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The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world.

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Winter Wear for Dogs

Posted January 26, 2011 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

A recent round of snowstorms in the Northeast has gotten me thinking about warm, protective outwear for my dog. Just what does a pet need to venture out into the elements?

My pets have always gone stir crazy in the winter when snow has kept us inside. Some types and breeds are less suitable for a romp in the snow than others – a Lab may enjoy it while a Chihuahua could be swallowed in a snow bank!

Coat: Natural or Not?

Some dogs have some natural protection from the snow. Dogs with a double-layered coat have a layer of "guard hairs" on top that can shed some water and repel snow from reaching the skin. Texture plays a role too – dogs with oily coats repel water more easily.

Pets with thinner hair coats, elderly dogs, or those that are not used to being outdoors may benefit from wearing a horse-like blanket or other type of coat outdoors. There are lots of styles to choose from these days!

Barefoot vs. Boots

Paws are another matter. Long toenails can get snagged in the ice if they aren't maintained properly, causing injuries. Ice and snow can ball up in the fur between the pads of the paw. No matter what the condition of your dog's feet, if you have to walk on really icy conditions, it may be a good idea to research some of the "boots" that are available for dogs.

I am seriously considering some type of boots for my dog. Whenever the ground is extremely cold or wet she "tiptoes" outside – very hesitantly placing each paw on the ground and immediately snatching it back up. She has always hated to get wet and wearing her coat encourages her to go out in the rain. Maybe a pair of boots would make her stay out just a little bit longer! She has also slipped on the ice in the past, resulting in a hip injury that caused some arthritis. That's something we don't want to hurt again.

Do you bundle up your dog when it's cold outside?

Resources:

http://www.ehow.com/dog-coat/

http://www.ehow.com/list_6130883_different-types-dog-coats_.html

http://dogs.about.com/cs/generalcare/f/dog_boots.htm

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#1

Re: Winter Wear for Dogs

01/26/2011 10:32 PM

protect the dogs paws with ankle booties for dogs that do not let deep snow in the top.

Ice and salt on dogs paws soon cause cracks and bleeding, and soon the dog will learn to prefer to wet the carpet, as well as crap there, to the painful ordeal of a walk.

Trim the dogs claws weekly to prevent them from going through the booties.

http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&xhr=t&q=dog+%2Bboots+%2Bice&cp=5&pf=p&sclient=psy&safe=off&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=dog+%2Bboots+%2Bice&pbx=1&fp=814250bde4529105

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#2

Re: Winter Wear for Dogs

01/27/2011 11:07 AM

How about adding some more fur to the poor dogs and issuing them US Army surplus "Mickey Mouse" (not "Mickey Moose") boots (Artic overboots) and snow shoes! LOL

With sub-zero temps here lately I worry about my dog's pads on the underside of their paws, hence we limit their time out doors to just a few minutes....exposure can result in frostbite and hyperthermia.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Winter Wear for Dogs

01/27/2011 12:23 PM

If you strap a Delcat to each of your dogs feet, the feet will stay warm and your dog will be able to climb trees

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