Winter is a fun time for both dogs and humans! The air is cool and crisp, plenty of snow to play with, and holiday festivities are coming up. With so much going on, it’s important to keep your dog’s needs in mind as winter approaches. While we love the holiday season, there’s no reason why your dog can’t enjoy it as well! We scoured the internet for the best products to help your pooch enjoy the season; from treats, to apparel, and even toys, we’re here to make this winter one to remember.
table of contents
- Get Ready For The Season
- Winter Activities For Your Dog
- Winter Safety Tips
- Keep Your Dog Visible
- Holiday Stress
- Holiday Foods To Avoid
- Winter Apparel Guide
get ready for the season
Of course, while winter is a fun time for many dogs, it’s also necessary to prepare your dog for the cold weather and holiday stress. The ground is much colder in the winter and can not only hurt their paws but dry them out as well. Smaller dogs may not be able to handle the colder weather and may need additional apparel such as winter jackets or sweaters. No matter what your pup is up against this winter season, we’re here to help you find all of the products they need to have a fun season! We’re also here to give you the information you need to keep your dog warm, happy and safe during the winter months.
winter activities for your dog
Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside with your dog all day. There are plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy with your dog that will keep them busy and give you plenty of fun and safe things to do during those winter snowstorms!
1. First of all, you can always find a great outdoor state park or dog park to go to. Dogs love the snow, and this will give them a fun way to play outside and explore new areas with you.
2. When the holidays roll around there are fun decorations to look at all December long; take your pooch for a walk around the neighborhood, or even to a downtown area. You can enjoy the holiday decorations, and your dog will enjoy getting out of the house with you.
3. Is it snowing outside, and you’re unable to drive? Instead of using tennis balls (which will get lost in the snow), you can play fetch with snowballs and introduce your pup to other fun snowy activities! Let them chase you on a sled, or simply let them run around in the yard.
4. Sometimes its just not possible to romp around outside. Brisk blizzards and high piles of snow are not the ideal environment for you or your furbaby. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the inside warmth and breaking out a few good toys.
Ultimately, keeping your dog cooped up all day just because it’s chilly outside can lead to weight gain, boredom, and depression in dogs. It’s important that you keep up your usually walk routine (if possible) during the winter months to help your dog de-stress and stay healthy throughout winter. Check out some of our favorite indoor and outdoor products to help get your pup off of the couch during the winter season.
The iFetch Launcher is one of the most popular automatic launchers for dogs. The balls are small and soft, making them great for both indoor and outdoor use. The iFetch launcher comes with 3 small balls, each 1.6″ in diameter. They’re great for dogs of all sizes, and you won’t have to worry about broken lamps!
Your pup can play with it all day; without you having to wear out your arm trying to keep them entertained all day. This launcher can throw the balls 10, 20, or even 30 feet, depending on your needs. Simply help your dog learn to drop the ball into the opening, and the machine will do the rest!
Indoor ball launcher
The ChuckIt Indoor Launcher is the perfect addition to the ChuckIt Indoor toy line. Like the Classic Launcher, this toy allows for hands-free fetching, which can sometimes be messy. Instead of picking up a slobbery toy every time your pup brings it back to you, the Indoor Launcher allows for mess-free play. The indoor roller that comes with this toy is made with a nice soft material that won’t damage your furniture or walls. Your dog can easily pick it up to play fetch, and nothing will get broken in the process.
The Indoor Launcher is also much shorter than the Classic Launcher, which doesn’t allow for long throws. It is only 4.8 ounces and 3 inches x 4 inches x 18 inches. This isn’t much of a problem for indoor play unless you have a large space to play in. Indoor play will be much less messy if you pair the Indoor Launcher with the Indoor Ball.
This toy is perfect for rainy days, or dogs and owners who prefer to play inside without scuffing up walls and furniture. It is great for shoulder pain issues and makes repeated throwing much easier.
Check out more toys that’ll keep your pup occupied indoors here.
winter safety tips
While winter may be a fun time for you and your dogs, it’s important to keep in mind all of the potential hazards that come with the colder temperatures and holiday festivities. With the right preparation, and the right supplies on hand – you can make this winter the best one yet! We’re here to help you identify all of the potential hazards of winter, and how to avoid them; from cold weather, to holiday foods, and even winter toxins.
Sometimes we forget that dogs struggle to stay warm in extreme temperatures too! Just because they have fur, doesn’t mean they’re immune to the cold; short-haired dogs especially need extra clothing in the winter. If you live in an area where temperatures are going to reach below freezing, be extra cautious about the time your dog spends outside. Dogs (and humans) can get hypothermia in no time at all when temperatures go that low.
Fortunately, there are some great products out there designed to keep every inch of your pup warm when the temperature drops. From booties, to scarves, to jackets, and even vests, we’ll help you find the perfect winter apparel to keep your dog warm when they need it the most.
Short haired dogs tend to get chilly even indoors during the winter. They’re low to the ground, putting them right where drafts tend to come in from your floor. It’s best to give your small pup access to plenty of blankets, or even a heated blanket in order to keep them comfortable in warm, even indoors. The last thing you want your pup to catch, is a cold.
Frost bite is a serious condition that affects both dogs and people when temperatures drop below 34 degrees F. It’s much easier for dogs to get frostbite because they don’t wear protection on their paws when they’re running around in the snow. Most dogs get frostbite on their paws and tail first, so you should keep an eye on those areas particularly.
Signs of frostbite include:
- paw discoloration
- visual symptoms of pain as dog moves
If you think your pup may have been exposed to the cold weather too long there are some important first steps to take. First of all, get them into a warm space as quickly as possible. Don’t rub the affected areas, but make sure they have access to warm blankets and heat to slowly heal the area. You can also use warm (not hot) water to help bring their temperature up. If you think the condition has gotten serious, contact your vet immediately to seek professional help.
To minimize the potential hazards of frost bite, we suggest making your pup use heavy-duty dog shoes while they’re outside. They’ll protect those little feet from the stinging caused by snow, and will keep their paws dry and clean while they’re running around. You can check out our winter shoe pick here.
Many dogs suffer from dry skin during the winter season. Just like humans get chapped lips and dry skin, dogs can get dry, itchy skin. Warren London Hydrating Butter is a great conditioner that works to condition both their skin and coat; healing damaged skin, coats, and even paws. Just like lotion works to moisturize you, the hydrating butter will get rid of dry skin and prevent itching. We definitely recommend this hydrating butter for those of you that have dogs with excessive itching due to dry skin. It will not only make them feel more comfortable, but their coats will look great too!
The Warren London Hydrating Butter is a great leave-in conditioner for your pooch that won’t leave them with oily skin or fur. This great hydrating butter is a natural humectant that will lock in moisture and give your dog the vital nutrients they need to keep their fur healthy. Unlike traditional conditioners, it will release moisturizing emollients every 2 hours for a 24 hour period. You can trust that with every use, your dog is getting a great deep moisturizer that will leave them itch-free. You can also use it to keep their fur conditioned and to heal dry paws.
The Hydrating Butter is available through Amazon in an 8 ounce bottle. It has a great aromatherapy scent that will sooth your dog in addition to helping to manage their dry skin. We highly recommend this to any dog struggling with dry skin, paws, and fur.
Everything you need to know about dog colds
While dogs can’t get the human colds that go around so quickly when the weather changes, they can get their very own strain of “cold”. Because dogs aren’t typically out in public places with a bunch of other dogs, dogs don’t get sick nearly as often as humans. If your pup spends time outdoors, their body will inevitably use up more energy to stay warm. This takes energy away from their immune system and can make it hard for them to fight off bacteria and viruses.
Fortunately, much like the human cold, dog colds are usually gone within a week or two and don’t come with very severe side affects. The typical dog cold can cause lethargy, runny nose, excessive sneezing, and loss of appetite. If your dog’s symptoms last longer than a week, or if they start experiencing different/worsening symptoms, it’s time to see a vet.
Fortunately that are some easy ways to help your dog develop a strong immune system to help prevent sickness when the temperatures drop. The healthier your dog is, the better their system will work to fight off viruses. Keeping your dog active during the winter is crucial. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to take your dog for walks and keep up with their activity because it can be too chilly. Anything you can do to help your dog get off the couch and get some exercise will greatly benefit them. It’s also important not to load them up on holiday table scraps. This will make them feel sluggish, and make them more prone to diseases.
how to combat symptoms
When your pup starts feeling under the weather, the most important thing to remember is that human cough and cold medicine can be toxic to dogs. Don’t ever feed them any medicine that’s designed for human consumption only. Your vet can provide special medication if you think your dog needs something strong to help them get back to their active self.
If you’d like to help them out safely, you can try adding more Vitamin C into their diet (if your vet thinks this is a good idea). Vitamin C can be found in some dog treats, or you can purchase additional supplements designed specifically for dogs. You can also purchase humidifiers that will make the air quality easier on both you and your dog. It will allow everyone to breath easier.
ester-c Vitamin C
Ester-C is a holistic and organic way to give your dog the added benefits of Vitamin C in a healthy way. Vitamin-C is a great way to give your immune system an extra boost when it’s cold and flu season, and it’s also great for your pups. Ester-C is a body-ready form of Vitamin C designed specifically for dogs. It’s non-acidic which will make it easy on your dog’s stomach and easy to digest. You’ll also be happy to hear that it’s made in the USA, and is regulated by the National Animal Supplement Council. Of course, it contains natural, organic, whole food ingredients.
The vitamin C found in this powder will help to support healthy joints, and a healthy immune system. It can help your dog fight off infections, and viruses like the ones found in the dog colds that can spread around during the winter season. You can give dogs under 30 lbs. 1/4 teaspoon, dogs between 30 and 60 pounds 1/2 teaspoon, and dogs over 60 lbs 3/4 teaspoon.
The FLYMEI heated pet pad is a great way to keep your dog warm during the winter season. You can let your pup lay directly on the pad, or put it under their favorite bed or blanket. Most dogs have a temperate between 38 and 39 degrees; this pet pad can be set anywhere from 36 to 43 degrees to keep them extra warm. We suggest keeping the temperature around 40 degrees (102 degrees F). Your dog will be warm enough, but they won’t start feeling sluggish due to the high temperature. You’ll be happy to hear that this blanket has a low voltage making it safe for your pet to use all winter long.
This heating pad is made specifically for pet use, so you won’t have to worry about your pup destroying it the first time they use it. The pad is made with PVC fireproof material that’s long-lasting, comfortable, waterproof, and anti-electric shock. it’s also chew resistant, and the cover can easily be removed for cleaning. The pad also has overheat protection, so the pad will always be a safe temperature for your pets. We highly recommend this product for smaller dogs that are constantly cold or shivering during the winter season. This is a safe way to keep them warm indoors without the use of heaters of fires.
Heated Dog House
Heated Dog Houses are a great way to keep your dog warm if they’re going to be spending time outdoors, or even in colder areas of your house. They’ll always have a warm, comfortable place to snuggle up if they’re not indoors with you. Of course, even if you have a heated dog house, you shouldn’t leave your dog unsupervised for long periods of time if the temperatures are too low. The ASL Solutions Deluxe Dog Palace is one of our favorite heated dog houses. It has great insulation, and gives your dog a spacious and cozy place to go to in the winter.
This dog house has 2″-4″ foam insulation in each panel that will reduce drafts, and keep the cold weather out. The house also has an easy to use self-closing door! You can easily train your pup to walk through it, and it will shut closed (allowing for a warm, snug fit) when your pup enters the house.
This house is ideal for medium and large breeds, the dimensions of the house are 47.5 x 31.5 x 38.5 inches. The house stays warm through an 18″ x 18″ electrical floor heater that’s placed under a soft, fleece pet bed. This may just become your dog’s new favorite place to hang out during the winter. The house also has a window on the side that allows your dog to see outside even as the house is sealed up to prevent drafts.
The only downside to this house is that the electric heater isn’t built in to the house, it’s a heated pad placed under the bed. While this does keep the house warm, puppies and dogs that like to chew things up can tear up the pad and break it. We wouldn’t recommend this house to any dog that tends to tear up their dog beds.
Anti-Freeze is a popular product during the holidays; it’ll easily melt away the ice from your walkways to prevent slippery surfaces. Unfortunately, most anti-freeze products are extremely toxic to both dogs and humans. While many dogs may not intentionally lick the anti-freeze off of the ground, it can easily get stuck in their paws, and later licked off. Dogs may also get a mouthful of antifreeze when trying to lick at the ice or snow. When snow and ice start to form outside, be cautious of where your pup is stepping, and what they’re eating. It’s also important to wash your dog’s paws when they come inside to ensure they won’t be licking anything hazardous off of their paws.
Safe Paw Ice Melter is a non-toxic way to get rid of ice and snow from your walkways without the hazardous chemicals found in most anti-freeze formulas. This anti-freeze is safe for all of your pets, children, gardens, concrete, rugs, and bricks. This concentrated formula is non-corrosive and even environmentally safe. The Paw Safe brand covers twice the area of rock salt, and will prevent the formation of ice for up to 3 days. In our opinion this product is a no brainer; all of your vegetation, pets, and kids will be safe around this product, and you won’t have to worry about damaging your dog’s paws when they run outside.
In the winter, many surfaces get slippery, wet, and you may even run into black ice. That’s why it’s so important to purchase booties for your pup if they’re going to be on pavement. It will prevent not only slipping, but it will keep your dog’s paws from getting too wet and causing them to become too cold. Their paws will be protected from the freezing ground, and you’ll be able to avoid injury caused by slipping. The booties will also prevent them from stepping in salt or anti-freeze that can hurt their paws and become hazardous if they decide to lick it off of their paws.
My Busy Dog Non-Slip Shoes are a great option for dog owners in need of a non-slip shoe for their dog. They’re comfortable for your dog, and provide great protection from the elements. Their rugged sole protects paws from hot pavement, snow, rain, and sharp objects. Your dog’s paws will stay comfortable and warm no matter where they end up. Fortunately, these booties are also easy to take off and on. They have a wide opening and two adjustable reflective velcro straps to make sure your pup has a comfortable fit.
These Rugged Booties are available in 8 sizes to ensure your dog has a safe fit no matter what size they are.
# 1: 1.5 inch width
# 2: 1.8 inch width
# 3: 2 inch width
# 4: 2.25 inch width
# 5; : 2.4 inch width
# 6: 2.65 inch width
# 7: 3 inch width
# 8: 3.25 inch width
Many pup parents use heaters in the wintertime to help keep their houses warms. Typically, dogs cling to heaters and love sleeping by them. While this is a great way to help keep your dog warms, heaters can also easily burn your pets and cause fires if your dog manages to push them over. We suggest keeping heaters away from your dogs, or simply putting a gate up around the heater to prevent kids and pets from getting too close or accidentally knocking it over.
Just like human hands can get dry and cracked in the winter, dog’s paws can get hurt, too. The padding on your dog’s paws is somewhat sensitive, and the cold winter air can crack their paws and dry them out. It’s imperative that you trim your dog’s hair down on their paws during the winter to prevent them from growing ice which will then irritate your pooch’s paws. You should also keep in mind that anything your dog steps in while they’re outside, may later be licked off by them. Unfortunately, this means that if your pup steps in any antifreeze, they could potentially ingest this toxic chemical. Make sure to wash off your pup’s paws after they’ve been walking around outside to ensure they won’t be licking anything harmful off of their feet.
Alpha Pet Coconut oil Protection
Alpha Pet’s Coconut Oil Protection is an all-natural and organic way to protect not only your pet’s paws, but their coat and nose as well. We recommend this product to pups with sensitive skin and allergy problems. It doesn’t contain any chemicals that could potentially irritate your dog’s skin or trigger allergies. This Ultimate Healer is one of our favorite winter products for dogs. When your dog’s paws start getting dry and cracked due to the colder temperatures and snowy surfaces, simply massage the coconut oil onto the irritated area and it will not only heal their dry skin, but protect their paws from future irritation.
If you notice your pup’s coat getting dry, you can use this coconut oil as a deep conditioner as well! Just rub it into their coat and skin and they’ll be left with a hydrated coat that smells great, but doesn’t leave a greasy residue. No matter what irritants your dog comes into contact with, this is a great, all-natural way to soothe their skin, coats, paws, and noses!
You may be surprised to hear that this coconut oil also kills yeast, bacteria and fungus. It truly is an all-around healer for dogs. It will protect them from the elements and help relieve dry skin, bacteria, and itchy skin. You can purchase the Ultimate Healer from Amazon in either a 16 or 32 ounce bottle.
Dogs are typically phenomenal at finding their way around, how? They use their strong sense of smell. Typically your dog can recognize familiar places and people and easily find their way back to you, or your house with ease. Some dog owners may not realize that dogs can lose their sense of smell during snowstorms. Not only are things often unrecognizable in the snow to your dog, but it hides the familiar scents of home.
It’s best to keep a close eye on your dog when they’re outside, and make sure they have an ID tag on at all times just incase they wander off. Especially if the snow is going to make it difficult for your dog to comfortable walk around, make sure you stay with them and give them the protection they need to comfortably walk around on the cold surface.
It’s also important to keep in mind that unlike humans, dogs typically don’t go out in the snow covered from head to toe in clothing. This not only exposes them to the elements, but allows them to get soaking wet when the snow is deep. If your pup is outside for a long time in cold temperatures, and also wet, they’re going to get cold much faster than you are.
hartz Scented Dog ball
Often, in the winter it’s hard for dogs to locate their toys if there’s even a little bit of snow on the ground. This can make it hard to play with your dog outside, and requires you to constantly replace your dog’s lost toys. Fortunately, you can purchase scented toys for your dog that make it easy for your dog to locate their toys in the snow, or when it’s pitch dark outside. The Hartz Scented Ball is one of our favorites. Not only does it have a strong bacon scent that dogs love, but it’s a quality ball that your dog will be able to play without ripping it apart. This ball has a soft and flexible design that makes it great for your dog’s teeth no matter what age they are. Puppies and even senior dogs can safely chew on this ball.
This ball is made with a firm natural latex material that can withstand your dog’s firm bite. The core is made from a foam technology that creates a great bounce, allows the ball to float, and even has a squeaker! This may just become your dog’s favorite toy; what’s better than a chew, bouncy ball that smells like bacon?
You can purchase this ball in one of the three sizes; small, medium, or large. Each size will either come in purple, or orange, and they all have the same great bacon scent. We highly recommend this ball to moderate chewers that have a great nose, and love chew toys and games of fetch.
Arcadian Dog Towels
When your pup comes inside after playing in the snow, the last thing you want is water all over your house, and a cold pup struggling to warm up. it’s important to dry your dog off when they come in from playing out in the snow for several reasons. First of all, it’s likely that they’ve stepped in anti-freeze or salt if they’ve gone out on any kind of pavement. You want to get this off of their paws as soon as possible to prevent ingestion. Drying your pup off will also help them warm up much faster (and of course keep your house clean and dry).
The Arcadian towels are superior to a lot of towels out there designed for dogs. It’s a great size for all dogs, it’s made from a soft material, and quickly dries your pup. The towels are 140cm x 70cm, which means it can also be used as a bed liner if you’re afraid of accidents, or if your pup is soaking wet and needs a place to lay down. This towel is also great for pups that have gotten into some sticky situations outside. It has antibacterial properties that not only prevent odors, but help your dog fight off bacteria. We highly recommend this product for all dog parents, it’s great for both summer and winter use, and your dog will always have a comfortable towel to use when they’re wet. It’s finally time to say goodbye to that wet dog smell!
The Paw Plunger is a must-have for dogs that are constantly running around outside, getting into messes. It’s incredibly easy to use, and will get rid of dirt and irritants that get trapped on your dog’s paws while they’re outside. To use it, simply pour water into the plunger up to the top row of bristles. Then all you have to do is dip your dog’s paws in the plunger. It will gently clean their paws, remove salt, anti-freeze, rocks, or even sand from your dog’s paws. When your pup has built-up dirt and irritants on their paws they will eventually try to lick everything off. This can lead to serious problems if your dog steps in any toxins. The Paw Plunger not only keeping your dog’s paws clean, but protecting your floors as well.
nutrition & Hydration
Winter is often the time where people pack on extra pounds and bulk up on extra calories. While humans may not necessarily need the additional calories during the winter months, dogs actually do! In order to keep warm, they may be in need of additional nutrition; keep an eye out for high protein foods and treats that will help them keep their weight on and stay warm through the winter months. You can also buy additional supplements that will help your dog’s digestion stay on track while they’re adjusting to a higher calorie intake.
On the other hand however, if your dog will be laying around the house all day rather than going outside and playing; it may be best to curb the calories a bit. Dogs that only go outside in the summer months may gain some weight in the winter because they’re not burning enough calories.
Oftentimes in the winter, dogs don’t drink as much because they’re not getting as hot. However, dogs can get just as dehydrated in the winter as they do in the summertime. It’s important to encourage your dog to keep drinking water and make sure they’re hydrating enough. You can even purchase flavor enhancers for your dog’s water to encourage hydration.
Flavor Broth & Topper
The Basics Flavor Topper is a great powder that you can either sprinkle on your dog’s food, or in their water. It’ll make meal time feel like treat time, helping your dog to eat more, and be satisfied after every meal. These yummy flavors are all made in the USA with human grade ingredients. They won’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They’re also grain-free, so you won’t have to worry about your dog’s sensitive stomach. All of the flavors are high in protein, helping your dog retain energy during the winter, and are very low in calorie.
These delicious toppers are available in 5 flavors; Chicken, Ocean Fish, Peanut Butter, Red Meat, and White Cheddar. All varieties are made with limited ingredients and are extremely low in calorie. Simply sprinkle a teaspoon onto your dog’s kibble before meals and let them go nuts! You can also mix it into your dog’s water to make a delicious broth to encourage hydration.
Red Meat Ingredients: cooked beef, dehydrated beef broth, potato starch, dehydrated sweet potato
Chicken Ingredients: cooked chicken, dehydrated chicken broth, potato starch, dehydrated sweet potato, rosemary extract
Ocean Fish Ingredients: Ocean Whitefish, potato starch, dehydrated sweet potato, rosemary extract
Peanut Butter Ingredients: roasted peanuts, dehydrated sweet potato, potato starch
White Cheddar Ingredients:white cheddar cheese, potato starch, dehydrated sweet potato
keep your dog visible
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you love longer nights!), winter means the sun sets much earlier making it hard for your dog to play outside in the evenings. You may lose sight of them easier, or even worse, drivers on the road won’t be able to see them as clearly. Fortunately, there are plenty of accessories you can purchase for your pooch that will increase their visibility, and make playing outside late safe!
To make things easier for you, we have gathered and reviewed some products that can help you keep an eye on your dog! You can purchase LED leashes, collars, and accessories for your dog that will not only help you see them better but allow other people and cars to be aware of them, too. This will make you feel more comfortable taking them out for walks at night and highly increase their visibility.
Chuckit! Erratic max glow ball
The Chuckit! Erratic ball is one of the bounciest balls you can purchase for your pooch. Unlike a typical bouncy ball for dogs, the erratic ball has sharp edges that make bounces unpredictable and high, similar to the way a football bounces. You can simply drop the ball on the floor and it’ll bounce off of everything due to its unpredictable edges. Dogs find this toy to be incredibly fun because as soon as it hits the ground it takes off in a different direction. The Erratic ball is 3.56 x 2.5 x 4.58 in, about the size of a typical tennis ball; allowing just about any dog to chomp down on the ball. The durable rubber is also strong enough to handle just about any chew. If you have an erratic dog, this ball is perfect for you!
In addition to it’s fun sharp edges, this erratic has the Max Glow technology. Simply put it under light, or let it sit out during the day, and your dog will have a bright ball to play with at night! Because it’s not operated by batteries, it’s waterproof, easy to clean, and can even be filled with your dog’s favorite treats! While the Chuckit! Erratic is great for evening play, you may want to be careful about playing with it outdoors in the snow, it can easily be camouflaged within the snow.
The Noxgear Lighthound is one of our favorite nighttime accessories for dogs. The harness contains 8 very bright colors that make it very easy for you, and even drivers on the road to see your pup. It also has 6 flashing and slow fading color modes to catch other people’s attention better. Even when you’re simply sending your dog outside, these are helpful in keeping an eye on your dog when it starts getting dark. The colors are visible from every angle so you’ll always know where your pup is and what they’re getting into.
This harness is made from fiber optic cables and 3M Schotchlite reflecting technology, so your pup will always be highly visible. Even better, it doesn’t require batteries. You’ll have 12 hours of life out of the harness after every charge, so you won’t have to deal with wires very often!
You’ll love this harness because of how easy it is to use and how comfortable it is for dogs. It’ll go on quickly, and has a convenient leash attachment for walks. This harness is also machine washable, and of course, completely waterproof. No matter what the weather, this can be your go-to harness. It’s also highly adjustable so the size you order doesn’t necessarily need to be the “perfect fit”.
11.5″ – 20″
17″ – 29″
23.5″ – 40″
31″ – 47.5″
up to 15 lbs.
Christmas is one of the most stressful times of year; constant shopping, traveling, and a house full of people. Keep in mind that during this stressful time, your dog is inevitably going to have some stress and anxiety as well. The weather is going to be changing, new people are going to be visiting their home, or they might have to travel with you. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs for anxiety, especially around the holidays.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great products on the market that will help your dog adjust to their new surroundings, and help to calm their nerves during stressful situations. From calming treats, to collars, and even play pens that will keep them separated, you have plenty of options when it comes to comforting your dog during the holidays.
Also check out our tips for keeping your pup calm and anxiety-free during the holidays! You might be surprised by all of the simple things you can do to help comfort your pup.
stimulate their mind
Keeping your dog occupied with mentally stimulating games and toys will help relieve stress and anxiety for your pup. They’ll be preoccupied with their games and will prevent them from engaging in destructive behavior caused by boredom and stress. It will easily distract them from the holiday madness going on around them, and give them a toy of their own to work on. If you purchase a puzzle that dispenses treats such as the Outward Hound Treat Chaser, you’ll also be able to slow down your dog’s eating, and get them even more interested in meal times!
Outward Hound treat puzzle ball
Now, this is a quality ball! At a $15 MSRP, this ball comes in at a higher price-point. It is also significantly more friendly towards dogs of any size. At 5 inches in height, it comes up to about chest level to smaller toy breeds; and while this puzzle treat ball could fit in the jaws of larger breeds, the construction is significantly more sturdy than it’s predecessor featured above. The two halves slide independently of the green center strip, allowing the ball to do some interesting turns and swivels. Add to that the green center of the ball is weighted off-center, and you have a ball that swivels, wobbles, and rolls every-which-way to create a level of unpredictability that your dog will appreciate to keep them involved.
Inside the toy, there are various flaps and poles designed to keep treats jostling and making noise when the ball is pushed around by your pup. This is a wonderfully innovative design for its cost and simplicity, and while ultimately it is still a level 1 toy, it’s a great first purchase in the interactive toy department.
One thing we noticed that seemed odd was that the openings for treats are directly opposite of each other. This means if you’re loading the treat with a hole at the top, they’re falling right back out at the bottom. You have to either cup your hand over the bottom hole while you load treats in, or you need to feed them in one at a time with the ball tiled. Certainly not a deal breaker, but it does seem odd when you experience it firsthand, so it’s notable for you.
Check out our in depth review of the Outward Hound Treat Chaser here.
More Interactive Toy Options
Exercise is great for stress – for both people and animals! During the holiday season you may find yourself feeling more irritated and anxious with all of the tasks on your hands. Your dog may be feeling the same way; your schedules may be different, they’re going to be introduced to new decorations, weather, and even new people. When the holidays roll around it’s best for both you and your dog to release pent up energy, and you can even do it together! Rather than go to the gym, it may be best to take your dog for a walk. This will help both of you get out of the house and release that extra energy that will cause destructive behavior.
don't stray from your routine
Even more than humans, dogs need to stick to a routine. During the holidays everyone’s routines seem to go a little array; however, it’s crucial that you help your dog stick to their normal routine as much as possible. Even if you end up traveling with your pup, try to help them find regularity. The simplest way to achieve this is by feeding them the same foods at mealtime (and keeping mealtimes the same). This will help keep their digestive system in balance and prevent any kind of stomach issues. Oftentimes during the holidays we like to feed our dogs yummy table scraps from our delicious holiday meals. Unfortunately, feeding your pup new foods (even if they are safe for dogs), can cause irregularity and inevitably will cause a bit of anxiety.
Another way to keep your routine is by taking your dog for walks at the same time everyday. This will help your dog stay calm and be comforted by their typical routine. It will also help you keep track of how often they’re taking bathroom breaks.
Give Them A Place Of Their Own
Often, the biggest stressor for dogs is new people in their homes. During the holidays, it can be especially hard to make your dog feel comfortable due to all of the “strange” visitors coming in and out. One way to help them feel at ease is by giving them a place of their own to go to when the guests get to be too much. Whether it’s a crate, play pen, or simply a room where you tell guests not to enter; dogs that get anxious around strangers simply just need a place to escape to.
midwest play pen
Midwest is one of the most popular brands for dog crates, kennels, and exercise pens. We’ve come to trust this brand, and we’ve found that their products are made with durable materials that last. The Midwest Exercise is our all-time favorite exercise pen for dogs of all sizes. Your pup will have the space they need to run around, and you won’t have to worry about them escaping. Their exercise pen is also easy to set up and collapse – no tools required!
Midwest follows the strictest quality – control procedures allowing their crates to be held to a high quality standard. All of their products undergo full-scale inspections, and they take your dog’s safety very seriously. This metal exercise pen is made with durable wire that has black E-coat finish that protects the metal from rust and damage from the elements. You can set this play pen up either inside or outside and trust that it will be safe against soil, dew, and of course typical wear and tear.
Of course the main reason you’re purchasing an exercise pen is to allow your pup to actually burn off some energy. With the Midwest playpen your dog can do just that. The pen is made from 8 panels to give your dog 16 square feet of room to run around! Each panel is 24″ wide, and you can purchase a variety of heights; 24″, 30″, 36″, 43″, or 48″ high.
When you purchase the pen from Amazon you’ll receive the 8 panels, 8 ground stakes for outdoor use, and 4 thumb snaps for easy no-tool assembly! We highly recommend this exercise pen for dog owners that need a long-lasting quality exercise pen for either indoor or outdoor use. You can trust the high quality metal used in construction, and you’ll even receive a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
If your dog gets too stressed out during the holidays, calming treats are a great way to help them relax. Calming treats are a great alternative to expensive calming wraps, or prescription medication. If your dog has mild to moderate anxiety, any of these treats could improve their quality of life. Worst case, if you don’t see much of a difference with the first brand, you can always use them as regular treats. Just make sure to follow the dosage directions since these aren’t “normal” treats. You don’t want to give your dog too much of the active ingredients used for calming. Then, you can move on to the next brand of treats. Either way, you’ll end up with treats your dog loves and a chance for them to feel calmer. When your dog feels better, you feel better!
NATURVET QUIET MOMENTS PLUS MELATONIN
This calming aid has a long list of ingredients that help to calm your dog in any situation. These treats are different from many others, because they include melatonin to promote rest and relaxation. All NaturVet products are veterinarian formulated and approved. They are also manufactured in the USA in an FDA audited cGMP compliant facility, so you can be sure you’re getting the best quality for your dog. NaturVet Quiet Moments Plus Melatonin also includes thiamine, L-tryptophan, ginger, chamomile, and passion flower. Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1 which many dogs can be deficient in. This causes them to have mental confusion and nervousness, so increasing their levels of B1 will reduce anxiety. L-tryptophan also helps to reduce stress and tension in dogs.
This calming aid is great for traveling with your pet, helping them with separation anxiety, fireworks, grooming, and any other stressful situation for your dog. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there’s no monetary risk involved in trying it out!
HERBAL CALMING COLLARS FOR DOG ANXIETY
If you’re looking for a very natural approach to dog anxiety, this herbal calming collar is the best on the market. These herb-filled calming collars are handmade in the USA so you know you’re getting high quality product. Each collar is filled with a dried blend of natural herbs (lavender, chamomile, and balsam) that help to reduce dog anxiety. The Herbal Calming Collars reduce fear from loud noises, traveling, and all stressful situations. They can reduce or eliminate negative behaviors caused by anxiety like barking, hyper-activity, and growling.
Each collar is about 2 inches wide and features a center seam to distribute the herbs evenly throughout the collar. Herbal Calming Collars recommends sizing up if your dog is in between collar sizes.
The Calm Me Down Herbal Calming Collar is a great all natural alternative. If you just aren’t sold on the validity of pheromones, or your dog isn’t stressed out by noise, this may be your best choice. Lavender, chamomile, and balsam are three wonderful herbs for anxiety. They work just as well on humans as they do on dogs. This is great for dogs who only have anxiety in high-stress situations if you’d like your collar to last a full year. Although, if your dog needs to wear this collar 24/7, its likely that this solution is still cheaper than prescription medication.
Not sure this if this is the right collar for your pup, check out our full list of calming collars here.
holiday foods to avoid
Many dog parents use the holidays as an excuse to let their pup try new table scraps. While this seems like a kind gestures, it can often do more harm than good. Table scraps may be a delicious way to spoil your dog; however, if your pup isn’t used to human food, or trying new foods, feeding them extra table scraps can cause serious digestive issues. Unlike humans, dogs are usually accustomed to eating the same food every single day; when introduced to a variety of new foods in one day, their stomachs can get overwhelmed causing serious stomach upset.
If you do decide to feed your dog table scraps when the holidays roll around, there are a few foods to avoid.
- Turkey Bones: The bones can get lodged in their throats or intestines.
- Raisins & Grapes: Grapes are actually more toxic to dogs than chocolate. A very small dose of grapes (or raisins) can be lethal for dogs.
- Nuts: Most nuts are either too hard on your dog’s stomach, or toxic to dogs in small doses. If you leave bowls of nuts out for guests, make sure they’re out of reach.
- Onions: Onions contain alliums can be toxic to dogs, and even cause anemia.
- Chocolate: Of course, we all know that chocolate is bad for pups; make sure to keep all chocolate sweets up high where your dog can’t get to them.
- Xylitol: This is a common ingredient in artificial sweeteners. It’s absolutely deadly to dogs, so we suggest keeping all sugar-free sweets away from your dog at all times.
The holiday season is a fun time for many dogs and dog parents. Your pup can get spoiled with new gifts, and attention from extended family members. Though the holidays can and should be an exciting time for your furry friends, there are some hazards you should keep in mind to keep them healthy and safe during this hectic time.
The first major hazard that you may not think of right away are decorations. Though they are a fun way to make your home feel cozy during the holidays, you should also consider how your dog is going to react to some of these decorations. Like many dogs, your pup may feel the urge to chew or lick new pieces of decor hung around the house. Make sure all Christmas lights, and important wires are hidden behind furniture, or somewhere where your dog can’t get to them. If your pup manages to chew through wires, they could get an unexpected shock.
When decorating your tree there are some cautions to keep in mind as well. If you decide to purchase a real tree, keep in mind that pine needles can puncture your dog’s intestines. We suggest putting up gates around your tree, or simply purchasing a fake tree. It’s also important to note that tinsel can cause intestinal blockages. Make sure you keep an eye on any tinsel used on your tree, and make sure your pup knows not to eat it.
Plants make great decorations during the holiday season; however, unfortunately, many holiday plants are toxic for dogs. Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are all poisonous to dogs and should be kept in high places, out from your dog’s reach.
christmas gifts - Woof Pack
The toys, treats, and chews packs contain a full bag of treats and 1-3 other delicious edibles, they round out the pack with 2-3 fun toys that your pup is sure to love. From fun squeaky balls, to durable fabric chew toys that keep your pup’s teeth clean, to stuffless toys for fun without the mess. All those and many more toys are part of these packs.
If you don’t need new toys every month, but are constantly running low on treats, you can check out their treats and chews packs. Each month you’ll receive a full bag of treats, and an additional 4-6 items. From samples sizes of other treats, to a few tough lasting chews, and even a one time reward or two for when you open your Pack. You’ll love these goodies and save time and money not having to stop at a local pet store too!
Woof Packs make a great Christmas gift for your dog. They’ll receive a variety of fun new items that they can dig through, perfect as a gift set, or simply a stocking stuffer!
Looking for more information? Check out our in depth review here.
Christmas Gifts - Wisdom Panel
The Wisdom Panel DNA Dog Breed Identification kit is the latest craze in the dog community. Dog owners used to wonder what their mixed breed dogs were descendant from, and now we can find out! If you are a breeder, you can also use the Wisdom Panel test to ensure that your dogs are purebred. With either test, all you have to do is swab your dog’s cheek, and send off their sample to the lab. In 2-3 weeks you’ll be sent an email with your dog’s DNA profile including a detailed family tree, and information about each breed that makes up their DNA. Your dog will also be tested for multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1) a genetic mutation that may cause severe reactions to commonly prescribed drugs.
Wisdom Panel detects over 250 breed types and varieties, and traces back to your dog’s great-grandparents. Not only is Wisdom Panel a fun test, it’s a test that will give you critical health information about your dog that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. It’s such a simple and easy way to really get to know your dog.
You can find out more about the Wisdom Panel here.
Christmas sweaters such as this one are not only cute, but functional as well. They’ll help your pup stay warm, cozy, and best of all – they’ll be the center of attention during your holiday parties! This Blueberry Pet Christmas Sweater is our all-time favorite. It’s available in six fun patterns, and six sizes to ensure your dog gets the perfect fit and style for the holidays. We highly recommend this sweater for dogs of all sizes looking for a way to stay warm and festive during the holidays. The sweater is stretchable, making it comfortable, and even easy to wash. No matter what your dog gets into this will be a great fit for their holiday activities.
The Blueberry Pet Christmas Sweater is a turtleneck that also has a hole for either a collar or harness. It’s made from 100% soft acrylic that will allow your dog full movement, and warmth during the holidays. Below you’ll see all of the sizes available; make sure to measure from the base of your dog’s neck, to the base of their tail for the back length (the most important measurement).
Christmas Bows are a great and noninvasive way to help your dog feel festive during the holidays. If your pup has longer hair, bows are easier to buy for your dog than apparel; they’re one size fits all, and they won’t bother your dog nearly as much as a full outfit. Many dogs get stressed out during the holidays, and forcing them into an outfit will only make matters worse. If your dog doesn’t mind a bow in their hair, these are a great alternative.
Blueberry Pet’s Bows are 1.37″ x .25″. All of the bows are handmade with exceptional quality. They’ll easily keep your dog’s fur out of their eyes, while also giving them an effortless festive look. The bows are made from satin and grosgrain ribbon, which you can easily spot clean if your dog manages to get them dirty. The bows are available in four different patterns right through Amazon.
The MWPlanet Christmas Stockings are a great way to show your dog you care when the holidays roll around. They’re made from quality material, and match just about any Christmas decor. You’ll also be happy to hear that they’re the ideal size to stuff with toys, treats, and chews for your pup! The stockings measure 17″ long by 8″ wide (the typical size for most stockings). Even better, these stockings are handmade, which you can see right down to the stitching. We highly recommend these stockings for any pup parent looking to spoil their dogs during the holidays. Your pup can easily dig through them to get their treats out, and you won’t have to worry about wrapping paper for your pet.
Another quality doggie stocking choice is the Glitzhome Stocking. Each stocking’s front is 100% handmade and offers a beautiful old-world flare to your home decor. You will be able to choose from two options.
The first option features a lovable Dalmatian with 3D floppy ears. The second option depicts a black dog in winter scenery; “woof” can be read on its top. Both options are intricate and will provide a unique touch to your mantle.
The Blueberry Pet Christmas line of collars is a staple for pets when the holidays roll around. All of their collars are made with quality materials that will keep your pet comfortable, and ensure a great fit no matter what. Their Christmas line is available in 16 different patterns, each having either a removable bow, or a removable tree or ornament pattern. You can even personalize any of the collars to have your pet’s name and phone number, removing the need for an additional ID tag.
We highly recommend Blueberry’s Christmas line to dogs of all sizes. Your pup will have a festive traditional collar that will get them into the holiday spirit without the hassle of Christmas apparel. Check out the sizes below, and find the perfect pattern for your pooch on Amazon.
Width x Neck
3/8″ x 7.5 -10
5/8 x 12-16″
3/4 x 14.5-20
1 x 18-26
up to 10 lbs
10 to 20 lbs
20 to 45 lbs
45 to 85 lbs
The ZippyPaws holiday toys are a great plush toy to surprise your dog with during the holidays. You can have this fun set of toys for around $10, and are the perfect stocking stuffers for your furry friends. Each creature is 5.5 x 3 inches, and are all stuffing-free to make sure your house doesn’t get messy during the holidays. Dogs love these toys because they have a great soft exterior, and a nice squeaker on the inside. When your pup manages to destroy the toys, there’ll be minimal mess for you to clean up!
LazyDog has a variety of Pup-Pie’s that are designed especially for dogs with allergies. All flavors are organic, and made with human-grade ingredients you can trust. The frost bites are one of our favorite flavors. Made with dairy-free non-GMO yogurt, and topped with delicious coconut, your pup will have the perfect sweet treat for the holidays. In addition to the great coconut taste, they contain pumpkin, which is a great source of fiber and can help regulate your dog’s digestive system. Just like the other flavors of Pup-Pie, the Frost Bites come in 10 slices for your pooch, and each pie is 6″ in diameter. You can feel good about feeding your dog a delicious dessert that’s sweet, organic, and made with only natural ingredients!
Paw Print ornaments are a unique one of a kind ornament that you can make for each one of your pets. They’re surprisingly easy to make, and you’ll always have a special way to honor your pup on your tree each year.
- Mix all of the ingredients together until well mixed.
- Roll the dough out until it’s 1/2″ thick.
- Cut out the perfect unique paw shape for your pup. We recommend using cookie cutters.
- Press your dog’s paw into the dough until a clear impression is made.
- Take a knife or straw and poke a hole at the top (to feed ribbon through later).
- Bake ornaments at 250 degrees for 2.5-3 hours.
- You can then paint your ornament and hang them on the tree with a cute ribbon!
You can check out our full list of DIY Christmas Crafts here.
Winter Apparel Guide
Because dogs already have fur, some people don’t think twice about sending them outside in cold weather. However, dogs get cold just like people, and sometimes their fur just isn’t enough. If the temperatures are chilly enough that you need a thick winter jacket, chances are, your dog is cold too. When you take them outside, always be on the lookout for signs that they’re getting too cold. If they begin to shake, or start getting anxious, it’s time to bring them inside or considering layering them up.
Winter jackets are a great way to keep your dog dry and warm through the winter weather. Even if they roll around in the snow, it will help to keep their fur dry so they don’t start getting chills. Winter booties are another great purchase for dogs in the winter. They’re typically non-slip, and will protect your dog’s sensitive paws from cold temperatures. Think about it, you wouldn’t want to run around in the snow barefoot would you? Neither will your pup!
When looking for winter apparel; keep in mind sizing, material, and comfort. Always make sure your dog’s clothing is going to fit relatively well to allow them to move freely around. You should also keep in mind that certain materials are going to be better for your dog than others. Fleece is typically stretchy, and soft, one of our favorite materials, and dogs love it too! Wool is the warmest material to choose from, but can cause skin irritation (especially for dogs with sensitive skin). If wool is mixed with cotton, that can ease the scratchiness a bit. Of course sweater material is typically a bit cooler, but fits well and can stretch to fit dogs of different sizes.
Bark Brite Paw Protectors
Bark Brite’s Neoprene Paw Protectors are our all-time favorite booties for dogs of just about any size. No matter what your dog needs protection from, these booties will do the trick. They’re comfortable for your pup to wear, and won’t distract them from having a good time outside! So why are they so comfortable? The high quality Neoprene clings to your dog’s paws to create a natural paw shape. They give your dog great traction, they’re lightweight, and they won’t even know they’re wearing anything.
These Booties are great for all seasons and weather conditions. They’re water resistant, puncture resistant, and help your pup pick up the necessary traction. The Bark Brite Booties are will protect your dog from hot pavement, sharp rocks, wet surfaces, ice, snow, and everything in between. We know it can be hard to take your pup outdoors during tough terrain, and these booties will take care of the problem.
The Bark Brite Booties have two easy to use reflective velcro straps that make them easy to take on and off and adjust. They also have a durable non-skis sole that’s lined to control the temperature inside the booties. They’re available in five sizes, perfect for just about any fur baby.
All sizes fit very snug and have a spandex-like fit to keep your pup comfortable. If you want your pup to have a looser fit, you can order the next size up.
Small: 2.5″ x 2.75″; ideal for smaller breeds such as small terriors, shih tzus, bulldogs, and corgis.
Medium: 3.0″ x 3.0″; ideal for medium sized breeds such as small labs, small huskies, and border collies
Large: 3.5″ x 3.5″; ideal for larger breeds such as golden retrievers and labs.
Extra Large: 4.0″ x 3.75″; ideal for large breeds such as german shepherds, dobermans, and Rottweilers.
XX-Large: 4.5″ x 4.5″; ideal for extra large breeds such as Great Danes, Saint Bernard’s, and Mastiffs.
Check out more of our favorite booties here.
Winter coats are a great way to keep your dog warm and dry during the winter season. When looking for a coat, it’s best to find one that’s waterproof, it’ll easily keep your dog dry, and will also be easy to clean if your dog gets into any messes. The PetCee Jacket is 100% fleece lined and has a 100% polyester outer shell. This makes the jacket waterproof, and windproof. The flexible material will make it easy to take on and off, and your dog will be comfortable running around in it.
Each jacket has a collar that can either be folded down or up depending on how chilly you think your pup is going to get. This jacket has a hole in the top to accommodate collars, and some harnesses. We highly recommend this jacket to dog owners that will need protection from rain, wind, and snow when the temperatures starts to drop. Your dog’s torso and neck will be protected, and they’ll have a comfortable fitting jacket to go to whenever necessary.
This jacket is available in three colors (red, black, and orange), and 7 sizes. If your pup is between sizes, make sure to round up to the next largest size to ensure your dog is getting a comfortable fit.
Gooby Fleece Vest
The Gooby fleece vest is great for dogs that need a little bit of added warmth in the winter for their torso. It will give them full mobility of their tail, and legs, making it more comfortable for some dogs. This vest is made from 100% polyester and fleece, which makes it stretchy and warm for your pup. Fortunately, it also has an O-ring attachment so you can easily attach a leash to take your dog on walks when the temperature drops. We prefer this vest because it doesn’t have any zippers or buttons that your dog can potentially chew on or get caught. Simply pull the vest of their heads and you’re good to go.
If you live in an area that’s not cold enough for snow, you might better benefit from a well-fitted rain jacket. In the winter, rain is much colder than what you experience in the summer months. Cold rain can easily lead to hypothermia if your pup is outside and wet for an extended period of time. The Ethical Pet raincoat is one of our favorites. It’s made from a great waterproof material;made from 100% polyester with pvc coating. Your dog will keep dry and warm, and have a stylish coat at the same time.
This rain jacket has a fun yellow reflective design that will help you, and other people see your dog even through the hardest rain. It’s adjustable and available in six sizes to provide a comfortable fit no matter how big or small your pup is. Each size has a self-adjusting belly strap that easily fits around your pup without becoming too invasive.
Kuoser Dog Coat
Although the Kuoser Dog Coat will not provide full coverage from the winter elements, it does offer a stylish alternative for pet parents. This doggie coat is perfect for those looking to keep it classy as the temperatures dips in the city. It is easy to pop on and off; a great feature for pet parents in a time crunch!