Fun finds to keep your pooch safe, warm and active in the cold and darkness of winter.
Winter weather has gone to the dogs, and there are plenty of cold, wet days still to come.
The rain, wind and eternal darkness don’t just affect you — they challenge your pet, as well. But don’t get too depressed. We’ve rounded up some fun finds to keep your pooch safe, warm and entertained.
On the coldest days, all sizes of dogs can use a little added protection from the elements. The Canada Pooch Alaskan Army Parka ($42–$53 at All the Best Pet Care) has a water-resistant cotton canvas exterior, Sherpa lining and down-like insulation for dogs up to 33 pounds. The faux-fur-trimmed hood and tiny sleeves make a canine fashion statement, and functional cargo pockets hold treats for the walk.
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RC Pets’ Venture Outerwear Waterproof Shell ($37–$60 at Mud Bay and All the Best Pet Care) sheds rain and snow, and has a reflective honeycomb design for visibility. Designed in Vancouver, the lightweight, fleece-lined jacket comes in an array of colors and sizes.
Need indoor clothing? The rib-knit Fab Dog Owl Sweater ($34–$45 at All the Best Pet Care and fabdog.com) and organic-wool Chilly Dog Peppermint Hoodie ($38 at All the Best Pet Care and chillydogsweaters.com) are adorable and functional choices.
Stay visible on dark walks with reflective gear for you and your pet. The Spot ’N Trot Hi-Viz Safety Gear Crossing Guard Vests ($15–$35 at All the Best Pet Care) are water-repellant with reflective strips, and fit dogs 13–150 pounds, as well as their human companions.
Make sure they’re seen down low with the OmniPet Sunglo Reflective Collar ($10–$13 at Mud Bay and amazon.com), which adds visibility and repels water. Or attach the flexible Nite Ize Nite Dawg LED Collar Cover ($12–$14 at Mud Bay and niteize.com) to any collar for a red glow visible up to 1,000 feet in the dark.
Attach the Nite Ize Spotlit LED Carabiner Light ($6–$8 at All the Best Pet Care and niteize.com) to a leash or your clothes for a versatile light option. The powerful little beacon glows or flashes for 20 hours (its batteries can be replaced) and is water resistant.
As you snuggle up under a cozy blanket, don’t forget your dog. The Tall Tales Fluffy Fleece Throw ($28 at Mud Bay) offers 40-by-60 inches of soft fleece comfort for home, crate or car that is machine washable and dryable.
Small dogs will love to curl up in Bowsers Pet Products’ Buttercup Bed ($55–$90 at Mud Bay and bowsers.com), a draw-string nest that opens flat into a mat. The bean-bag-based Shags Wags Dog Bed ($60–$130 at Mud Bay and shags.com) is another cozy option, made of chenille microfiber that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Petmate’s Aspen Pet Self-Warming Lounger ($20–$40 at Mud Bay and petmate.com) uses the same technology as Mylar space blankets to keep pets warm by reflecting their own body heat — no electricity needed. A plush faux-shearling cover makes it an extra cozy place to relax.
If you’re out regularly in harsh conditions, protect their precious paws with Musher’s Secret ($15–$24 at Mud Bay), a 100 percent natural, food-grade barrier wax developed in Canada for sled dogs. It protects paws from salt, rough concrete, cold temperatures and more.
Or cover their paws with Ruffwear Summit Trex Dog Boots ($60 for a set of four at REI), from Bend, Ore. The boots resemble human water shoes with weather-resistant uppers to block moisture, and rubber soles for traction and protection on all-weather hikes.
For indoor lap dogs, Pawks’ Anti-Slip Socks ($6 at Mud Bay) are a soft cotton/spandex blend that have traction grippers on the soles and come in adorable patterns.
Relentless rain and short days can mean less time outside to run and play. When it’s too wet and muddy for the park, play fetch inside with the Chuckit! Indoor Ball and Launcher ($7–$20 at Petco and petmate.com), a soft chenille ball and corresponding no-touch ball thrower.
Brain teasers can help alleviate boredom and stress when stuck inside. The Jolly Pet Teaser Ball Dog Toy ($15–$22 at Petco) is a durable ball-within-a-ball that will entertain him for hours as he tries to release the inside ball.
The Smarter Toys Buster Food Cube Dog Toy ($11 at chewy.com) exercises your dog’s brain and natural instincts. In the wild, dogs forage for food. In your living room, they will bat and chase this cube until the treats fall out.