It must be hard to wrap your head around the fact that the end of the year is right around the corner when you’re still recovering from the summer heat.
However, even though the later months are cooler, that doesn’t mean you have nothing to worry about anymore. After all, low temperatures still cause problems for all living things. Therefore, preparing for winter should be a no-brainer.
Although it’s far more refreshing than summer, winter can be a difficult time for some. Not only does it inconvenience most transactions, depending on its severity, but extremely low temperatures can also be life-threatening if not handled properly.
Dogs, in particular, can suffer from harsh winter weather. Considering how cold and dry the air is during such times, not giving your canine companion the proper protection can endanger their life.
Even though keeping them indoors is much safer, there are still instances when they need to venture outdoors. Fortunately, there are all sorts of winter gear they can put on to prepare them for the harsh cold.
- Winter Boots
Ice is a no-brainer, especially if your area reaches sub-zero levels of coldness in random intervals. If your dog’s paws come into contact with ice, their paw pads might end up cracking, while redness sets in between the toes.
Wearing boots lessens the possibility of your pet suffering from severe injuries, such as sprains or tearing a muscle. After all, winter boots manufacturers always design their products to have non-slip soles. Therefore, even if you and your dog would go hiking together, your companion will be safe from slip-and-fall accidents.
Moreover, some homeowners turn to chemical agents, such as antifreeze or road salt, to keep ice from building up on certain surfaces. People aren’t affected by them since they have footwear on, but this might not be the case for dogs who don’t have foot protection on. Aside from how painful it is for them to step on road salts, dogs often clean themselves with their tongue. So, if they have chemicals clinging to their paws, they might get poisoned or, worse, die. Winter boots can keep these chemicals away from your furry buddy’s paws, lessening the chances of them licking and swallowing such toxic substances.
If you still have reservations about protecting your canine with this type of winter gear, there’s no need to ask, “Does my dog need snow boots?” After all, the issues presented above should be enough to prod you to get your furry companion their own pair. Look for winter booties that fit them like a glove. Ideally, all dogs are recommended to wear them during winter, but it’s much more urgent if your four-legged companion has one (or all) of the following characteristics:
- Kidney diseases
- Long hair on paws
- Finicky attitude
Kidney disease can make things complicated for your dog. This makes their kidneys much more susceptible to damage, especially after consuming too much salt while they obliviously clean their paws. So, apart from wearing winter boots, it’s recommended that you avoid walking across paths that have such types of substances when out with your pet just to be extra safe.
While winter boots protect their paws, having a winter coat on ensures their body temperature stays warm. After all, if you shiver from cold despite wearing layers of clothes, imagine how cold your pet dog would feel with just their fur.
Admittedly, some dogs don’t need one since they’re fully capable of keeping themselves warm. But, some dogs can’t due to certain health conditions, like those with diabetes. Senior pets also need winter coats since they struggle with regulating their body temperature.
Moreover, short-haired pets and breeds with lean body types won’t be able to retain body heat without layers of fat or long fur. Moreover, those with short legs are much more susceptible to having snow touch their bellies and nether regions.
Making your dog wear a winter coat provides an extra layer of protection to withstand the cold. This barrier, it ensures they stay warm and dry despite the low temperature. Furthermore, their body temperature is better regulated, even without moving too much.
- Reflective Gear
Not everyone enjoys wintertime. But, some think it’s the best season of the year. Some dog breeds will agree with that sentiment. Like any good pet owner, you want to spoil them with everything they want, even have them tag along when you’re going out during the winter days.
However, joining you outside raises multiple red flags, especially in the middle of winter. To ensure their safety, have your dog wear reflective gear so you can spot them easily. After all, there’s no telling what might happen between you and your furry companion during your trip. So, it’s best to keep them visible at all times.
- Earmuffs And/Or Scarf
Although you have the basics already laid out, that doesn’t mean you should stop there. While protecting most of your pet’s body is high on the list of priorities, certain parts may be neglected, namely their ears and neck.
Don’t be afraid to splurge on your pet’s winter gear. Considering they’re much more sensitive to the cold compared to human beings, they need all the warmth they can get from whatever they’re wearing.
Have them wear earmuffs to protect their ears from the cold, especially if they’re standing up. Admittedly, it might take some getting used to, hence, you must train them to be more familiar with such accessories. For their neck, wrap it in a scarf, or you can give your dog a turtleneck sweater. Ensure the scarf is tied snugly; otherwise, your pet might get caught on a branch or anything jutting out, hurting them in the process.
As soon as the cold season is right around the corner, it’s the best time to start preparing. Aside from equipping your house, ensure you consider your dog as well because they’re left wide open for the cold to hurt them. However, equipping them with the right winter gear can increase their chances of withstanding it.