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We're deep into winter now and the cold temperatures can affect you and your dog's routine. But just because it's cold outside, doesn't mean you two have to stay inside. Just make sure to gear up properly for the cold with these useful items:
Dog coats are a great way to provide extra protection during winter. Dogs that need extra layers are those with short or thin fur, those with short legs and long bodies and generally small-sized dogs. When buying a coat, look for one that is easy-care and washable (like a poly-blend), water-resistant and has a warm lining (like fleece).
Pro Tip: Be extra cautious of coats with buttons, zippers, hooks and other things your dog could chew and swallow.
Along the same lines, you can also opt for a sweater for your pup, especially as a warming layer under a dog coat. Sweaters are great for older dogs and those with short fur. Just remember, they are not water-resistant. When buying a sweater for your dog, look for ones made from natural material and avoid buttons, zippers, and hooks. When choosing the right fit, a sweater should be snug but not too tight and there should be room for your dog's neck and legs to move freely.
Pro Tip: Watch out for overheating, rashes or irritation when leaving a sweater on for an extended period of time.
While many people think dog boots simply look cute, they actually serve a much greater purpose. Boots or paw protectors help keep your dog's paws from getting too cold or wet, especially when there is snow or ice on the ground, and thus help protect your dog from frostbite and hypothermia. In addition, boots protect your dog's paws from salt and other ice-melting chemicals found on the ground and in the snow, which can cause irritation, burns or toxicity when ingested.
It may be a good idea to switch out your dog's harness depending on the season and there are plenty of harnesses made for winter. These harnesses can be thicker or wider, water-resistant or have padding for warmth. There are also ones that are made to work with dog coats or sweaters, as not all harnesses fit around those clothing items.
A snood is like a hood or scarf that covers your dog's neck and ears to protect them from the cold temperatures, wind chill and even frostbite. They are often knitted or made from fleece and most have an adjustable elastic drawstring to help you customize the fit for your dog. Snoods are particularly useful for dogs with long, floppy ears.