogs in this breed line actually love cooler temperatures. Some might even love to run around outside in the snow, especially if they’ve never seen it before. The sheer novelty of a cold, snowy day could be the beginning of a grand adventure for your dog.
You’ll want to give some thought to safety before you let your dog spend any significant amount of time outside. Veterinarians generally agree that fleece-haired dogs like Labradoodles shouldn’t be left outside on any day when the mercury starts to dip below 20°F. When it gets colder, make sure you bring your dog inside.
Even if your Labradoodle ends up adjusting well to spending some time in cooler temperatures, there are a few other things you’ll want to take into consideration as you get your dog ready for winter.
Keep coat clean and healthy
Winter weather can be really hard on a dog’s coat, so you’ll want to invest in the right kind of care products. As usual, a good brush is essential since you need to care for your dog’s fur without pulling or tearing. You’ll also want to put some thought into your choice of shampoo. Some products were specifically designed with your dog’s unique coat in mind.
For instance, BuddyWash was voted best for Labradoodles, which is an important accomplishment because of the combination of hair and fur that these dogs tend to grow. Many Labradoodles have the same sort of fleece-like hypoallergenic coat that poodles do, which makes sense considering their crossed lineage. This kind of coat requires special treatment, so you’ll want to work with a cleaning product that’s sensitive enough for them.
You won’t want to bathe your dog too often during the winter, however, especially if their coat is going to be exposed to cooler air soon afterward. Keep in mind that water freezes at 32°F, so anything below this point could actually make your dog uncomfortably icy if they’ve been anywhere that’s wet. Some pet owners will brush baking soda into their dogs’ fur and then brush it back out again. This sort of canine dry cleaning is a better idea during the coolest times of the year.
Depending on how your dog takes to cold weather, you may even consider investing in a sweater.
Dress up your Labradoodle
Although Labradoodles can withstand some fairly cold temperatures, they start to get uncomfortable around 40°F. If they have any joint inflammation, then this problem might be all the worse. A warm sweater might not seem like the biggest investment you’ll make in your dog’s health, but it can go a long way toward improving his or her wintertime comfort level.
Make sure that any garment your dog wears fits well and doesn’t seem too tight. Your dog will let you know if they feel uncomfortable!
If you’re going to take walks outside in areas where the ground will be frozen or icy, consider fitting your dog with canine boots. Labradoodles tend to have relatively soft feet, so the extra protection may prove quite valuable.
Regardless of what method you pick to protect your dog, you’ll want to make sure that he or she continues to get exercise throughout the winter months.
Stay active in cold weather
Though bad weather may make you less active, you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to still engage with your dog even if you have to stay inside the whole time. Canine diabetes mellitus and other diet-related maladies can become a serious issue if your Labradoodle doesn’t get the right amount of exercise.
Equally as important is that you need to bond with your dog no matter what’s going on outside. Spend time with your dog every single day, even if you need to cut back on how much time you devote to other activities. Check to make sure they’re getting enough food and water since some dogs won’t eat right when it’s cold out.
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