As I write this, we're on our second blizzard of the winter here in New York, and the Polar Vortex is raging across much of the country yet again. It's bad enough when we have to go outside in this weather, but how do we make sure our furry friends are safe when they have to be outside? Their bodies can't withstand extreme temperatures for very long, so bundling them up properly and following some common-sense safety tips recommended by the experts is a good plan. The American Veterinary Medical Association has given some great tips on properly caring for your dog in very cold weather. Here are few:
* Make sure your pet is up to date on his exams. Some conditions can be worsened in the cold.
* Know your pet's tolerance to the cold. Older or arthritic dogs, short-haired or hairless dogs, and puppies have a lower threshold.
* Keep dogs inside as much as possible. Walks in harsh winter weather should be limited to relieving themselves. The rule of thumb seems to be, if you're cold, chances are your dog is, too. And with temps in some states descending well below zero, hypothermia and frostbite are real dangers to both you and your dog.
* Offer them a variety of safe, warm sleeping locations, as pets may change places to rest depending on their need for more or less warmth. I love this very cozy Invisible Bubble Bed, made from a frosted clear acrylic body with a warm, furry black shag pillow. How 70's! If you want more adventurous, this bed also comes with a red shag pillow and white body, as well as other color combinations. It's perfect for this kind of weather, where your dog can just curl up and be toasty.
* Keep your dog warm outside. To some (not Bitch New York or Bark and Swagger readers, of course!) :-), putting clothes on a dog may seem frivolous, but it can and will keep your dog warm in harsh weather. So, unless you have a big, hearty and furry dog, the experts recommend putting on a dog coat or warm layers. Keep their core (chest, back) and their feet warm and dry. I am such a fan of Orostani Couture and this black shearling. These studded dog coats is just to die for! Olga Yuditsky, the designer, tells me people are always saying "I want that dpg coat for me!" And, who can blame them? Plush, very warm, very chic. Available in sizes XXS - XL. Even in our house, it gets chilly on really cold days. So I like to keep a warm fleece for Sophie to wear.
This is a beautiful Navajo-inspired pullover fleece, with an eye-catching combination of blue, grey, black and a pop of red. It's machine washable and comes in sizes XXS - L. If you've got a very feminine baby, check out this Raspberry Cream Hoodie in a girlie pink variegated stripe and chocolate velour, with a crystal-embellished butterfly on the hood.
* Protect your dog's paws from the salt spread on the street that will burn their pads and from anti-freeze they may step on that is toxic if licked. Extreme cold can also give dogs frostbite. I've vowed to get Sophie used to booties this winter. Until now, I've carried her when I see salt and I wipe her paws down well after walks. I think booties offer far better protection, even for big dogs. I like these soft paw booties, made from Hydroflex-coated fabric which is all waterproof. They have a fleece lining for warmth, I think they are more comfortable and practical than the hard dog boots. And, they have a non-skid surface. Available in sizes that will fit a teacup, up to a 100+ lb dog. It also comes in blue.
* Make sure after walks, you wipe your dog's legs, belly, and paws down completely. Anti-freeze, which is poisonous to dogs and cats, can get on their paws during a walk, as can bacteria and snow-melting salt. All are dangerous for your dog to lick when grooming themselves.
* Have a blizzard or severe storm evacuation plan that includes your pets. In the case of a power outage, your dog or cat will not be able to survive the cold in the house by themselves. If you're going to a hotel or motel, they need to come with you.
* Never leave your dog in the car alone, in cold or heat. They can't tolerate it and it can kill them.
* Most of all, in harsh winter weather, keep your dog with you. If you have her with you, you're there to protect her. You can find additional tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association here. Let's keep our pups safe during this crazy cold winter. Stay inside and cuddle up!
Until next time...
Guest Blog: Jody Miller-Young Dog Fashion Expert and Blogger Bark and Swagger
Every product has a unique size chart which can be found in the description of each product. Make sure to measure your pet based on the size chart available for each product. By referring to the size chart shown, it will help ensure the perfect fit.
Below is a guide to help you measure your dog. If you require assistance, please CONTACT US. We are happy to help!
To determine the proper size for your dog, measure your dog's neck, chest, and back with a soft tape measure following the instructions below.
If you don't have a soft tape measure handy, but you do have a printer, CLICK HERE!When all else fails, use a string or ribbon to wrap around the dog and then lay flat next to a rigid tape measure or ruler.
When measuring your dog, the pet must be standing in a normal position. Laying down or sitting will result in inaccurate measurements.
1. Neck circumference is measured at the base of the neck where the collar sits. Pull the tape snug but not tight.
2. Back length is measured from the base of your pet's neck where the collar sits to the base of the tail.
3. Chest girth is measured at the widest part of the pet's chest just behind the front legs. Measure around the entire chest.
*For clothing, accurate chest measurements are critical, especially in breeds who have a much deeper chest. Please go one size larger for dogs with very thick fur or if the chest measurements fall between sizes.
4. Paws are measured by standing your pet on a sheet of paper and tracing all four paws including fur and nails. Measure the width and length of the largest paw print to determine your dog's shoe size. Alternatively, some shoes will have a printable size chart.
Drop Us A Line
We’re happy to answer any questions you have or provide you with an estimate. Just send us a message in the form below with any questions you may have.
Thanks for contacting us. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.