Just because dogs have fur doesn't mean they can keep warm outside in frigid weather. Pet apparel companies have begun applying some of the same technologies used in winter apparel for humans to dog gear that is made for cold weather. Unfortunately, the market is still inundated with cutesy outfits that look good but will not keep your dog warm when it’s cold outside.
Entrepreneur Gail Sanders-Luckman is on a crusade to educate pet owners about the dangers of their dogs getting too cold and how to protect them from the elements. She wants pet owners to understand how important it is to dress their dogs for the weather in much the same way they would dress their children.
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Drawing on her entrepreneurial skills and her longtime love of dogs, Sanders-Luckman began to research her idea and consulted with pet wellness professionals and veterinarians, pet product wholesalers and retailers, and pet apparel manufacturers.
She learned that dogs exchange heat differently than humans, so although it may be cute to dress our pets up in clothes similar to ours, they just aren’t effective at keeping them warm. Dogs lose most of their heat through their chest and abdomen, so covering up their back and their sides doesn’t do much to keep them warm.
That’s why she started Kumfy Tailz, a company that specializes in gear designed to keep dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The harnesses from Kumfy Tailz feature a special pocket that is made to hold a gel pack that can be cooled or heated to help the dog regulate its body temperature.
The gel pack rests against the canine’s chest and belly, which Sanders-Luckman says is the spot where he needs the most protection. She says that in order to help the dog regulate his body temperature, they had to address his core, which is the chest and upper abdominal area.
Not only is this area of the dog where most of their major organs are located, but it’s also the spot that is most susceptible to the elements because the fur and skin are thinnest on that part of the body. Kumfy Tailz is the first pet apparel to specifically address the physiology of canines, and the harnesses took over two years to develop.
They can be purchased through the company’s website and at select retailers. The website also shows a sizing chart which tells how to measure your dog for one of the five available sizes. They make harnesses to fit dogs from 3 pounds to over 75 pounds.