Best Winter Dog Gear
There is something so magical about being out in nature during the winter time, especially with your pups! Try not to let the cold stop the enjoyment of the season.
If the cold, snowy winters has your pup hopping on 3 legs then you just need to dress them accordingly. While dogs are naturally covered in much more hair than us humans, they still need some help when the weather is really harsh (some dogs are bred for really, really insane conditions so if you have one of those dogs, then yay!).
Let’s discuss the options, and my favorites! (I will link my favorites, and then provide a few awesome alternatives)
Keeping your dog dry in the winter time will be key– so ideally you will want a waterproof (or at least water resistant) jacket.
My Favorite Jacket: Powder Hound Insulated Jacket
This jacket is ideal for many pups. It has a snug fit so no wind is going to creep in, and no heat will escape. Although it says water resistant, we have been in drizzling conditions and my boys’ hair is always dry! Also, because the fit is snug, you can easily put a harness over the top or even another actual waterproof jacket if necessary!
Runner Up: Hurrta Extreme Warmer
This jacket is awesome for keeping your pup warm–they’ll look pretty dang stylish too. If your dog doesn’t mind anything around its head then you can even bring it up and around their head to protect their ears from the wind. I know of many people who rave about this jacket. My boys would not enjoy being that constricted or bulky so we opt for the lighter jacket.
Honorable Mention: Kurgo North Country Coat
This jacket offers the waterproof shell, with a fleece lined inside–surely keeping your pup warm. It is very affordable too!
This is always a tricky topic, as many boots are made for leisure walks and not all out runs like some of our pups like to do. I have had really good luck with the first pair of boots I have tried, but am always looking and reviewing other products too. Here is what I have gathered.
My Favorite: Bark Brite All Weather Neoprene Dog Boots
My boys run hard, and I hate to worry about them losing a boot so these are perfect! They have two velcro straps (size medium and higher) and are tall enough so they do not slip down at all. They have 5 sizes, so surely something to fit your pup.
The only thing that could make these boots better is if the bottom grip was a bit more tailored to winter conditions. They work great in the snow, but my boys will slip on the ice if we are on a mountain side.
Runner Up: Ruffwear Polar Trex Boots
The grip on these boots is excellent, but I found that they required a lot of readjustment throughout the hike and would slip off easier than I felt comfortable! Overall a great boot, but for the price they would be better if your dog was under your complete control (not running in them).
Honorable Mention: Pawz Waterproof Dog Boot
These extremely inexpensive boots are a great addition to your dog gear– keeping your dog’s feet away from the harsh weather (salt, ice, snow). While they do not offer the greatest traction or much additional warmth, they offer protection for your dog and may be the easiest for your dogs to transition to since they are so thin.
Necessary Extras (musher’s secret, etc)
Protection: One thing that I (try to) never leave home with is Musher’s Secret. This non-toxic wax based protector does wonders for your pup’s feet–protecting them against the balls of snow that are so frustrating to your pup (especially if they have long hair). If your pup is prone to snowball build-up, feel free to apply this lightly to those areas too. **Disclaimer: dogs will lick this, so try to apply right before going out to adventure!
Water: Even though you are surrounded by snow, it is very important that you carry water with you. I usually carry 1-2L of extra water for my dogs when we are hiking (adjust according to mileage, etc). I use this Kurgo collapsible bowl. It is easy to carry, use and store. Also, if your dogs are like mine, meaning they don’t like to drink on the trail– entice them with a bouillon cube– just pop it in the water!
Food: I carry loads of snacks while we are out adventuring–partially for praise when we are passing other dogs and partially because I know I get hungry, so they must too! I try to carry a full Kurgo pouch of their favorite goodies. If it is going to be a hike longer than 12 miles or so, I will also carry their Stella & Chewy’s dog food and ration some out for them– they told me they like this.
Explore the Winter, Enjoy.
There you have it folks, that is my list of winter dog essentials.
Tailor this list to your dogs’ needs, and get to exploring– you will be so thrilled to experience the winter wonderland.
Happy Trails & Happy Tails,
Ciara, Boone & Crockett