Our pets are susceptible to cold and harsh winter weather, so owners must be prepared with products that will make their lives easier until the march into spring. Breeds react differently to cold weather, and double coated dogs or large winter breeds can take more cold than small dogs with short hair. Toy breeds are more vulnerable to cold and require more protection, but some items are equally beneficial to all canines.
We've previously discuss the 50 best winter dog clothes that help protect our pets, but even if your dog doesn’t need any protection of clothing, you may like some of these winter items for the dog's quality of life improvements they bring. Many dogs like their accessories even more than their owners do, so take into account your pup’s happiness as well as sheer practicality.
There are different things to keep in mind when buying any kind of products for your dog. When purchasing winter clothing items, double check that the size is appropriate for your dog (so it fits, it's comfortable and not dangerous for the dog) as that’s the primary reason for dissatisfaction and returns among online buyers. For products with chemical ingredients, ensure they won’t cause any allergies or skin irritations for your pup.
7 Winter Products for Dogs (and Owners)
1. Pet-friendly Ice Melters
If there’s one thing that can harm your dog during winter, it is ice itself and the toxic salts that people throw over it to melt the ice. If you live in an area that gets really cold, snowy and icy, consider using a safe pet-friendly ice melter in the area around your house.
These non-toxic ice melters can cover a large area of ice and road salts around your home and make it more comfortable for your dog and it won't be dangerous if the pup if he walks on it. However, remember that there is no 100% pet-safe ice melter out there, so always take precaution when walking around on these chemicals.
Ice and regular road salts can be very damaging for dogs’ paws and countering them is essential to avoid paw irritation. Pet-friendly ice melters also prevent re-icing for around three days after their first application, so you won’t have to repeat the process whenever you take your dog out.
2. Dog Paw Healing Balm
Some dogs have very sensitive skin, especially when it comes to their paws and snouts. These parts are the most vulnerable ones and most often come into contact with the environment, so it is crucial to take good care of them. Yet, dog paw care is one of the commonly ignore areas among pet owners.
During cold winter months, walking on snow, ice or just very cold surface can quickly damage your pet's feet. Winter dog paw balms can be extremely helpful for dogs with cracked and irritable skin, especially if you find one which is comprised entirely out of natural ingredients. They both protect and prevent cracking, and also help deal with already damaged paws if you haven't protected them beforehand.
There are several dog paw balms that offer an instant relief for your pooch. If you're looking for natural solution then oatmeal paw butter is an excellent value for money. Packed with high-quality ingredients like shea butter, oatmeal, mango, vitamins E and F, jojoba, coconut oil, olive oil, and Aloe vera, it is entirely safe for both dogs and people and free of toxins.
3. Dog Igloo (or Insulated Winter House)
Ideally, you keep your dog indoors and not outside during harsh cold winter months. Because many dogs were freezing to death last year (owners charged with animal cruelty), it's now illegal to keep dogs in freezing weather in many states. However, sometimes it's inevitable and you might need to keep a dog outside, or some dogs simply prefer to stay outdoors on occasion.
“…it is clinically accepted that indoor pets that are not acclimated to cold weather should not be left outside when the average daily temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.” – Dr. M.A. Crist, a clinical assistant professor – [source]
If that's the case, make sure that your pooch feels warm and safe out there. A dog igloo house or any other spacious, insulated winter dog house will be the perfect place for the pooch to stay in and feel comfortable.
The dog igloo house is the most popular choice for winter among pet owners. Designed with a raised doorway that shields the pet from harsh weather, this house is also usable during hot seasons because of its high-quality insulation. High floors also drain water that dogs might carry inside and prevent them from dirtying the inside of the igloo.
There are also accompanying accessories you can get for the dog indigo igloo house that include an Indigo Pad and custom door that can be bought individually. Both the house and the accessories are easy to assemble as they feature a simple design and don’t require any special tools.
If you already have a non-insulated dog house and cannot afford a whole new home for your pet just for winter, you can take the cheaper way and simply reinforce your pet's current home. You can use a dog house heater which will keep your pet warm outside (and they're safe to use), which is a much cheaper solution.
4. Doggy Blankets
Sometimes you just need a portable pad for different situations and locations. While you can use regular blankets, there are several reasons to use a special dog blanket: they are easier to clean off pet hair and stains, they're sized perfectly for dog houses and crates, and they have dog paws or other patterns that just look cool or sweet.
A pet blanket can be carried and placed anywhere and provide a warm and cozy shelter for your pup for a cheap price. Appropriate both for small and large dogs, or other house pets, these dog blankets are resistant to scratches and shedding which makes for ideal bedding for any dog.
Most of them are made with double-sided fleece materials which are very soft and provide warmth without being too heavy. The example you see in the picture, a standard 6 pack of different colored pet blankets, is one of them most popular on Amazon and is a great price for value. It provides enough variety and makes sure that you never run out of clean ones.
READ THIS: Do Dogs Need Blankets In Winter?
5. Heated Pet Water Bowl
Another thing your dog might appreciate when the temperature outside is getting very low is a water source that does not freeze up during cold winter days. For that, pick up a safe heated dog bowl to use outdoors.
These thermostatically controlled pet bowls can make sure that your pup always has access to fresh non-frozen water or maybe even never has a sore throat from drinking freezing water. You can remove the heating components after the winter is over and turn it into a regular dog bowl as well. These components are easily replaceable and very affordable, and the power cord itself is secured at the bottom of the bowl.
6. Dog Poncho Raincoat
Winter days are often accompanied by rain, so make those rainy days at least a bit brighter by protecting your pet against constant rain. Many pet owners aren't aware that there are special dog raincoats made for pets to keep them protected from acidic rain or simply to keep them warm and dry during walks.
Most dog raincoats are made entirely out of polyester which is highly water-resistant and with an added reflective strip in the back which provides extra security and visibility. Your pet being clearly visible during dark times of the day or in strong rain is particularly important.
The pet raincoat you see in the photo is one of the more popular among owners. It is available in 5 different colors, has convenient Velcro straps that are fully adjustable, a hood and an opening for the leash. This model ranges in size from Small to Extra Large which means it will fit almost any dog, be it a Pug or a Golden Retriever.
7. Waterproof Winter Dog Boots
Dog booties have become one of the most essential items most pet owners now buy for their dogs. And while there's a number of great quality dog shoes available, not all of them are fit for rainy season and for freezing winter months.
When the temperatures drop, you want dog booties that will keep your dog's paws protected, have a good grip (for ice and snow) and keep the feet warm. There are special winter dog boots that will perfectly compliment the dog's poncho and ensure that your pup makes it through long walks without getting a single hair wet. The boots have straps that ensure that they won’t slip off the dog’s feet, will provide good grip for slippery surface and are exceptionally easy to put on and take off.
Anti-slip soles on dog winter boots give the pet stability and protection from thorns, sharp rocks and other hazards. The boots are completely water resistant and keep your pup’s paws warm while freeing you from having to wipe them after every walk.
Winters can be problematic for both people and animals, but being unable to voice their concerns, our pets rely on us for keeping them warm during these cold periods. Regardless of whether your dog will be staying indoors or wandering through the cold, make sure that he is adequately equipped and that he never lacks protection and care.