Winter means time to roll around in the snow if you’re a dog. While the cold doesn’t bother most dogs, there is a handful of gear that would make your dog’s experience more comfortable in the frigid temperatures.
1. Dog Jackets
Unless you have a Great Pyrenees or Bernese mountain dog, a jacket will let your dog play in the snow for a longer time. There are several types of jacket to choose from to help your pup stay content, dry and warm:
- Insulated jackets: If you have a short-haired dog or plan to go for a long snowy hike, this is a good jacket for your dog to wear. This type of jacket typically has a water-resistant polyester shell filled with synthetic insulation that’s great for inclement weather.
- Soft-shell jackets: A wind and water resistant jacket is the right choice if your dog is on the fluffy side but could use an extra layer to stay toasty on a short hike. A benefit of this kind of jacket is that it’s usually a “sleeved” style with a stretchy underside to cover your dog’s chest and stomach.
- Hybrid jackets: If you’re looking for a jacket that’s the best of both worlds then a hybrid jacket is the way to go. Hybrids are insulated on the top but also provide coverage for your dog’s underside to prevent snow buildup on exposed fur.
2. Dog Beds
Whether your dog likes to chill on the bare ground outside or the cold floor of your RV, a bed will keep them warm from the belly up. Soft, waterproof beds that have a two-sided cover are ideal for outside use. But a thick memory foam bed may be so cozy for inside the house that your dog won’t want to venture outdoors.
3. Dog Sleeping Bags
If you and your pup like to go winter backpacking, make sure you bring a sleeping bag like Ruffwear’s Highland Sleeping Bag that’s specifically made for dogs. The bag’s circular shape means your dog can curl up easily, it has four stake-out loops attached to secure the bag in place on the ground, and it includes its own stuff sack to make carrying convenient.
4. Dog Boots
Your dog will joyfully run through the snow without a care in the world until she limps back to you because of snowball build up in between her toes. This is what inevitably happens when fluffy snow makes contact with fluffy toe fur, and it’s painful for your dog. One solution is to keep their toe fur trimmed, but if that doesn’t work then dog boots will prevent unwanted snow buildup between the paws.
5. Paw Wax
Sometimes dog boots are just not an option. In those situations paw wax is the best way to go. Musher’s Secret Wax is made from a blend of food grade waxes that creates a semi-permeable shield between your dog’s paws and the snow. It protects your dog’s feet from salt, ice, and snow while still letting perspiration escape through the pads. Also keep in mind, if you salt your driveway and walkway, be sure to use dog-friendly ice melter.
My dog’s favorite winter activities are sledding and snowshoeing with me – what about your pet? Let us know in the comments below.