By MARY ANN REUTER
Your dog may love to play in the snow, but cold weather can still affect your pet’s health. Small, old, or thin-coated dogs are especially susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. They can benefit from a winter wardrobe that includes boots, coats, and sweaters.
Dogs with furry feet that tend to collect ice and snow between the toes will especially benefit from booties, since even walks on cleared sidewalks can pose a health risk.
Many salts and ice melts are toxic to canines, so, if your dog does not wear boots, be sure to rinse his feet. Get in between his toes with warm water when he comes inside, so he doesn’t ingest the chemicals if he licks his paws. Ice melting salts in particular can also burn your pet’s paws.
Dogs have a special circulatory system in their paws to keep them from losing heat as quickly as human feet do, but they still need protection — even if just to keep those four feet from getting cut by ice and jagged snow. Here is a cool site where you can order winter dog booties: alldogboots.com.
Another favorite site of mine is iHeartDogs.com, where dog owners can get items to keep their pets safe and warm. The pet-wear collection includes vests and sweaters, calming aromatherapy bandannas, and even dog carrier slings, so little paws never touch the ground to get frosty.
In addition to toys, supplies, treats and supplements, the site has plenty of winter wear for people, too — including fuzzy dog socks and fuzzy-paw fingerless gloves. Best of all, every order triggers a donation to help less fortunate pups waiting for forever homes.
While especially warming during the winter months, the iHeartDogs mission is timely all year round: healthier pups, happier homes and empty shelters. ISI