Dogs: Do They Need a Coat and Boots?

Chicago winters can be brutal. Now that snow has finally hit the ground, I get to watch humans bundle up and walk as fast as possible to their next destination. Boots, hats, scarves, fluffy jackets, humans don them all to avoid the cold. Your bodies are not equipped to handle drastic weather changes, and neither are dogs.

A common misconception among many dog parents is that dogs, by nature, are able to withstand certain temperatures because of their fur. This is true for breeds that belong to the sled dog family, but this is not so much the case for many city dogs with short fur.

Does My Dog Need a Sweater or a Coat?

A trip outside to go potty doesn't always require a sweater or coat, but a trip around the block or longer may warrant an extra layer of protection! Especially where puddles and bounding through snow are involved!

Dogs who spend a consistent amount of time outdoors in brutal Chicago winters will benefit from our selection of sweaters, fleece jackets and weather resistant coats!

The Apache River Clothing Company offers fleece dog coats in sizes from tiny to giant to accommodate all dogs. These coats feature Polartec Blanket Stretch fabric that hugs the body, are lightweight and water resistant, and are breathable to prevent overheating. Bound with black Lyrca Spandex, they slip easily over your pup's head and fasten on the sides with velcro. Check out how cozy this pup looks in his fleece:

Pups such as Dachshunds, Bassets, Corgis, Chihuahuas, and other small breeds lose body heat quicker due to their small size and proximity to the ground. It is also wise to consider a sweater or coat for dogs with health conditions that make it difficult to regulate body temperature.

What About Boots?

Does your dog need boots? That's up to you. Boots are highly recommended for dogs that are running companions, dogs that walk on salt or ice melter (both are highly toxic, does your dog lick it's paws?) Make sure you try numerous sizes to see what fits well, and if you find your just can't decided what fit to go with, any one of us here at Ruff Haus will be glad to help!

What Options Does Ruff Haus Have for Me?

For those pet owners who prefer a natural approach and less anxiety about losing an expensive boot, we carry Pawz Natural Rubber Dog Boots:

Pawz is the world's only disposable and reusable, waterproof dog boot. Made of natural rubber, Pawz are 100% biodegradable and are designed to go on easily and fit securely without zippers or straps. Like a sock, Pawz moves with your dog, allowing full paw motion and maximum comfort. Pawz come 12 in a package and each boot may be worn many times.

For those pet owners looking for a long term investment, we offer Saltsox, the urban boot for dogs:

Locally sourced and handmade in Chicago, Saltsox were invented to help dogs and their owners battle the long winter months in an urban city. De-icing salt can make dogs very ill, Saltbox's exclusive design uses the same high-tech fabrics and weather-resistant materials as the leaders in the industry. Saltsox have been tested dow to -15°F.

How Do I Know What's Best for My Dog?

Feeling overwhelmed by your options? Stop in with your pooch and we'd be more than happy to help you find the best fitting jacket and boots for your furry friend. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

From the top of my very warm shelf,


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