While we certainly can’t compete with Maine or Minnesota, our winter temperatures can feel downright frosty. We temper these seasonal dips with an insulating base layer or winter jacket that cuts the cold, wind, and rain, but animals don’t have the luxury of dressing for the weather. Sure, some pets respond in kind with a thicker undercoat, but this isn’t the case across the board. The best way to combat the bite of winter? Winter pet gear!
Assess the Situation
Larger, heavy-coated pets tolerate the cold much better than, say, any of the toy breeds. It’s never fun to shiver through the winter, especially for smaller, thinner pets with short or wiry coats. All cats and dogs can suffer from the effects of hypothermia and frostbite if left outside for too long.
Pets who are sick or seniors with age-related conditions, like arthritis, are generally more uncomfortable in the winter and require extra warmth. Highly sensitive to cold drafts, pain tends to increase for these pets this time of year.
Know the Score
Your pet’s species, breed, age, weight, and lifestyle are all factors when it comes to internal body temperature. Understanding their genetic resiliency to colder temperatures should factor into your decision to invest in winter pet gear.
Adding a layer to your pet’s body increases circulation and creates a sort of blanket for shivering. We recommend having a couple different sweaters or jackets in case your pet gets wet. A damp outer layer can actually make your pet feel even colder.
The Right Stuff
Winter pet gear comes in all shapes, sizes, materials, and styles. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming when choosing the right jacket, sweater or vest. Ideally, you want the item to fit snugly, but not too tight. Measuring their neck, chest, and distance from waist to neck are helpful when searching for the right gear.
The right product will be easy to put on and take off. It should be made from a durable fabric that holds up to the weather (but is washable) and should not irritate the skin.
Give your pet time to adjust to their new winter pet gear, and never force them to wear anything. However, if you plan on being outside for long periods of time and you feel cold, your pet will definitely benefit from an added sweater. Plus, they’ll look darling in the right winter pet gear!
What About Boots?
People don’t enjoy walking around without winter boots this time of year, so why should your pet have to suffer? Great for temperature control and for protecting your pet from chemical salts, deicers, and antifreeze, boots or booties are a great accessory during winter. Sometimes, the same boots can be used during the summer to keep paw pads from burning on hot pavement, sidewalks, etc. Now that’s a win-win!
Winter Pet Gear
Pets feel good when they’re well cared for. They know when they’re loved and truly considered by their people, and they love us back without condition. Winter pet gear is just another way to show how much you love your faithful companion.