Tips to Keep Your Pup Warm and Happy This Winter

All of us in the Los Angeles area are pretty lucky when it comes to winter weather. Compared to some other places in the US, winter in LA is a breeze. That said, people don’t believe us when we tell them it gets chilly here at night! The 20 degree temperature drop feels like more. Plus, for those times when the rain actually hits...it hits hard and sometimes lasts for days.

Even though the SoCal weather is nothing to complain about, some of us still find ourselves bundled up in our apartments at night. While people can easily grab a sweater and throw on some slippers, we at Wags and Walks want to make sure your pup is as prepared for the winter weather as you are!

  Raina , all snuggled up this winter

Raina, all snuggled up this winter

Most long-haired dogs are perfectly fine in Los Angeles winter temperatures, but many small dogs and short-haired dogs will get cold even in the mild LA winter months. Once the temperature starts dipping below 50, those night time walks can be a little chilly for your 10 pound chug!

On top of that, it may be warm in LA, but if you plan to take a winter wonderland vacation up north or into the mountains this year, you’ll be entering the uncharted territory of snow-lined streets and 20 degrees or below temps. To prepare you for whatever adventure this winter may bring, we have a few tips for keeping your pup happy and healthy regardless of the weather outside!

Find Some Warm Gear Your Pup Won’t Mind Wearing

Clothing for dogs is very much like clothing for people - hit or miss. How many sweaters have you tried on that you just absolutely hate? Your dog feels the same way. Regardless, a sweater or jacket is one of the best ways to keep your dog warm when you take him/her outside in chilly weather.

This is one of those occasions where you may want to take a trip to the local pet store with your dog to shop around and see what fits best. From cute and cozy to industrial and equipped to handle arctic temps, there are so many options out there for dogs of all sizes. Plus, for those of us convinced that the next El Nino is right around the corner, you can always opt for a fleece lined raincoat to make sure that not even the rain can stop you from taking that afternoon walk.

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Take Care of Those Paws

People wear shoes outside (for the most part) so we often forget how cold and gross the city pavement can get. The same goes for hot pavement in the summer - something we are more familiar with here in LA! Dog paw protection becomes especially important to consider in the winter if you plan to take your dog on a trip anywhere there may be snow.

When it snows, most cities and towns will put down salt to help the ice melt. This salt, and the toxic chemicals added to it, is very harmful to your dog’s paws. Prolonged exposure without proper care leads to cracks and sores on the soft pads of the paws, which is very painful. The simplest way to protect against these cracks is by making sure to wipe your dog’s paws clean after you come inside from a walk. There are also many great protective balms that act as an extra protective barrier for your dog’s paws when applied prior to going outside.

For those dogs who really enjoy romping around in the snow, we also recommend you trim the hair between their toes and/or buying some dog booties to protect against the ice balls that may form on his/her feet!

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Create a Nest for Your Dog or Invest in a Dog Bed

Some dogs are allowed on the couch, you may even let your dog sleep with you in the bed, but other dogs prefer the comfort of the floor. In the heat of the summer that is normally their favorite spot because it remains cool the longest. That means, in the dead of winter, the floor is one of the coldest parts of your home.

To make sure your dog is as warm as you are at all times of day, we recommend investing in a dog bed if you don’t already have one. Something as simple as creating a nest on the floor out of pillows and blankets may make your dog happy, but there is also an array of dog beds out there. Even high-end mattress companies like Casper are making beds for dogs now! For those dogs who sleep in crates, putting down an extra blanket or partially covering the crate with a blanket at night will help keep him/her warm and add an extra layer of comfort.

If you find yourself on Amazon searching for the highest rated dog bed, consider switching over to Amazon Smile. Not sure what that is? It’s the same Amazon you are familiar with, the only difference is every purchase you make through the site donates a small amount to an organization of your choice, like Wags and Walks!

 @pippen.the.pup enjoying her new Casper dog bed

@pippen.the.pup enjoying her new Casper dog bed

When the temperature starts to drop across the country, rescue organizations, like us, are working around the clock to make sure dogs aren’t stranded outside in the cold. If you want to find out how you can become more involved in our mission, check out our volunteer page!

We hope your winter is filled with plenty of adventures! To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?

XO,

Team Wags