Essential Dog Winter Gear to Keep Your Pup Comfortable
Whether your pets love cold weather or hate it, they can all benefit from the right winter gear. Our pet editor rounds up her favorites.
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I’ve been a dog lover all my life and written about them in my 35+ pet care and behavior books. I’ve learned that no two dogs look or act the same, even if they’re the same breed. But when old man winter shows up, all shivery pups benefit from dog winter gear. What each dog needs varies depending on their time in the elements: Does your dog spend only a short time in outdoor playtime or go hiking with you and enjoys sleep-overs in the snow? Your dog’s coat thickness plays a role, too.
Even indoor-only pets appreciate some warm and snuggly options. With the holidays around the corner, now’s the time to shop for that special canine companion you love to get their tail wagging with holiday cheer. Here are some of my favorite dog winter gear options.
Kurgo Reversible Dog Winter Coat
I love this versatile coat. It comes in five sizes to fit any pup, with a choice of 14 colors and patterns. You get twice the style thanks to its reversible design. This dog winter gear comes with a zipper opening that allows access to a leash clip, so it’s easy to layer a harness beneath the coat. You’ll find many dog coat options for winter, though, so choose one that fits your dog’s style and your convenience.
Chilly Dog Boyfriend Dog Sweater
You can’t go wrong with this Chilly Dog sweater that comes in eight sizes for a perfect fit. Hand-knit from organic wool, the sweater keeps pets warm and snuggly while offering a comfy, stretchable fit. Your smallest dog friends will especially relish looking and feeling stylish and warm during a walk around the block or lounging on Grandma’s lap.
Qumy Dog Boots
When shopping for dog winter gear, don’t forget to look for items that keep your pet’s paws warm and protected. These non-skid boots work great in rain, snow, ice, and also protect against hot pavement when summer returns. Indoor dogs benefit from the gripping ability that helps arthritic dogs get up on slippery floors, too.
I love these dog boots because they come in six stylish colors and nine sizes, with an easy on-off Velcro secure design. That means your pup can play in the slushy mud, then shed his shoes so he won’t track in a pet mess that you need to clean up. You will need to train your dog to accept the booties, though, so be patient.
Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack
Dog winter gear for your hiking buddy—especially big dogs—can include a dog pack for him to carry. This brightly colored Approach Dog Pack comes in orange or green, and offers several sizes to best fit your canine explorer. The roomy pockets can store bowls, food, extra leashes, booties, toys, or whatever you need for camping with your canine friend. It has a handle on the back, two attachment points for your perfect dog leash, and five places to adjust for a great fit.
K&H Pet Products Heated Water Bowl
During cold weather, dogs need water just as much as in warmer weather, but icy temperatures mean water bowls can freeze. If your dog spends any amount of time outdoors, invest in a heated water bowl so that water is always available. I like the K&H Pet Products Heated Water Bowl because it keeps water liquid and drinkable even at -20° F.
The energy-efficient bowl includes a steel wrapped chew-resistant cord, so the electronics stay sealed away from your dog’s teeth. Place in an area sheltered from the wind, and your cold-loving pooch can sip whenever needed. Choose from plastic or stainless steel, and four sizes, from 32 oz to 230 oz. Be sure to clean your pet’s bowls regularly to avoid making him (or you) sick.
Frisco Fleece Dog Snood
You’d think that dog winter gear should include a warm, snuggly hat. Most dogs, though, aren’t fans of headgear because it puts a damper on all those glorious sounds that we humans can’t detect. Some pups love stylish dog hats for fun—my Shadow-Pup, though, turns such things into chew toys.
But if your canine friend needs extra cold protection for his head, ears, and neck—especially after being groomed for the holidays—this Frisco Fleece Dog Snood works great. Dogs don’t object to this design nearly as much as something that straps under the chin. You simply snug the snood over top of your pet’s head and around his neck and the snood keeps him warm. Use it as a neck warmer or a hoodie for more coverage.
Petsfit Wooden Dog House
A dog winter gear essential for outdoor pets is a place to get out of the elements. Fur insulates by holding warm air next to the skin, but wind and rain strip away this protection. A dog house, just big enough for pets to curl up in, heats naturally with your dog’s body warmth so it stays the perfect temperature.
I like this stylish Petsfit Wooden Dog House not only for its looks, but because it comes in three sizes to fit your dog. The offset entry means wind won’t directly blow inside, raised flooring keeps the dog dry, and the roof lid tips open for easy cleaning. Fill the house with loose straw or synthetic fleece material—because blankets and towels get wet and hold the cold—and your cold-loving outdoor dog can burrow inside and stay toasty.
PetSafe Chilly Penguin Freezable Treat Holding Dog Toy
Dog winter gear wouldn’t be complete without dog toys. (My dog made me say that.) Most any toy pleases dogs, but for outside play in snow or slush, you’ll want something that won’t get soggy. This Chilly Penguin from PetSafe makes a fun toy for you to share. It comes in two sizes, and you can stuff it with your dog’s favorite treats, and even freeze the penguin into a pup-sicle for outdoor enjoyment.
Toozey Pet Heating Pad
Very young dogs and golden oldie pets have trouble regulating their body temperature. These pets especially benefit from dog winter gear that includes a heating pad. I like the Toozey Pet Heating Pad for its attention to safety, with cord protection that prevents chewing or burn accidents. It comes in four sizes, and three colors your dog may enjoy. All offer an LED controller with six temperature settings, four timer settings, and an auto shut-off feature.
The machine-washable cover provides both comfort and convenience for easy cleaning. You can also slip a heating pad under your pet’s bed, or inside a dog house for added comfort. The warmth especially helps arthritic pets by soothing painful joints.
Puppia Mountaineer II Coat Dog Harness
With 9 fashionable colors and five sizes, your pup will be stylish in this combination coat-harness from Puppia. The harness doubles as a waterproof fleece vest. It’s the perfect addition to your dog winter gear, whether your furry friend is playing catch-the-snowball when it’s not too cold to play outside, or visiting family in festive holiday attire. The backside zipper makes dressing and undressing your dog a breeze. Be sure to measure carefully for the right fit.