5 Winter Must-Haves for Dogs
Published on: December 11, 2017
Brave the Winter Wonderland
December marks the start of winter, and in many places that means below-freezing temperatures and piles of snow. While it’s nice to bundle up and snuggle in near the heater, your dog will want to go outside eventually. Whether it’s for a quick outdoor potty break or a long winter hike, make sure your dog has everything they need to face the elements. Take a look at our five winter must-haves for our canine companions.
1. Socks and Boots
Consider a good pair of socks and boots if you plan to have your canine companion outside for an extended period of time. No matter how thick their winter coat is, the pads of their feet and toes are still susceptible to the cold. Look at boots that cover the foot up past the ankle. The higher tops will make it more difficult for the boot to come free while your dog jumps through snow. You may not think of socks as winter must-haves, but just like people, many dogs have feet that are in-between sizes. Socks can help a slightly loose boot stay on better. You can also use them to keep your pet’s feet warm around the house or on shorter trips outdoors. A team member at your local Wag N’ Wash can help you find the right size boots and socks for your dog.
2. Sweaters and Jackets
No matter the dog breed, every canine companion can benefit from the right sweater or jacket. Some dogs, particularly breeds with short fur (boxers, Boston terriers, greyhounds, Dalmatians, etc.) and older dogs will need extra covering to keep them warm. If your dog has short hair or gets cold easily, consider a light sweater to wear around the house as well as a thicker coat to wear outside. If your dog has a thick coat of hair, you may want to get them a lightweight waterproof jacket to wear. While their hair can keep them warm, snow and moisture can penetrate their coat and take forever to dry out again.
3. Absorbent Runners and Towels
It’s a good idea to put some extra-absorbent, microfiber towels on your list of winter must-haves this year. If your dog finds a snow pile to play in or a cold puddle to jump through, you’ll want something that can dry them off quickly. Many local Wag N’ Wash stores also carry SPOT Clean Paws Microfiber Runners to place by the door. These hallway runners hold up to ten times their weight in liquid and effectively trap mud and water before it gets tracked through the house. Best of all, they’re machine washable!
4. Salmon Oil and Coat Conditioners
Winter air can wreak havoc on your canine companion’s skin and coat. It’ll cause dry skin and itchiness which can lead to over-scratched, raw patches. However, there are a few ways to fight winter dryness and keep your pup comfortable. Talk to a team member about the addition of salmon oil to your pet’s regular food. Rich in omegas, salmon oil can help your dog’s coat stay healthy and moisturized from the inside. Regular oatmeal baths can also help soothe and lock in moisture. After a bath, use a good leave-conditioner for added protection. Don’t want to make a mess at home? Check out the state-of-art self-wash at your local Wag N’ Wash. Our Premium Wash and Ultimate Wash packages can both come with our Itch is Back oatmeal shampoo and a spray-on leave-in conditioner!
5. Other Winter Must-Haves
If it’s not that cold out, you might let your pet go outside with no foot protection. While they may not need a set of boots for a quick trip out, you should still pay attention to what’s on their feet. Check the kind of snow melt you’re using in the driveway and on sidewalks. According to poison.org, “If swallowed, [ice-melting chemicals] can be irritating and cause stomach distress. On the skin or paws, they can cause irritation and dryness.” Instead, choose a product that’s designed to be safe for animals and children. You can also add a layer of protection by using a wax-based protectant on their paws. This will help protect against dryness and cracking, and the wax can help keep snow from collecting between toes.