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Top 5 Tips for Cold Dogs and Winter Weather

cold dog yorkie

Geez – I’m cold!

It’s freezing across the country and most people are huddled up inside. So what should we do with our dogs? Clearly they still need exercise and have to “do business”, so when is it too cold for them?

1. Identify Your Dog’s Susceptibility

There are many different factors in determining a dog’s resistance to cold. According to Dr. Susan Whiton and Dr. Sophia Yin: “The animal’s ability to tolerate really cold weather depends on age, nutritional status, health and coat density.”

cold dog - husky

This Freezing Weather Is Awesome!!!

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences has stated “it is clinically accepted that indoor pets that are not acclimated to cold weather should not be left outside when the average daily temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Dogs that tend to do well in the cold include Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Chow Chows.

Dogs that are more susceptible to the cold are toy dogs (e.g. Yorkies) and dogs without hair (i.e. Chinese Crested) or do not have thick coats (e.g. Greyhounds).

If your dog is a puppy, very old or sick, you might want to consider using an Indoor Dog Potty while the temperature is below 45 degrees.

2. Know the Signs of a Cold Dog

If your dog is shivering, whining, stops moving, starts looking for warm places to burrow or is in a curled position, it is probably too cold. When the weather is severely cold, take shorter walks. Don’t try to take your dog on the same length walks as during warmer weather. A shorter walk can still accomplish enough exercise and relief breaks without causing your dog (and you) to become too cold.
In regards to dogs that spend more time outside in the winter, according to Dr. Susan Whiton and Dr. Sophia Yin: “The dogs that are not doing well will have ice on their fur. It indicates that they are losing enough body heat to melt the snow. Because their coat is not insulating well more ice will build up making the hair less lofty and less insulating.”

3. Get a Dog Coat and/or Dog Boots

dog coatSweaters and Dog Coats can keep your pets warm. Make sure they fit correctly. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Using a dog coat with good under carriage coverage will be very helpful for dogs with longer coats that more easily collect ice on their fur.

Dog boots and paw protectants (e.g. Musher’s) can protect your dog’s paws from the cold and salt. After a walk outside, check to make sure any salt or antifreeze products are removed from paws or fur. To remove any snow from a dog’s coat, use a towel or hairdryer.

Let's Play Indoors!

Let’s Play Indoors!

4. Play Indoors

If it’s too cold for your dog outside, then make sure to spend more play time with your dog indoors. If your dog is a fan of fetch – this is probably really easy – just keep throwing a ball down a hallway. My dog isn’t a super fan of fetch, but if I do it with treats, he’s happy to play fetch indoors.

You can try teaching your dog tricks or play some of their other favorite games to keep them active during the winter. If they need more exercise, consider organizing a doggy play date or taking your dog to a doggie daycare so they can play with other dogs.

5. Adjust Your Dog’s Diet

If your dog is spending a lot of time outside (e.g. they’re a Siberian Husky), then you probably need to increase their food consumption.

If your dog is spending more time indoors, you probably need to somewhat reduce their food intact.

See our article on: How to Check If Your Dog is Overweight

Safe Paw Ice Melter – a Pawfect Solution

safe paw ice melterRock salt and chemical ice melters can cause sores, infections and blistering on your dog’s paws. Toxic chemicals can also be ingested by your dog when he licks his paws. So many dogs are wearing dog boots because of the salt used to melt the ice on the sidewalks, paths and roads. However, a lot of our dogs don’t like or won’t wear dog boots.

We recently came across this product and thought “what a great solution”! Wouldn’t it be great if we all used a Safe Paw Ice Melter. While your city might not spend the money to purchase this, at least you can make it better on your own property (or where you have real estate influence). According to Gaia Enterprises, Safe Paw Ice Melter is 100% salt-free and is guaranteed to be pet and child safe.

How Safe Paw Ice Melter Works

Safe Paw ice melterSafe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. Safe Paw Ice Melter is a dual-effect compound made of a modified crystalline amide core infused with special glycol admixture and traction agents. This composition gives Safe Paw a two-way timed released action. The liquid component starts melting ice instantly while breaking surface tension. This allows the crystal-core to penetrate and destabilize ice which speeds up melting and the traction agent provides slip protection.

safe pawsWe were surprised to read that unlike other products, Safe Paw attracts solar heat to provide extra melting-power during daylight hours.

Once Safe Paw has melted the ice and snow, it leaves an invisible shield that prevents ice from sticking to surfaces for up to 3 days. Apparently, this teflon effect makes shoveling easier.

Stay warm and good luck with the snow storms!

Dog New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

Happy New Year 2015With the New Year right around the corner, New Year’s Resolutions come to mind. But rather than just thinking about what you need to do for yourself…do you and your dog have any New Year’s Resolutions for 2017?

Our guilty conscience immediately thinks of 3:
1. I’ll brush you more and make sure you don’t get mats
2. I’ll try running with you so you get a bit more exercise (our dog tends to just walk & pee/mark)
3. I’ll teach you more tricks to exercise your mind and give you some more attention.

Here are some great ideas from around the web:
dog new years resolutionsPet Paradise Resort, asked customers for Dog New Year’s Resolutions, here are some responses:
1. I will not rush you to do your duty. No one puts a timer on me.
2. I promise to give you more “sniffing time”.
3. Yes, you can get into bed with me. Just give me a little more room.
4. At dinner parties, I will never again falsely accuse you of producing strange odors.
5. I will lose five pounds if you will…ok, three pounds.

Dog New Years Resolutions

“See more of the world”


The Rover
created a Top 10 list with the most awesome photos/videos. While it’s from 2015,  the list is soooo cute and we guarantee it will put a smile on your face.

Here’s one: “See More of the World”

We just love the fact that this Yorkie is not only seeing more of the world, but also schlepping the luggage. Maybe we’ve got to put that ability on the list of things for Kobi to learn in 2015.

Here are 4 from Cesar which we think are great:dog new years resolutions
1. Visit Ten New Parks or Trails
2. Learn A New Command – Young dogs pick up new commands quickly, but don’t forget old dogs can learn new tricks too. From roll-over to playing dead, even the simplest command can shake things up for you and your dog.
3. Make Your Dog a Home Cooked, Healthy Meal – Treat your dog to the joy of a home cooked meal by adding some healthy new recipes to their diet.
4. Make Time For Your Best Friend – With the duties of day-to-day life, we often forget to relax and spend time with the ones we love. This year be sure to simply enjoy playing, petting, and cuddling with your dog.

The Dog Treadmill – when it’s too cold/wet to go outside

In case it’s very cold and wet outside or you are not feeling well, a dog treadmill might be the right gift for both you and your dog. Of course, taking your dog out for a walk (or run) is the most ideal thing to do at least once a day, there might be circumstances when you can’t fit it in your schedule.

A dog treadmill can give a dog a great workout and ensure your dog maintains a consistent exercise regimen. Dog treadmills have been shown to provide increased muscle definition, toning, improve vitality, increase life span and help curb destructive behavior or excess energy often associated with the lack of regular exercise.

Here are a few Dog Treadmill models to check out:

The DogTread
The Small DogTread features a pet-friendly design, whisper-quiet motor and training guidelines that make it easy to train small dogs quickly. It is portable and easy to store or transport anywhere you go with your pet. Perfect for small dogs and small spaces. Includes the DogTread K9 Fitness Program with instructional DVD containing a 30 Day Step-by-Step Training Program and a 2 year warranty.
dogpacer-dog treadmill dogPACER Dog Treadmill
Made for dogs weighing from 1 to 179lbs, the dogPACER treadmill provides a more than 71″ x 16.5″ running surface, a whisper-quiet motor, patented folding technology and customized running programs. The running speed is 0.5 to 7.5 MPH and has an adjustable incline (5 – 9 Degrees). 1 year warranty on all parts and 3 years on the frame.
Go Pet Petrun Dog Treadmill GoPet Petrun For Dogs Up to 44 lbs
The PetRun PR700 Dog Treadmill for dogs up to 44 lbs and is easy for your dog to climb aboard, walk and run without fear or shyness. This dog treadmill is foldable making it easy to store and features a silent driving system for quiet operation, wireless remote controls and a safety lock system. The PetRun Dog Treadmill has push button controls which provide gradual increase and decrease in speed.
GoPet PetRun PR720F Dog Treadmill GoPet PetRun Dog Treadmill for Small to Medium Dogs
The GoPet PR720F Dog Treadmill is designed for dogs up to 132 lbs. If there is a snow or thunderstorm outside, this is a great way to give your dog some exercise. It has an  air cylinder auto-fold that makes it easy to store when not in use.

GoPet also has dog treadmills for medium, large and extra large dogs (up to 175).

So if the weather is just too bad outside, go ahead and get your dog (and perhaps yourself) on a treadmill. A great way to stay in shape and still be able to eat all those holiday meals and treats!