Does My Dog Need A Blanket?
Should dogs use a blanket in the winter to help keep warm?
Most dogs like blankets, even if they don’t really need them. Similar to humans, dogs like to snuggle and keep warm. This is in their DNA. In the wild dogs would make dens, a place to stay out of rain and snow, stay warm and stay safe from potential predators. Bed and blankets also provide dogs with this sense of security. Of course, each dog is unique, some dogs like blankets more than others and it is best to let each decide how they like to you use a blanket, if at all. Some dogs with lay on top of the blanket while others will crawl underneath.
Dog Blanket Material
At Chewdup, we never recommend or produce waterproof blankets because basically there are two ways to waterproof a blanket, chemical and physical. Waterproofing chemicals are not good for dogs or the humans that could also come into contact with the blanket, especially children. Waterproofing by adding a waterproof layer could cause suffocation if your dog becomes tangled in or falls asleep under the blanket. Children could also suffocate if they play with a dog blanket that has a physical waterproofing layer! If you have children or sometimes have young kids visit your home please use extreme caution. Much better to clean up a little mess than endanger your family or friends.
Breathable, super soft materials such as fleece, sherpa and flannel are best for the main materials of a dog blanket. Your furry friend can be comfortable and safe.
Also, be aware that certain dogs could be allergic to different types of materials. Look out for any allergy symptoms whenever you give your dog a new blanket. Remember to pay attention after you wash your dog’s blanket as well, dog’s, like humans, can also be allergic to certain types of laundry detergent. If you see any signs that your dog might have an allergy stop using the blanket and take your dog to the vet.
Also, please remember that your dog self regulates their body temperature and might feel too hot under a blanket. They should be allowed to decide if they want to be covered and be able to move freely from under the blanket. Again, all dogs have unique physical characteristics and you need to pay close attention so your dog does not overheat. We do not recommend electric blankets with cords as they continually heat the blanket and the cord poses other risks such as electrocution and strangulation.
Puppies and Blankets
We need to pay special attention when puppies are using blankets. All the points mentioned above also pertain to puppies and extra caution should be taken. Puppies are not as strong as older dogs and could become trapped under blankets easier. Materials should be breathable and not be waterproof. Lightweight materials are best as is a small size, this will allow the puppy to get out from under the blanket it too hot or otherwise uncomfortable. Be sure your puppy is willing to use a blanket and train them not to use it as a chew toy.
Quick Story About a Dog and a Blanket
One of my best friends growing up was my mixed breed dog Snowball. She was always terrified of thunderstorms and every time the first crack of thunder would sound she would run almost as fast as the preceding lightning into a very small closet with sliding doors. When I was home, I would follow her into the closet and lay there with her, it was a fun thing for a young boy, hiding in a secret fort from the storm with his best friend. Snowball refused to come out until the storm had passed and I always did my best to stay with her the entire time. Interestingly, I started taking a blanket with me for us to lay on and snuggle up. It made the time in the closet much more comfortable. After some time, when I was not home Snowball would go into the closet during a storm but we remain quite restless until someone brought in our blanket. That blanket became Snowball’s and she used it on a daily basis. We always tried to put the blanket into the closet if we knew a storm was approaching. It was quite heartwarming that Snowball would want to have our blanket when she was most stressed and anxious – I always thought it was because we used that blanket together. This gave her a feeling of security. Snowball is no longer with us and I miss her every day - especially during thunderstorms.