Keeping Your Pet Cozy in the Cold With Winter Dog Accessories
You might look at this topic and wonder if dog accessories are really needed in the winter. I must admit that up until recently, I probably would have asked the same question, that is until Fizz, a Spanish Galgo and Podenco cross, came to live with us. Both of these European hunting breeds have short coats and hate of the cold. It only took a slight drop in the temperature for Fizz to start shivering.
So, I began looking at the different options to help him stay warmer. Although Fizz is still not a lover of the cold, now he has his snug fleecy jumper to keep him warm on walks. Having looked at so many different options, I thought I would share some ideas to help you keep your dog warm and safe in the winter months.
Once only seen on the tiniest of lapdogs, there is now a huge range available with something suitable for every breed and size. This does mean that you need to carefully consider exactly what your dog needs to make the right choice for them.
Dogs with longer hair such as Afghan Hounds and Bearded Collies may be best suited to a full-body coat, which extends all the way down their legs. This is going to reduce the amount of time that long-haired dogs are exposed to the weather for.
Meanwhile, an older dog will appreciate being able to go out for a wander while preventing aches and pains from being aggravated from the cold. So, a padded jacket to keep them snug and warm is going to be perfect.
Pros of Dog Coats
- Keeps your dog dry and warm in wet weather conditions
- Reduces the aroma of wet dog in your home
Cons of Dog Coats
- Correct fitting is essential to ensure the coat does not chafe your dog’s skin
- Some dogs may take time to get used to the sensation of wearing a coat
- Very active dogs may become overheated
If you are walking your dog on icy surfaces, then it is likely that they will benefit from wearing booties. Footwear is going to give your dog extra grip when it is slippery underfoot and this may prevent injuries from happening.
Booties also provide protection from salt. Although it is an excellent product for deicing footpaths, the granules can become stuck in your dog’s paws and that is going to be sore every time they take a step. If your dog has cracked pads, then it is going to be extremely painful as it is salt being rubbed into their wounds.
When choosing booties, do consider the activity level of your dog. A free-running dog is going to need a different style compared to a dog who is walking on a leash.
Pros of Booties
- Keeps your dog’s paws away from irritating chemicals
- Provides more grip in icy conditions
Cons of Booties
- Accurate measurement of your dog’s paw and lower leg is essential to get the correct fit
- Many dogs initially dislike the sensation of having something on their paw
Paw wax is rubbed into your dog’s pads to create a protective barrier from harsh conditions. It also prevents the pad from becoming dry and cracked and from the snowballing effect that can happen when snow gathers between your dog’s toes.
Most paw wax is usually made from a combination of beeswax and vegetable oils. Many manufacturers also add in vitamin E to moisturize the pads, making them soft and flexible. Although this may seem to be the opposite of what you want, a softer pad is less likely to crack as your dog moves across different surfaces.
Don’t worry if your dog takes a lick at their paws when the wax is applied, it is not going to harm them. With that being said, you are not going to get the full benefit if your dog licks off what you have just applied, and you are not going to want them to consume large quantities. So, we recommend getting ready to go out for a walk first and then using the wax. It needs just a few seconds to be absorbed, and then your dog will be too distracted by being out and about to even think about licking their paws.
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- Accepted by dogs who do not like booties
- Totally natural product
- Will need to be reapplied two to three times a week in snowy conditions
- Does not give the same level of protection as provided by booties
You know how great it feels when you are a bit chilly and then you pull on a fleece jumper? Well, it is precisely the same for your dog. For those canines with thin coats, and for both old and young dogs, a fleece jumper can provide an extra level of warmth that allows them to feel super snug and warm. Dogs with any kind of joint issues are also likely to suffer more in the cold, so keeping them warm becomes a priority.
There are many different designs. Some fleeces provide coverage just across the back and rib area, while others go up to the neck and extend right down the front legs. Many are designed so that your dog can still go to the toilet without removing them first, but that does depend on getting the fit just right.
- Provides instant warmth
- Available in a huge number of sizes to fit all dogs
- Can be tricky to put on. Older dogs or those with joint problems may benefit from styles that have a zip down the back.
- Not all dogs enjoy the sensation of wearing something that is this close-fitting
When your dog feels warm enough to go out for a walk and then fall soundly asleep, no matter the weather outside, you will know it was worth shopping around to find them the perfect winter accessory.