Winter has arrived in Chicago. If you have a dog, it’s time to take invest in some products to keep your dog warm, dry and safe from the elements. From pet safe products to coats and boots, there are quite a few great products keep your dog warm this winter and protect him or her from the elements. (Check here for 9 winter pet safety tips.)
“One of the most important things to remember is that your dog’s pads are very sensitive to the cold,” says Brad Kriser, owner of Kriser’s Natural Pet Stores with locations in Chicago, Denver and LA. “You can control your own driveway and walkway and use pet safe products to get rid of the ice and snow. But you have no control everyplace else and most communities tend to use inexpensive products like salt that are very corrosive and can burn your pet’s paws and cause discomfort.”
Along with causing discomfort, pets have the tendency to lick their paws and can ingest toxins that may have been used to get ride of the ice and snow. Kriser has a few product ideas to protect your dog’s feet.
- Boots – Invest in boots if your dog will wear them. Have them get used to wearing them before the weather gets too severe.
- PAWZ – These are little rubber booties that look like balloons. They fit over your dog’s paw and are a bit easier for them to walk in.
- Musher’s Secret – This is a waxy product that you put on your dogs pads each time you go out to create a barrier. It’s developed for sled dogs – the mushers – and works well and isn’t harmful to your dog.
“While there are many dogs, like Huskies, that are built for the cold, a lot of dogs are not,” adds Kriser. “If a dog doesn’t have fur or is very small it can’t retain body heat especially when it’s brutally cold. It’s important they have a jacket or sweater to retain heat.”
Kriser says that there are now so many good products on the market, you don’t need to spend a fortune on products to keep your dog warm. He also says to look for coats with reflective material or consider attaching lights to your dog’s collar or leash since there are so few daylight hours.
It’s also good to make sure you keep your dog close to you when you walk since it may be harder to see your dog. Skip the flexi-lead in the winter and be extra careful when crossing alleys and streets where people may not be able to see your dog.
“It’s important that people keep in mind that if it’s cold for you, it’s cold for your dog,” says Kriser. “You don’t want to leave them outside to get frost bite, frozen or worse. And, just like in the warm weather with the heat, don’t leave your dog in the car.”
With Christmas around the corner, he also points out that it’s important to beware of dangers in the home. Secure your tree, don’t use additives to Christmas tree water and be aware that Poinsettas, mistletoe and some other plants are toxic to pets.
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