Winter pet apparel is a relatively new thing for me, as my current dog is the first cold-weather wimp I've had. But, we've had a few winters together now and I want to show you some of the products and tips that have made a drop in temp tolerable.
Ruffwear Climate Changer Fleece Jacket
Great for cool walks, and just as nice while snuggling up on the couch. Ruffwear's Climate Changer Fleece Jacket is like an athletic fleece, soft and breathable. While it doesn't totally repel water, it's just right on a clear, blustery day. Perfect when we're going in and out a lot, so I don't even bother taking it off between walks.
When temps start dropping into the single digits, it's time to break out the real coat.
Ruffwear's Quinzee is insulated for all weather and can even be layered with a lighter jacket. The Quinzee's self-contained storage pouch makes this coat easy for off-season storage.
The secret's out! Known as the invisible dog boot, Musher's Secret is a two-part treatment to prevent and heal injuries to dog's paws as a result of ice and salt. The wax forms a barrier on the dog's pad and between toes, while the vitamin E heals cracked, chapped paws. I've yet to find a boot* that will stay on a dog's paws, let alone a dog that will go for a walk in boots, but Musher's Secret doesn't cause that awkward discomfort. Tip: Vaseline can also be applied to a dog's paws as a barrier against salt.
A moment ago I said I'd never found a dog boot that stayed on. Here's the exception: While PawzDog Boots are labeled as a boot, they're really more of a sock, and stay on quite well. I've used Pawz for several dogs to help with traction and mobility in the home, but they also protect the paws from salt and offers additional traction on ice. Added benefit, they're reusable, but disposable, and make no mess on your hands, like Musher's Secret does.
Self-Warming Crate Pad
While I love the idea of a heating-pad in my dog's crate, I know, from experience, that electrical cords should be nowhere near a dog's bed or crate. But, at an affordable $9.99, the K&H Self-Warming Crate Pad radiates the pet's own body heat back to them, keeping their bed or crate a cozy temperature. No risk of burns or electrocution. Just a nice, snuggly spot. Tip: If your dog isn't a chewer, you can try making your own microwavable heating pack using a sock and rice or dried beans.
For smaller pets, try: Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pa
Puppia Winter Snood
I can justify putting my dog in a hat this cute because it's functional. The Puppia Winter Snood protects delicate ears from wind and cold. I'll usually warm up his ears with my hands for a minute, but if my hands are also cold, I need a nice warm hoodie, or in this case, a snood, to keep him bundled and warm.
An Ounce of Prevention
While apparel is a big part of winterizing for your pet, you can reduce the amount of slippery ice using pet-friendly melters, like Safe Paw Ice Melter or a DIY melter recipe. Either way, you're cutting the risk of slipping or laceration, and reducing the need for boots.
What products or tricks get you and your pet through the long winters?