Winter has arrived but that doesn’t mean you and your dog need to be a couch potatoe. Most dogs love to play in the snow and get out for a brisk walk every day. And depending on the breed, some dogs thrive in the snow.  My nephew has two Newfoundlands and their best day is the day it snows.  

My dogs are just the opposite, they are short haired and small so they need coats to be comfortable on a cold day.  Knowing your dog is the key to keeping them comfortable. Does your dog have a long coat? A double coat?  Dogs with a double coat stay much warmer than a single coated dog like a French Bulldog or Boston Terrier.  

Dog gear has gotten almost as good a people gear. There are down coats, fleece coats and thinner, waterproof jackets. Once again, knowing your dog’s cold threshold will help you choose. My Boston is a summer dog but with a warm, fleece coat, he’s good for a long walk. My Frenchie loves the snow and is too hot with anything other than a thinner jacket.  

You can also add boots and hats to your dog’s outdoor wardrobe… if they will tolerate it. I spent a lot of time last  year trying to teach Bailey to wear boots and finally gave up. He just was not having it. But if your dog will learn to wear boots, it helps protect their feet from the cold and salt.  And if they have long hair, it will also protect them from ice building up between their toes.  

The best way to buy gear is to take your dog to the store and try it on.  Most coats are sized by weight. But if you have a broad chested dog like a Frenchie or an English Bulldog, you have probably found that those type of size guides to don’t work well.  So trying on before you buy is the best option.  

And once you come back from your walk, make sure your dog has a comfortable spot to warm up. My dogs head right for the kitchen register. But a deep bed or better yet, a heated bed make a great option. Many heated beds are self-heating so no need to worry about plugging them in. A long walk ending in a cozy cuddle spot can make any dog happy. Unless you have a Newfoundland… then good luck getting them to come inside! Winter is their jam.  

Article Written by Diane Hansell, Re-Published with permission by Pet Pantry in Harbor Springs