Keeping Your Dog Safe and Warm

Black Puppy
Pet owners often consider their dogs beloved parts of the family. Keeping them happy, safe, and comfortable is a top priority all year round. However, dogs are especially vulnerable during inclement weather. When the chill hits, there are several ways to help keep your pet safe and warm through the frigid winter days and nights. The best way, of course, being to raise your dog in your home, but for those who use their yards actively, here are some pointers.


It is vital, especially in areas hit with snow and freezing temperatures, that your dog has proper shelter if being housed outside. The size of your dog’s house should complement its size. An ideal house is small and cozy enough that your pet can easily warm it with its own body heat. However, the space should be large enough that your dog can move around and lie down comfortably. Make sure the doghouse you choose has a slanted or rounded roof to allow snow to slide off rather than accumulate.


When it comes to bedding for your pup, there are many options. Traditional pet beds work well and may be the most obvious choice. You can also make use of old rugs or blankets. Recycle your worn sweaters, and use them as a soothing, warm bed. Whatever bedding you opt for, place it in the dog’s sleeping or relaxing area, whether it be inside or outside. If outside, this will create a barrier between your pet and the cold ground.

Food and Water

As with any time of year, a fresh supply of food and water is essential to your dog’s healthy body functioning including heat regulation.

Walking Warmth

Walking dogs in the cold is a necessary reality for many of us. If you sense your dog is cold or he is holding up a paw indicating ice on his paws, adjust accordingly. Walk only in well shoveled areas, or even purchase winter jackets or paw covers. Take advantage of the warmest part of the day to get your dog its exercise.

Bring Them In

The best thing you can do for your dog when the temperature drops is bring it inside. If your pet is normally an outdoor dweller, you can still let it in without giving it the run of the house. During exceptionally cold nights and long periods of cold weather, use baby gates to partition off a mudroom or the kitchen. With your pet inside, it is sure to have a warm and comfortable night, and you can rest easy knowing that it is safe.

Proper shelter, water supply, bedding and heat sources all contribute to the health and happiness of your pet during cold snaps. As the chill of winter takes hold, take these easy measures to keep your pets safe and warm. Not only will you keep your beloved pet happy, but you will have peace of mind as well.

DWW News December 2013



Welcome to the first of Dogs With Wings’ monthly updates. We have said goodbye to the Canine Courier in favour of a format that we can generate more efficiently. Each month we will collect all the news that’s fit to print (and maybe some that isn’t!) and circulate it by email and for our first one, post to our blog. We will still have stories about our clients and the wonderful ways that their dogs help them to be independent in the community. Occasionally, we will give updates on our dogs are up to at the training center and out in the community with their volunteer raisers.

Of course we will continue to focus on the wonderful support we receive from our donors, sponsors and volunteers as they help spread the word about Dogs with Wings and its mandate to assist Albertans living with disabilities.

New Calgary Puppy Program

DWW in Transit2013 Has seen the introduction of a puppy program in Calgary, and is the result of many years planning. Five puppies are being raised there under the guidance of trainer, Cat Harbord. Thanks go to brand new fosters Jamie & Kris Anton for looking after DWW Rogan (Brad Churchill, Remax – Sponsor), Jodie Musgrove who is caring for DWW Shadow (Columbus Club), the Hunters, who have DWW Yogi (Canadian Oilmens’ Executive Association) Lisa Hofmeister, with DWW Scout and Steve & Christine Murphy with DWW Manhattan, aka ‘Manny’. These fabulous folks join volunteers in Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Edmonton and Grande Prairie in the role of giving basic handling and obedience training to our newest recruits. The Calgary pups are already out in local malls and at the C train stops getting invaluable experience they will need later on.

Dogs in Adult Training

We welcome DWW Hutch, Madison, Astro, Kinder, Harris, Star and Reese into advanced training at the Edmonton center. All of the obedience work is behind them now and Trainer Moira Wegner reports she is getting to know each dog individually and learning about their talents as she builds each dog’s skills up towards being placed with a client. She says that this time of ‘new beginnings’ for the adults in training is one of discovery and challenge and she loves seeing them grapple with new tasks they face for the first time.

Event Calendar

Dogs with Wings will be closed from noon on December 24th and will reopen at 9:00 am on January 2nd. Please ensure that you have enough food to last you through the holiday and that if you need a short term boarding home, that you contact Lise as soon as possible.


The holiday season is just around the corner and we would like you to consider making a gift to Dogs with Wings so that we can continue to provide life-changing dogs to the Albertans who need them. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for any donation over $20.00. If you choose to make your gift using one of the ‘donate’ buttons on our site, a tax receipt will automatically be issued to you. You can also call the office and made a secure donation over the phone or mail a cheque to us at 11343 174 Street, NW Edmonton, Alberta T5S 0B7.

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