Category Archives: boots

The Best Warm Winter Clothes for Dogs


By Linda Cole

For some dogs, winter clothing is a must. If you see them shivering, they are cold and could be at risk for hypothermia, but don’t be fooled into thinking any coat will do. Not all winter clothes for dogs will keep them warm, and no one wants to spend a fortune trying to find what works and what doesn’t work. I have dogs who do need coats to stay warm when they are outside. The trick is finding the right coat or sweater that actually keeps them warm. The best winter clothes for dogs aren’t expensive and if you layer their clothes, you can keep your dog toasty.

Winter clothes for dogs need to be warm, but also easy to put on and take off. I’ve tried winter coats with zippers located on the underside of the dog. In order to zip up the coat, you have to roll the dog over on her back or hold her up on two legs. If a coat, jacket or sweater looks cute on your dog but it’s not warm and functional, it’s not worth the money. The best winter clothes for dogs can be put on quickly and easily, and should keep your dog warm and dry.

Dogs lose heat through their paws and ears. When buying winter dog clothes, look for coats or jackets that have a hood you can pull up over their ears. In my part of the country, we get cold temps that hover around 10 degrees and go down to subzero temperatures at the height of winter, with wind chills that are dangerous for humans and animals.

What works best for my dogs is a hooded fleece/quilted homemade coat and an outer dog blanket coat that is windproof and waterproof. If you aren’t into sewing your own, a quality hooded winter or fleece coat will do the same job as my homemade fleece/quilted coat. On really cold days, I add a T-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt under their other coats. When layering, keep in mind an outer coat will need to be a little larger to fit over other clothes if the Velcro® fastener or snaps can’t be adjusted when needed for a comfortable fit.

Winter clothes for dogs should include booties to help keep their feet warm and also give protection to the pads of their feet. Walking over frozen snow and ice can cut into their pads which can lead to infections. You can find inexpensive booties, but if they aren’t waterproof and they won’t keep their feet warm or dry. Look for dog boots that are lined with fleece and have a ribbed top. Booties are also great for summer use to help prevent accidental cuts from rocky terrain or broken glass. Use them to help prevent scratching on tender skin and protect injuries on the leg or paw. They are available in different lengths depending on your dog’s need.

The best winter clothes for dogs aren’t necessarily the most expensive. I have found affordable fleece coats, T-shirts, sweatshirts and sweaters at discount stores and online pet stores. The problem with buying online is the picture and description don’t always meet expectations and you can’t feel the coat until it arrives, so make sure you can return an item if it’s not what you expected. A coat, jacket or any clothing you put on your dog should fit comfortably and not restrict their movements. Hoods or hats should not be able to fall down and cover their eyes so it’s hard for them to see.

Winter dog clothes can be found at most retail stores that sell pet products and online pet supply companies. Sweaters and T-shirts start around $5.00 and up, winter coats, sweatshirts and windproof/waterproof dog blankets are $10 and up, and good quality dog booties begin at $10 and up.

I used to think dressing dogs in coats was silly and unnecessary. That was before my terrier/mix puppies joined my family 14 years ago. There’s no denying that they get cold in the winter. I’ve spent years searching for the best winter clothes for dogs, and have finally found the right combination for my dogs and environment. It may take a little time to find what works best for your dog, but with hundreds of styles and prices to choose from, the task is easier now than it was in the past.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Winter Care for Pets


By Linda Cole

October is quickly coming to a close, and for those in the northern part of the country, chilly winds are stripping red, orange and yellow leaves from trees and leaving only memories of a warm summer sun. The first freeze withers garden plants, flowers and grass. Winter will be here all too soon, and it’s time to start thinking about winterizing the house, the car and your pets. Winter care for pets can help them endure the coldest days ahead and help keep them safe.

Cold and snow can be rough on pets who spend most of their time inside. Dogs need to go outside, and it’s easy to forget they aren’t used to being in the cold for extended periods of time. They may have fur coats, but what nature gave them isn’t always suitable against freezing temperatures. I had a dog who would get so cold, his teeth chattered. If you see your dog shivering, he is cold. Hypothermia and frost bite are real possibilities for a pet who has been outside too long, and they are affected by a wind chill and cold.

Include coats or sweaters on a winter care list for dogs. Don’t be afraid to put coats on your dogs when they go outside. Unlike some people, dogs don’t have a macho ego that prevents them from being practical. My dogs want their coats on because they have learned they are warmer with them on. You can find a good selection of coats online at most retail pet sites.

It’s been my experience that more than one coat is needed. I dress my dogs in layers when they go outside in winter, because that’s the best way to help them stay warm. I have sweatshirts that go on first, then homemade quilted fleece jackets and finally, a waterproof, windproof dog blanket that goes on top for the really cold windy days.

Dogs lose heat through their paw pads and ears. When it’s really cold, quality dog booties will help them stay warm and ward off frostbite. However, it’s hard to find ear muffs or hats for dogs. I’m not a seamstress, but have learned how to make quilted fleece coats with hoods that help keep their ears warmer.

If you live in an area where the temperatures fall below zero with wind chills that can make it feel even colder, your dog will appreciate booties and coats once they get used to them. A combination of extreme cold and snow can quickly freeze unprotected feet. If you see your dog or cat not moving, or picking up one leg and then another, you should get them inside immediately. This is a sign that their feet are too cold.

Dogs and cats who spend most of their time inside should always be supervised when they are outside. Winter care for pets requires our watchful eye whenever they are outside. Coats and booties help, but our pets can’t tell us when they are cold. We need to pay attention to them and watch for signs like shivering, standing in one spot and not moving, or limping. A good rule to go by is if you are cold, your pet probably is too, and it’s time to go inside. Prevent frostbite or hypothermia before it happens.

Older or sick pets are affected by cold weather more than healthy ones. Pets who suffer from arthritis will usually feel more stiffness and move slower during winter months. It’s important to make sure they have soft, warm bedding they can lay on, away from drafts. Walks with an older dog should be kept short. Make sure they don’t slip on ice or snow which could put unnecessary stress on already stiff joints, and could injure them more.

Snow, ice, rock salt spread on sidewalks and chemical deicers used on city streets can collect in and on the pads of cats and dogs. Clean their paws once they are inside, because licking the rock salt and chemical ice melt from their paws can make them sick, as well as cause painful chapping and cracking pads.

Cats prefer warmth over cold. Make sure their bed is in a warm room away from drafts, fireplaces and electric space heaters. Unnecessary fires can be avoided by making sure your cat is not allowed near fireplaces or allowed to lay on or next to space heaters. Be careful using candles – a cat’s curiosity can end with an overturned candle that is still lit.

Winter care for pets is important. Don’t let cold temperatures stop you from going outside with your dog or cat and enjoying the beauty and fun of a new snowfall. With appropriate cold weather precautions, the fresh air and romps in the snow are good for our pets and us.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Does Your Dog Need a Raincoat?


By Ruthie Bently

We are now well into the spring season, and Skye hates to go outside when it is raining. She will go out in the middle of a blizzard, but won’t put a whisker outside when it’s raining. Is your dog the same way? Did you know you can purchase a raincoat for your dog along with booties if they are fussy about getting their feet wet?

Most pet shops carry raincoats and boots year round, and they are available for most sized dogs. If your dog needs a raincoat, it’s a good idea to take them into the store to try on their raincoats to see which one will fit the best. Some of the deeper chested breeds may be a bit hard to fit, but it can be done. Most raincoats are made of plastic and have a hole for your dog’s head along with a chest protector and a belt for around their middle to hold it in place around their body.

The raincoat should fit well but not too snugly, the dog should have room to move comfortably. If you can’t bring the dog into the store, ask the store personnel if you can bring it back if it doesn’t fit. Usually they will say to be sure to keep your receipt and try not to remove the tags from the coat. If this is the case and your dog is at home, you can still get a good idea of what size they will need.

The best way to fit a coat on your dog is to have the dog stand up while you are trying it on them; this will give you a truer picture of how the coat fits. Get your dog to stand and use a tape measure to measure down their back from the neck where their collar lies, and measure down to where their tail comes out of their rump. Most coats run in even sizes from 8 inch to about 36 inch. If your dog measures say 19 inches, buy an 18 inch coat. You would rather buy a bit smaller than too large, this will keep your dog from soiling the coat if he is a male and lifts his leg, or hanging too far off the back when they need to defecate. The chest piece should not be too binding and the belt should fit snugly around the dog’s middle.

Rain boots are just as easy to fit. Boots come in many kinds of materials, but the best for rain is either rubber or cordura nylon. I used to sell two good rain boots; one was cordura nylon with a Velcro® closure and the other was made of cordura nylon with an elastic closure. When fitting boots you also want to have your dog standing up. If you cannot take your dog with you, get the dog to stand up and take tracings of each foot. Make sure to include their toenails, as they will be on the inside of the boot and while these boots are tough, you don’t want them too tight, as your dog’s toenails may be tougher. Get the closest size to your tracing, and if you need to, go up a size to get the correct fit.

When fitting your dog for a coat, they may be uncomfortable for a bit because they are not used to having something on their back. Fitting your dog for boots may take a bit longer as you are buying them in sets of four, and you will probably be tempted to laugh the first time you see your dog with boots on their feet, but try not to. They may not understand that you are laughing at their perceived misery, but don’t let on because believe it or not your dog can get embarrassed. What I do when fitting a dog for a coat or boots, is have a Snap-Bit dog treat ready. They feel better if they know there is a cookie waiting at the end of their “ordeal.”

If your yard is “mud central” like ours has been, having boots for your dog isn’t such a crazy idea. I have a white tile kitchen floor and while I love the color, I don’t love the mud that Skye can bring in on her feet. Skye knows that she has to stop in the mudroom on the rug to have her leash and whatever else she has on removed. But if she comes in barefoot, even with the rug in the mudroom, my floors are still muddy. So on rainy days, Skye has to wait while I put her boots on before she goes out. She knows she gets a Snap-Bit at the end of it all, and she does love her cookie.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.