[Updated November 7, 2018]
ATTENTION: We HAVE recently reviewed not only the best dog boots for winter, but also the best dog winter coats for cold weather.
It’s one of those jobs you just don’t ask a native (and lifelong) Californian to do: review dog coats. The only time I tried it, I failed; I separated the products under consideration into two categories – rain coats and warm coats – and was taken to task, rightly, for not providing a choice for dogs who have to go out in freezing rains. Because… a freezing rain? I have never experienced such a thing, much less had to walk my dog in one.
I was reminded of this recently, when I flew into Edmonton, Alberta, in order to tour the Champion Pet Food manufacturing facility north of there. I have never, ever, been somewhere so cold before – and they were having a relatively warm week for that time of year. The whole time I was there, I kept thinking, how on earth can you walk your dog in this cold? How do their paws not freeze?
Well, I guess they do; at least, the only dog I saw being walked the whole time I was there (about 36 hours) was wearing boots. I’m sure that while coyotes and wolves and even feral dogs either adapt or die in such cold, dogs who live indoors most of the time do need boots to protect their feet when being walked. The ground was just solid ice, whether frozen snow, dirt, or concrete.
On WDJ’s Facebook page a month or so ago, I linked a humorous (at least to me) YouTube video of dogs who had just been fitted with boots and were walking in them for (apparently) the first time. SO MANY people commented how cruel it is to outfit the dogs so and them laugh at them, as if boots on dogs is some great cruelty. I’m telling you, cruelty would be walking an indoor dog without boots in an Edmonton winter. Or even in Boston, say, where dogs are commonly treated to frozen sidewalks and salty slush, the better to burn any cracked paw pads that inevitably develop in cold winters.
Hey! You readers who live in incredibly cold places! How do you help your dogs cope with the cold? We’d love for you to share your favorite tips and tools.