An Italian greyhound can adapt to a variety of environments quite well, but they are not natural winter dogs. They are not a double-coated breed which means that their hair is not meant to retain body heat in the same way a Siberian Husky’s might.
An Italian greyhound also maintains a lean body weight without excess body fat, and fat is partly what helps keep a dog warm. This doesn’t mean create a fat puppy! It just means the IG’s natural body structure is not made for cold climates.
For those IGs that live in colder climates or where there is even snow, certain things should be done in order to insure that the dog stays as warm as possible throughout those cold months of the year.
Here are a few tips to keep your Italian greyhound warm during the winter:
o Clothes! This isn’t about a fashion statement, but dogs with close hair coats should always wear a fleece coat or warm sweater when going outdoors. Many of these dogs also appreciate wearing the sweater around the house too. It helps trap body heat close to the Italian greyhound’s skin and body.
o Give your dog plenty of warm beds in the house. Some dogs like snuggle-type dog beds, which help the dog stay warm by balling up inside. You can also purchase dog beds with built in heaters or you can purchase a special electric heater that can be placed within any kind of dog bed.
If you’d rather not use an electrical blanket or bed, you can use human body wraps that are heated in the microwave or create your own. Fill up a small fabric square or pillow with rice or beans and sew shut. This pillow can be heated in 30 second intervals up to 1 ½ minutes.
o Remember to try and locate your Italian greyhound’s bed away from any drafts or cold spots like concrete or tile. Instead, look for an area that receives warm natural light through a window each day, as dogs love to sun themselves.
o Don’t leave your Italian greyhound outside. These are not outdoor dogs, especially in winter cold weather.
o Sometimes it is advantageous to feed your IG a bit more food during the winter, especially if he shivers often. Adding a small amount extra gives him additional calories and fat so he doesn’t lose any of his current weight. It’s okay if he gains up to 2-3 pounds during the winter but no more than that!
An Italian greyhound, while not a natural cold weather breed, can learn to adjust to his environment well so long as he is an indoor dog, has plenty of warm clothes and bedding, and receives a tad more food.