How to Winterize your Pets
(originally posted 12/17/2017)
Cold weather and pets don’t always go together. Your dog may need ear, paw, and overall skin protection from the elements this winter. If you live with a dog that has short hair or spends time outdoors consider a plan to winterize him.
Does your dog need a coat? Small, thin and older dogs need extra protection and puppies also need to conserve their body heat. Consider a fleece as a layer for indoor protection like the Gold Paw Fleece. Wildebeest’s all-weather jacket made in California is our recommendation for outdoor hikes and walks after work. Coats should cover the abdomen too!
The self-warming pet bed made by PetMate is perfect for seniors that have aching joints that worsen in colder temperatures. Bitter cold can also cause the chapping and cracking of a dog’s paws. And rock salt and chemical ice melt can cause sores and blistering.
After outdoor walks, it’s a good idea to wash your dog’s paws in warm water or apply Pawz Max Wax, which can act as a great salt barrier, to the footpads before each walk. Pawz Dog Boots can also be found in our stores and protects paws from the elements. Also, consider ear protection!
Where did the daylight go?
I found myself digging through a basket of older reflective lights I can typically snap onto the dog’s coats or collars and all of them were either out of juice or just broken. One new product I rely on now to keep both of us safe is Nite Ize NightHowl’s glow necklace for walking safely at night.
Toppers for meals
Don’t forget about supplements as these can increase immune support during the winter months. Bone Broths (try Nugget) will add moisture to your dog’s diet while it’s dry outside. And when your dog decides he’s more interested in what “the people” are eating since the smells from the kitchen are overwhelming – try Honest Kitchen’s pumpkin spice and eggnog food seasonal supplements.
Interactive Toys Keep Dogs & Cats Busy
KONGs and most types of puzzle toys are a great way to keep dogs (and cats) occupied when guests are over. Stuff them with almond butter (find a brand with no salt and no sugar!) and freeze them before folks arrive. Dogs love this treat and it keeps them busy.
Top 5 recommendations for dogs & cats:
- Tricky treat ball by Omega Paw
- Tug-a-jug by Petsafe
- Food mazes (great for feeding!) by Outward Hound
- Slimcat toy for feeding cats by Petsafe
- The Gwizl by West Paw
If you have more questions about cold weather and pets, please ask our staff and stay warm!