Waterproof jacket. Even if your dog loves the snow and never gets cold, he should have a waterproof jacket for those wet weather days. Don't think of it as 'dressing up your dog', think of it as 'saving your clothes and furniture from that wet dog smell'. Even a lightweight jacket will keep the majority of your pet's fur dry. Tanner and Dash makes good quality items, and Fab Dog has awesome raincoats that fold into their own little pouch. Bonus: it rains in the summer too, so this purchase will get a lot of use.
Pet-friendly ice melt. Imagine walking around barefoot over the piles of salt we throw on our driveways and sidewalks every day. Common road salt (the kind that most cities use on roads) can burn poor pooches' paws, and causes cracks and irritation. If they lick their paws to get it off, salt can also wreak havoc with their digestive system. Be kind to your pup by using pet-friendly ice melt like Paw Thaw. You should be able to find this at any hardware or pet store in your area.
Dog booties / paw salve. Until everyone starts using pet-friendly ice melt, we need other ways to protect our pups. The best way to avoid salt burns, irritation and ingestion is by covering up your dog's paws with booties when they go outside. Most dogs will resist at first, but in the long run they will thank you. MuttLucks are a great option. For those dogs that absolutely won't put up with wearing booties (mine is among that group), try using a salve on their paws such as Musher's Secret. These salves act as sort of a "doggie Chap-Stik" by coating the dog's paws with wax, helping to avoid getting salt on the pads of the paws and soothing them if it does. Bonus: Musher's Secret is also great in the summertime for protecting against burns from hot sidewalks.
Doggie chamois. Even if your dog wears a jacket and booties, he's bound to track snow, salt and mud into the house after walks. Stash a chamois near your door for a quick wipe down. The extra time spent wiping down Fido will be worth it when you don't have to wash your floors every day. A great option is the super absorbent (and machine washable) BowWow Pet Shammy. I own two, because one always seems to be in the wash! Warning: they do lose absorbency after each wash, but they hold the dirt better than towels (i.e. the dirt s
With your dogs outfitted so well for winter weather, they'll want to stay outside all day. So dog owners should stock up on their long underwear, wool socks and thick gloves. It's cold out there!