Winter has finally settled in and if you have a dog in the house, it’s time to make a few adjustments to keep your pooch warm and safe. From pet safe products to special coats and boots to a variety of other cool things, it’s time to check out your gear to be prepared for the long, cold winter.
“There are many products on the market that can help make winter easier on your dog,” says Donna Paseltiner, owner of Mutt Hutt, a pet supply store in Chicago. “If you take into consideration how active you expect your pet to be during the winter, it makes it easier to match up some of the products that would be best for your pet.”
If you live in Chicago, it’s key to have something to battle the ice and snow and the dryness that goes with that. Paseltiner highly recommends a couple of products for her customers.
Pet safe salt – It is a bit more costly than regular salt, but much safer to use anyplace your dog or a neighbor’s dog may be walking because it doesn’t burn your pet’s paws. Pasteltiner recommends using pet safe salt like Safe Paw in those areas most traveled by your pets.
Puppy Butter – We aren’t the only ones dealing with dry, cracked skin. Puppy Butter is an all-natural product that works wonders on your dogs dry paw pads and it goes right into their skin. It also doesn’t leave paw marks as they walk through your house and won’t harm your pet if they lick off their skin.
We wouldn’t think of going out without the proper outwear. While Huskies and Malamutes are made for the bitter cold, most other dogs need protection in the cold damp weather. There are a variety of boots and coats on the market that will help keep your pet warm and dry.
- Ultra Paws – If your dog loves to walk, run or play in the winter weather, Ultra Paws are a good investment. The boots are padded at the ankle so they stay on your dog and they are comfortable for walking.
- Pawz – If your dog isn’t into heavy-duty outdoor activity or long walks in the winter, Pawz is the ticket. These little rubber boots work well for dogs of all sizes, come in a variety of colors and protect their paws from salt, ice and the wet weather.
- Chilly Dogs – If you want to bundle your dog properly for a Chicago winter, check out the coat that keeps dogs warm in Canada – Chilly Dogs. These coats are made of a special polar fleece and they are wind resistant, waterproof and will keep your dog warm up to 40 below zero. Pasteltiner says the coat isn’t too warm for your dog on an average winter day and comes in a variety of adjustable sizes to fit about any dog. The Mutt Hutt is one of just five U.S. retailers carrying the product.
- Other outerwear – Chilly Dogs also makes sweaters, rain gear, soaker coats and more to help keep your dog warm and dry in a variety of weather. If you’re into recycled products, check out Muffinhead. This Portland-based company reuses fabrics from 1950’s flannel suits, making each dog coat very unique. This coat works well for many dogs in the winter.
If you’re going to be out and about a lot with your dog, you may want to consider some other products that will make it easier and safer for transporting.
- Carriers – Little dogs especially have issues with the cold slush, especially when it starts to freeze up again. There are many carriers available that make it easy to carry your small pooch from place to place.
- Seatbelts – Your dog is at the same risk for injury as you are when you get in an accident. It’s also safer to have your dog buckled in instead of on your lap or bouncing in and out of your line of site.
- Collars and leashes – There are a variety of collars, leashes, vests and fetch toys that are reflective so that people can see you and your dog when you’re out in the dark. There are other collars, harnesses and leashes to check out as well. One sturdy brand is Mountain Dog that carries a guarantee for life and will be replaced if your dog chews it or it gets damaged in other ways.
- Aroma Therapy – Paseltiner also recommends a variety of aromatherapy products to help calm your dog and relieve stress. Rescue Remedy, Essense work wonders. Thundershirts also do a great job in keeping pets calm.
“People also need to be careful where products are made,” says Pasteltiner. “We focus on unique American-made products that may be difficult to find elsewhere.” She also carries a wide variety of food and treats for dogs and cats – raw, natural and other products – that are also American made.
Learn more online and check out Mutt Hutt on Facebook. Tomorrow, we’ll look at some general safety tips for your pet in the winter. (See new story.)
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