By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Most dogs stay pretty warm in their own natural coats and do not require anything else all winter.
But others do not grow coats thick or long enough for extended walks in winter weather.
Or the hair around their ears is thin and short enough that they don’t stay comfortably warm.
The salt used on walkways can cause painful cuts on dogs’ pads.
That is why dog coats, hats and boots can keep your pal more comfortable this winter.
Many dogs dislike wearing clothing — at least at first. With some time, patience — and maybe a few treats — your dog will forget about his outerwear and it will become part of his winter walking routine.
To find the right fit, carefully measure your dog, compare it to the manufacturer’s size chart and make sure you order the correct size. Many pet clothing items may be adjusted to fit. It is usually better to go up a size rather than ordering something too snug. Many manufacturers allow returns and exchanges for clothing that does not fit.
Walkee Paws (www.amazon.com, Item: B08GQDNM4M. $29.99) not only protect your pooch’s feet, but also his legs, which can help keep slushy messes out of your house. Typically, dog boots are easy to kick off—and often fall off on their own. Walkee Paws extend higher on the legs, like built-in leggings, and then their straps fasten together on the dog’s back. The outsole has treads to ensure no skidding and the boots are machine washable.
The Kuoser British Style Plaid Dog Winter Coat (www.amazon.com, Item: B07Y537V92. $12.99) gives your dog snazzy style and extra warmth with polyester fiber filling and a water-resistant inner layer. It fastens with a hook and loop closure at the neck and chest and even has a small pocket on the back. The seven available sizes should fit most dogs. The coat also comes in solid red.
The Dogo Trapper Hat (www.amazon.com, Item: B01M23NN1X. $250.1) keeps the dog’s ears completely covered for optimal warmth. The denim hat is lined with faux fur. With a broad closure under the throat, the hat stays on better than those with a thin strap.
The Scheppend Original Adidog Pet Sweatshirt (www.amazon.com, Item: WL-13. $9.48) looks like the similarly named human brand but is sized and styled for fashionable dogs who need an extra layer. The cotton material is lined with Sherpa fleece. The hooded shirt snaps underneath the chest and the pants have an open underside. Choose from a variety of colors to coordinate with your dog’s fur.
In addition to the cold and sidewalk salt, winter dog walking also means fewer hours of daylight. When walking in poor lighting, stay visible by wearing clothing with reflective elements or use a flashing clip-on safety light. Stay on the sidewalk or if that is not possible, walk against traffic for safety.
The BSEEN LED Dog Leash (www.amazon.com, Item: B0723CLFFJ. $16.99) offers a bright light to make drivers aware of your presence. The three modes allow you to set it for slow flash, quick flash or steady flash. Charge with a USB cable in two hours for 12 hours of illumination.