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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 or Wee-Wee Pads 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 intake.

 

 

 

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!

Get a Custom Dog Raincoat

Kobi in his Custom Dog Raincoat

When it rains in NYC, our dog, who is blond, can get super dirty. I call it the “half Oreo effect” as he ends up black on the bottom half and white on the top half. We’ve used various raincoats, but decided to get a custom dog raincoat for Kobi because none of his raincoats gave him full neck to paw coverage.

We researched for a while and found a link on Etsy that took us to Custom-Made 4U. There we entered in all of Kobi’s measurements, picked out a style plus colors and ordered the custom dog raincoat for Kobi.

Julija from Custom-Made 4U, emailed us back to confirm our order and answer our questions. In a few weeks, we received the raincoat (from Lithuania) and we are super happy with it! We always get stopped of the street when Kobi is wearing his custom dog raincoat. Best of all, it’s well made and keeps him very clean from neck to paw – no more “half Oreo effect” when it rains!

Top Dog Boots and Paw Protection Products

winter frenchieWinter weather has arrived! Snow, sleet and rain has been pummeling many of towns and our dogs are looking out the window for some sunny weather and green grass. Ok – not all dogs are that upset. Some of them love the snow! However, I still haven’t met a dog out there that loves the rain, but I’m sure they’re out there.

The main reasons to get your dog some dog boots / paw protection is either because your dog is outside in freezing temperatures for a long time or long enough for them to be too cold. The other reason is salt. In many places, salt is put on the ground to melt the ice and snow, but it also can irritate your dogs paws. According to the ASPCA, rock salt and chemical ice melters can cause sores, infection and blistering.

We’ve put together a list of top dog boots and paw protection products to make sure your best friend’s paws are sheltered from the bad weather:

Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots
Grip Trex dog boots set the standard in paw wear for dogs who hike, bike, run, or explore the great outdoors with their humans. These high-performance boots feature a rugged and resilient outsole lug pattern that provides exceptional traction on varied terrain.
mushers Musher’s Secret – Paw Protection Wax
Musher’s is a dense barrier wax that forms a breathable bond with your dog’s paws. Developed in Canada for use with sledding dogs, it provides protection even in the most extreme conditions. Perfect for dogs who don’t like boots! Made from 100% safe and natural waxes, Musher’s Secret won’t stain carpets, is non-toxic, and is easy to use.
Uarter Waterproof Pet Boots Uarter Waterproof Dog Boots
This set of flexible dog boots are sturdy enough to withstand outside play, and protect your dog’s paws from stones, dirt and mud. The sole of the waterproof durable dog boots is sturdy, flexible, skid-resistant and allows the boots to be used indoors or outdoors, in wet and dry, hot and cold conditions. The wide split seam top opening makes it very easy and quick to put on the dog shoe.
Dog Boots Muttluks All Weather Dog Boots
Exposure to ice, snow and salt takes a toll on even the toughest paws. Muttluks, which are made in Canada, offer the ultimate protection in all kinds of weather. These breathable dog boots have leather bottoms and toe protectors; waterproof yellow fabric uppers; adjustable Velcro straps and reflective strips.
paws Paws Waterproof Dog Boots
If your dog does not like dog boots, you might want to try Pawz. Pawz waterproof boots are made of natural rubber and 100% biodegradable. Because of the rubber, they are thin enough so your dog can feel the ground. They come in a package of 12 and various sizes. Our dog, Kobi, has worn these and they’re pretty effective unless he’s running like crazy – they can fly off then. They are good for rain or a barrier protection, but would not be a great protection from the cold.
Dog Boots Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots
These are rugged, tough dog boots made of water resistant 1000 denier nylon material and the top of the toe wrapped in Toughtek. The sole is made of Reprotek, a recycled tire material that is flexible, skid resistant and durable. There are side seams which expand so it’s easier to put on the boot and two velcro straps to fasten the boots.
My Busy Dog Dog Boots with Reflective Velcro and Rugged Anti-Slip Soles
My Busy Dog water resistant dog boots keeps paws dry and warm. No more wiping muddy or sandy paws after the rain or snow. The tough anti-slip sole provides stability and traction, protection from sharp thorns and hot pavement. Best of all they are easy to put on – the shoe expands with a wide split seam opening and two adjustable and reflective velcro straps to ensure a good fit.
trail trackers doggles dog boots Doggles Trail Trackers
Whether you’re hiking through the mountains, out in the snow, or strolling through puddles, Trail Trackers are great boots. They have rubber soles, neoprene uppers, a double velcro wrap on the lower leg and ankle, reflective straps, reflective logo and a wide mouth opening that makes putting boots on easy.