Written by Rachael Gillis
The weather outside is frightful during winter and it is especially important to keep our pets warm and cozy. While many may scoff at the idea of putting clothes on animals, it can be a very important safety preventive to avoid hypothermia or even frostbite.
It is a normal part of our own routine to put on a winter jacket, boots, and gloves before braving the cold, and it can become normal for your canine companion too. No, not all dogs need to bundle up before going outside, but those who do can greatly benefit from it such as:
- small breeds
- short-haired dogs
- senior dogs (over the age of 7)
- puppies (under 1 year old)
- dogs with medical conditions
Even indoor cats can benefit from some extra warmth to stay snug during the cold weather months!
Here are a few ideas to keep your pets toasty warm and safe this winter:
1. Dog Coats
A coat is a must-have basic for most dogs when they go outside in the winter, whether it be for playtime in the snow or for a quick bathroom run. Even for the fluffiest of dogs, it is a good idea to have an extra layer of insulation to ensure minimal exposure to freezing temperatures. You can find dog coats in a wide variety of colors, materials, shapes and sizes and styles. Dog coats can be utilitarian – warm and waterproof – they can show off your pup’s fabulous fashionista sense of style and glamor with hoods, fur trimmings and bling.
2. Dog Booties
No matter how hardy your dog is, their paws need protection against snow, ice, road salt, and de-icers. There are boots specially made for dogs with grips for traction, water-resistant material, and flexibility so they can walk naturally. With a little bit of training in the house, like Jester…
…your dog will soon be a pro like Luka:
3. Heated Bedding for Cold Pets
A pet-heating pad, heated pet bed, or a heated blanket, there are even self-heating beds for cats (and small dogs) are a great way to keep your cat warm inside on cold days, or help your dog fall into a deep, restorative sleep on cold nights. Heated gear made specifically for pets ensures that they warm up to the perfect temperature and can be therapeutic for joints and arthritis. Lily the fifteen-year-old kitty says her heated blanket is purrfect!
A dog scarf is a stylish way to keep your pooch looking and feeling cozy in the cold. It can be an extra layer of warmth and comfort and also a source of security for anxiety. The best part about dog scarves is that you can just repurpose one of your old fleece or infinity scarves into a scarf for your dog, like Miley:
A pet sweater is another way to keep your dog or cat warm indoors or outdoors. Buying a larger size and a soft material like cotton, fleece, or wool is important to prevent breathing restriction or itchiness. They’re cute, warm, and you can even get your pets in the holiday spirit like Brady and Floyd:
For the safety of your pets, it is best to keep dogs and cats indoors as much as possible when the temperature falls below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are taking them out for a walk or hike, dress them warmly and monitor them for signs of illness (excessive shaking, shallow breathing, muscle stiffness, anything out of the ordinary). And if you need us, we will be here.