Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pooches: How to Dress your Dog for Cold Weather

As survivors of the polar vortex here in Chicago, we can now check off that we have had to walk our pups through nearly every type of weather condition.
Lately we've been getting a lot of questions about the type of gear we use to keep our large, short-haired, cold-prone pups warm; it really depends on the type of cold weather we are experiencing.
We know all dogs are different, but these are some things that have worked for us:
The Basics:
We have found a combination of a waterproof dog coat, a basic dog sweatshirt, and a dog snood can be used alone or together to help your pup stay warm in all types of weather.
If you choose to have just one item, we would recommend a waterproof dog coat. We wrote about coats we found for larger dogs here and here.
Our pups have several Zack & Zoey sweatshirts which are only about $18. Our 65lb pups wear size Extra-Large. We really like that we can customize them like we did here, here, and even here.
Snoods are like scarves for dogs, and they can be used for layering, or worn alone for a similar type of 1/2 coverage you might get from a puffer vest. Our pups' snoods are from here and here. 

Layering for the Cold and Windy Weather
For bitterly cold and windy weather our pups wear a combination of the above. Like urban teens, they layer a hoodie under their puffy coat. This eliminates gaping and keeps their core extra warm.We also add a snood which can be pulled up over their ears for more coverage.

Cold and Wet
We know it can be uncomfortable, and actually much colder, when cotton gets wet, so we don't have our pups wear their hoodies when it's raining or snowing hard when we leave the house. We usually just have them in their water-resistant coat  to stay dry. We also like how the Sirius Republic snoods are double-lined polar fleece which doesn't absorb wet snow, and they can be pulled up over their heads.

On Dog Hats & Snoods
We are often asked about the dog hats our pups wear. They are human hats from the kids' section at Old Navy. The hat Mr. B is wearing in the header photo is actually E's human hat.
The pups wear the hats for fun; they make for fun pictures. Though they are a bit unpractical for everyday wear. I don't know if dog hats really do make the pups any warmer, but if are you are looking for something cute that is still practical, we like the animal-themed snoods from Snug-A-Bulls. (More photos of the pooches in their mouse and gorilla snoods, here).

Too Hot
While we would gladly welcome warmer weather right now, during the summer we had to limit much of our walking for the extreme heat. While it seems counterintuitive to put them in gear during such extreme heat, we tried the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler cooling vest. The vests use evaporative cooling technology to mimic sweating and cool down your pooch. It's also really nice reflecting the sun from dark-colored dogs who naturally absorb heat. We wrote more about our experiences here.
We also found Musher's paw is a good resource for walking on extra-hot asphalt that might burn their feet.

We know all dogs have different needs and tolerance levels, and some dogs don't mind the cold and they don't want to wear gear. We know how important it is for dogs to be comfortable, and we wrote more about how to make sure your pup is comfortable wearing dog gear, here. 
Again, these are just things that have worked for us, but we would love to hear from everyone else:
How do you keep your pup comfortable in cold weather?

Also:
How the people prepare for cold walks
Our thoughts on Dog Boots
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog.

7 comments:

RuthieJ said...

Thanks for all these tips. I have purchased many of these items for Holly based on your recommendations. I especially like the snoods -- they keep her head and ears warm and don't fall off when she shakes her head.

OG said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures of Mr. B! He looks like he's trying so hard to figure things out. NYC has had its polar vortex but Petey won't keep a hat on (mine from 1st grade :) And extreme heat is a concern also!

Laura said...

The pups look cozy and cute! On the Unexpected Pitbull calendar, today is Dress Up Your Dog Day. Miss M and Mr. B are stylish all the time! :)


Two French Bulldogs said...

I love wearing my sweaters and coats. It really does make a difference. Some humans think it's silly to dress us, but it's REALLY not
Lily

Baltimore Purrs and Wags said...

Is it wrong that with every picture, I just want to reach through the screen and squeeze Miss M's jowls?!? She's too darn photogenic!!!

Annie & Pauls Mom said...

Living in VA, Annie and Paul have a different definition of cold weather: today it was rainy and low 50's. Annie didn't want her coat, nor did she want to go outside for longer than the needed few moments. Paul could care less as long as he's with his favorite human. Perhaps our future will bring us to colder climate, but for now, they're happy calling 50 cold.

Katie said...

Thanks to your recommendations here, I got my dog a Ruffwear K9 Overcoat and it works so well for him. Musher's Secret for his paws has been the other trick to our winter walking.

This relates to walking in all weather, but I find it hard to know what to do with a full poop bag until I can find a garbage can to throw it into...

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