Wintertime, especially in Alberta, albeit is tough on the body to say the least. As humans we would not think twice about leaving our home without proper footwear covering out toes and feet from the elements. This should be no different for when we leave our house to take our dog on a run or walk. Dogs are no exemption to frostbite or other winter hazards, so it is very important that they too are dressed appropriately head to paw!
Our winters range from around -10 to sometimes -40 which is a lot of cold! Unfortunately, not all dogs are meant to endure these conditions as majority do not originate from these climates and their fur coats just will not keep them the warmth they need if they are outside for longer periods of times. Us humans get cold in our winter jackets just running from our vehicle to a local store. This should tell us that our dogs coat is not enough, they need more insulated layers whether it be a sweater, jacket, or even a dog parka. We highly recommend RC Pets Vortex Parka as it repels water and provides a fiber-filled layer for extra warmth for your pup! Another nice feature of the Vortex Parka is that it provides reflective side panels to help stay visible in these dark shorter days of winter.
Footwear is essential for dogs, especially in winter. Yes, read that again. It may sound silly and unnecessary, but our dogs need proper paw protection too. As walks begin to get slick and slippery, traction is needed. Slipping can easily cause injuries to our dogs just like it can do us. Damaged hips are the most common injury in winter. Investing in a solid set of booties is a much better alternative than an expensive vet bill. Slipping on ice is not the only hazard presented in winter. The freezing temperatures can easily cause frost bite to our dogs’ paws and really affect their paws. Having a nice insulted boot covering their paws will help prevent that. Something that we pet owners don’t think about often is salt that is sprinkled along the side walks and walking paths to help melt ice. This can be both painful and harmful to our dogs health. The tiny salt particles will irritate the pads of your dogs paws, often leading to them licking their paws. This is an issue because the salt can cause serious stomach issues for your pup and can make them really sick. Having booties is a great way to avoid this hazard as well. The RC Pets Apex Boots are a fantastic option as they are breathable, provide great traction, and cover the entire paw. One thing that is important to note is that you should have your dogs nails trimmed before wearing these boots, as long overgrown nails will hurt them. Sizing is also very important and should be sized properly before purchasing a set.
There are other footwear options such as paw liners and socks which can be great as well for inside the house if its cold, or as a cheaper alternative to booties (however you will have to replace socks more often). The Biggest thing is layering your dog up and decreasing the amount of exposure to the elements as possible. If you have any questions about prepping your dog for winter, feel free to give our pet experts a visit in store or give us a phone call and we are always happy to help!