A New Year has begun and winter
is upon us once again.
If you haven’t already prepared your dog for winter by buying him or her a winter coat, you should start thinking about it now to protect your pet from winter’s extreme conditions.
There are several different styles of winter coats available for your furry friend. From personal experience, I prefer coats that are easy to put on and take off with Velcro fasteners around the neck and belly. I have found that sweaters are somewhat more difficult to manage since they usually have to be placed over the dog’s head before inserting the dog’s legs through the leg openings. Coats can also be made from many different fabrics such as nylon, polyester and acrylic with or without hoods. It is also a good idea to buy a coat that is water resistant to keep your dog warm and dry and a fabric that is washable is also easy for you to care for.
Another winter item you should consider is boots. Most styles of boots easily slip over your dogs paws and fasten with a Velcro strip around the ankle. They can also be fleece lined with rubber soles and some have a reflective strip. If your dog doesn’t want to wear boots you can try a pad protector that comes in wax form and protects your dog even in extreme conditions.
If your dog hasn’t worn a jacket or boots before you may want to get him used to his new winter wear slowly. If he ‘freezes’ and won’t move when you put on his coat, try leaving it around the house for him to investigate on his own. You can also use small treats to reward him when he shows interest in his new attire. Then as he gets accustomed to it, try putting the coat on him for short periods of time at first and build up to his wearing the coat for longer periods. The same routine can be used to get your dog used to wearing boots.
It’s also a good idea to get your dog used
to having his feet dried off with a towel. Since it’s easier to dry off your dog’s feet when he is standing, you can practise the ‘stand’ command. This is another situation where you can practise wiping your dogs feet one foot at a time and use treats as a reward until you eventually work up to wiping all four paws.
You can also try a Paw Monster instead of a towel to dry your dog’s feet. It has a handle and removable absorbent cover which is washable.
You might also want to consider a rear seat protector for your car when you need to take your dog with you. They should be available at your local pet supply store or stores like Home Outfitters or Home Sense.