Keep your dog warm during the winter chill.

February is often the coldest month of the year. It’s easy for us to bundle up with a multitude of layers to ward off the cold, but what about our canine companions? It’s a misconception that their fur coats will keep them warm in all temperatures, unless of course you have a Siberian Husky. Most short-haired dogs, and especially older dogs, benefit greatly from wearing a sweater or coat to keep them warm.

The warmth offered by a coat can make the difference between an enjoyable walk in the snow, and one where your poor fur buddy is shivering and cold. My Pit Bull/Mastiff X used to whimper if we had the window down in the car. His short fur coat didn’t do much to keep him warm from even the slightest cool breeze. If your dog has shorter hair, invest in a warm winter coat for both of you. You don’t want to have to cut your walks short just because the temperature dropped.

As we swap our shoes for winter boots, we shouldn’t overlook our dog’s paws either. The salt and chemicals spread on the streets to combat snow and ice can harm your dog’s pads. You can try boots to protect them, or make sure you wash and dry your dog’s paws after a long walk to remove any unwanted contaminants that could harm them. You don’t want them licking toxic de-icing solution off their paws – ick!

If you find that even the indoor temperature isn’t warm enough for your short-haired pup, or you don’t want to have your fireplace on 24/7, get your pups a cute sweater to wear inside. Many varieties are now available, from stretchy fleece to hand-knit varieties. There’s sure to be one that will fit your fur baby.

Winter may be cold, dark, and long, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. We all need our exercise during these winter months, and the right layers make all the difference. Grab your warm coat, pompom toque, and suit up Benji for a warm and stylish walk in the snow.  

Kathryn Anderson is a health enthusiast, fitness instructor, avid traveller and animal-lover who loves inspiring others to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Find her online at http://coffeeandmascara.org.

Categories: Family