Bundle Up for Winter

AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior Trainer Erin Schneider shares some of her favorite winter gear for dogs, including boots and coats.

Now that the temperature has finally dropped, it’s time to think about winter.

As we bundle up to go outside, we really need to make sure that our dogs are dressed appropriately.

Now you might say, “why do I need to put a coat on my dog, he is already wearing a coat.” True, but we live in Illinois and not all dogs were bred for the cold weather of Illinois. If you are taking your dog out for a quick potty, you might not need to get them bundled up. But if you are going for a nice stroll, it’s something to think about.

If you have a short haired breed, such as a Whippet, Greyhound, any of the bully breeds, etc., you should definitely put a coat on your dog. The temperature doesn’t have to get very cold for these breeds to feel it. If you have a Newfoundland, Malamute, Husky, etc. you might not have to worry about coats or sweaters. That being said, always pay attention to your dog. If they are shivering, or showing signs of being uncomfortable, it’s time to invest in a coat. If your dog is very active and likes to run around at the park, you might not need a coat. You don’t want to risk them overheating. You know your dog best, so pay attention to what they are telling you.

If you are going to purchase outer gear for your dog, find out what they like. Most dogs prefer a coat that doesn’t have to go over their head. So find one that snaps or velcros under their belly and across the chest. Some dogs prefer a sweater with a snug fit. And of course we have to think about style. Outer gear is a great way to show off your style and your dog’s style. Bailey doesn’t wear coats often because she has a thick terrier coat, but when she does she always has to be stylin’.

One piece of winter gear I think all dogs can benefit from is dog boots.

I like booties to protect my dog from salt that is left on the sidewalks, dirty puddles and of course, the cold. Bailey is very picky about what goes on her feet (I don’t blame her), so I found some booties that work perfectly. You might need to buy a few pairs and find what works best for your dog, but one brand that I think most dogs tolerate is Pawz Dog Boots. They are very thin, so most dogs don’t seem to mind them. Plus, I think they look adorable. When my Westie is playing in the snow, all I can see are red boots running in the snow... it’s pretty cute.

Do you put winter gear on your dog? If not, we would love to hear why. If so, we want to know what you dress them in here in the comments section. Even better, post a photo to our Facebook page!

AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior offers group dog training classes at Glenview Animal Hospital and private in-home training throughout the North Shore.

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