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Thanks to Nicole Ellis, professional trainer and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, for this post.
Winter is crazy! Many dogs get excited about exploring the winter wonderland, and they need protection in inclement weather just as we do. Here are my recommendations, tips, and product suggestions for making this season seamless for your pet.
Cold Weather Pet Health and Safety
We change our beauty and skin care routines when the weather is cold, and your dog can benefit from extra care then, too. Towel drying your pet after outside time can help their dry skin stay healthy. Salmon oil can keep your dog’s coat moisturized from the inside out.
Don’t shave your pets in the winter. For longer-haired pets, a nice trim around the feet can prevent snowballs from building and clinging to their fur, but your pet needs their coat to stay warm.
Older dogs may be at greater risk for aches and pains related to the cold. They may also be more prone to slips and injuries on icy surfaces. Consider adding a hip and joint supplement to keep old dogs feeling young, and monitor outdoor playtime to ensure they don’t overtire.
On your walks, be mindful of antifreeze puddles where cars are parked. Remember that antifreeze is highly toxic—and tasty, to dogs and cats. Ethylene glycol poisoning signs include intoxication, vomiting, and stomach pain.
When it’s time to go outside, high-visibility jackets, leashes, and lights are a great idea for the long dark days and nights.
Reflective Vest $16.99
Reflective Dog Leash $9.99
Dog Jackets—Fashion and Function
Jacket’s aren’t only for fashion. Despite having fur, our pets can get cold too. Feeling your dog’s ears is a great way to tell his temperature. If his ears feel cold, particularly around the edges, it may be time go inside and snuggle up in a blanket. Consider adding on a coat before continuing your walk.
Brands like Hurtta, WeatherBeeta and Ruffwear offer exceptional jacket choices for your dog. Some Hurtta styles go down to their ankles to prevent snow and dirt from sticking to legs. And of course, they look great too!
If you’re looking for a more fashionable outfit, check out these cute hoodies by Canada Pooch and jackets by Pendleton.
Pendleton Classic Dog Coat $39.99
Booties and Cold Weather Paw Care
My favorite pick are the GripTrex boots. If you have a smaller dog, Muttluks boots are superb at protecting their little paws.
Ruffwear GripTrex Dog Boots $79.95
Pad wax can also be a lifesaver against the drying effects of road salt and freezing sidewalks. Here’s a recipe you can make at home:
In the winter months it’s common for ice balls to form between dogs’ paw pads. Not only can this be painful, it can also cause sores. After your walk or hike be sure to check between the pads of your dog’s feet for any snow or debris.
Staying cozy indoors
Finally, a good rule of thumb is that if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pets. So keep everyone inside nice and warm and cozy.
Your pet may enjoy a special, cozy bed. You can even try pet warmers, such as those offered by SleepyPod and SnuggleSafe (kitties love these too).