They may be equipped with fur coats, but gun dogs still need extra protection from the cold when they’re travelling to and from the field during winter. While some of us have enough room inside our warm vehicles for a dog, there are times when you have to keep your pup kenneled in the back of a truck. In that case, here’s how to ensure Fido stays warm on the road.
UPGRADE THE KENNEL
Single-walled kennels offer little protection from the cold, and a kennel floor in direct contact with a metal truck bed sucks the heat out of a dog. A double-walled, rotomolded design not only protects your dog in the event of an accident, it also traps air between the walls to form a layer of insulation. To further insulate, place a closed-cell foam mat on the floor of the kennel.
You can also buy a purpose-built self-warming kennel pad, or try one of the many DIY ideas online for insulating kennel floors. Also consider getting an insulated kennel cover, which cuts the wind and traps heat inside. Some covers include high-tech, heat-reflecting materials and tie-down rings. Finally, get a kennel with rubber feet to prevent direct contact with cold surfaces.
KEEP HIM DRY
After a day of hunting or playing in the snow or water, towel off your dog as much as you can before kenneling it. Keep an old bath towel or a wring-to-dry travel towel with your dog’s gear. You may also want to dress your dog in a breathable dog jacket.
HEAT A BOTTLE
A hot water bottle made from a used plastic pop bottle adds extra warmth to a kennel in sub-zero temperatures. Just make sure it’s not too hot, and don’t forget to remove it before it cools and chills your dog.