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Keeping Your Dog Warm in Winter

Not all dogs are blessed with thick, double layered winter coats or fur around the pads of their feet. For those poor souls that must live in freezing (or just cold) climates, they are left with only one solution … well, two solutions: never go out during winter and pee on the floor, or wear dog clothing. We’re betting that you, as the home and pet caretaker, will choose the latter. At the minimum, these are the items you should have for your lightly haired, thin skinned dog.

Image: Emily Penguin / Flickr

1. Sweaters

Whether you make them yourself, as in the previous image, or buy them, sweaters are essential for keeping a lightly furred dog comfortable. Make sure the material is durable and that it ends above the elimination area. Otherwise you will have very stinky sweaters.

Image: wantmorepuppies / Flickr

2. Boots

Did you know that the pads on a dog’s feet can get frostbitten? While some breeds from cold climates evolved to grow heavy fur on their feet that helps to cover the pads, many dogs do not have that. If you live in an area where snow and ice are a part of the winter landscape, do your dog a favor and get her some dog booties. She will be forever grateful for them.

Image: Hans Watson / Flickr

3. Winter Coat

Sweaters are fine for indoors and for when it is above freezing outside, for most dogs, but once it starts snowing that's when things get really uncomfortable. A nice, thick, insulated winter jacket can make the difference between your dog hiding behind the sofa when it's time for walkies, or eagerly allowing you to wrap his coat around him so that he can enjoy the weather without too much shivering. Make sure the coat is also rain resistant. Remember, snow is just powdery rain and can get a dog wet, too.

Image: Dave Kellam / Flickr

4. Snowsuit

And then there are other dogs that are so lightly furred, so thin skinned, and so lacking in insulating body fat that only a full body snow suit will do to get them outside. Don’t forget the dog boots if there is snow on the ground.

Image: Paul Atkinson / Shutterstock

5. Heated Blanket or Pad for Bed

If you don’t want your dog jumping into bed with you or demanding to be held to stay warm (and maybe you do like those things, but within reason), an electric or self-warming bed pad is your best preemptive move.

And this goes for cats as well, since they love small warm spots, but probably not so much the sweaters and booties. We’re betting that unlike dogs, who appreciate the things that keep them wamr and comfy, the cats will lose those items fast.

Image: jbhalper / Flickr

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