Doggo Articles
Nov 24, 2020

DRESSING DOGS FOR WINTER

Growing up, putting clothing on dogs, like jackets or boots, was something about as mainstream as accordion dance troupes. But as the times have changed, many like myself, have come to realize that putting outerwear on animals isn’t odd, it’s actually the smart thing to do. Including little dog boots.

Attitudes and outlooks adjust and evolve with the times, and so do the different ways we care for our pets. As more pets become part of our daily lives in the places we live, our changing environment and also the dog’s, means changes we all have to adapt to. Take for example; something as simple as sidewalks in winter.

The cold and snowy season can present a lot of unique challenges to urban animals that might not jump to mind. That’s even before we consider the effects of intense cold. One thing you might not think about is salty surfaces or ones with de-icing chemicals you walk on together. There can be lots little irritants for dogs sensitive paws, not to mention those little sharp little gravel pebbles that get churned up everywhere.

Having proper protection for you animals when walking outside in winter can also save on something else – vet bills. It doesn’t take much to irritate the skin of dog after being outside in cold weather, especially while walking on treated surfaces for ice. There is also the hidden hazard of dangerous objects buried in snow. Many dogs, once they have a little time underfoot wearing protection, will actually like it and not try to take off. Just like our clothes, keep it comfy and they’ll enjoy it.

We know much more about how cold weather can impact a dog’s paws. From dry skin to abrasions. No one talked about how walking on icy surfaces for dogs can be really hard on the pads on their feet. Just like people, dogs can use protection on their paws. And when it comes to looking after our leashed companions, it starts from the ground up.

Coats is another great item to consider for your dog. In our house, we love to wander the wooded areas around our home. But in winter where we live, the weather can change very dramatically, very quickly. In recent years we started putting coats on our Labrador and our Beagle. Both love the outdoors in all conditions. But when returning to the house or car, soaking wet or windblown with snow clumped or their fur, we knew there had to be a better way.

For us, we needed something that wouldn’t just offer protection from the elements, but also serve a dual purpose; form and function. We looked at several and found some great adventure coats to choose from. The one we picked had clips for bowls, bags, tags and lights. Huge pockets we could stuff and a well-balanced fit that distributed the weight evenly. That is critical.

Having a proper fit that doesn’t rub, chaff or put too much pressure on joints and the back is essential for the dog. The lab loved it. When we take it off the hook, she goes bananas and can’t wait. She knows adventure is coming. The Beagle also likes the coat, but we got her one with a lot more insulation for her little frame. There is a small liner we can adjust for the one we put on the lab, but she rarely needs it.

Like so many things in life that might look odd or seem unusual from the outside, once you give a closer look, things usually appear differently. When it comes to gearing up our loveable companions, you’ll likely wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner? Your favorite companions will thank you!

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