Fashion faux paw
Have you seen those adorable dogs on social media wearing the most elaborate (and darling) outfits? It seems like dressing your four legged friend in the trendiest clothes is in itself trendy and we decided to take a look at how useful and necessary this is.
As humans we know that getting dressed each day is a necessity, but our fur babies have a different set of rules and their bodies function differently. So perhaps instead of looking at how cute a dog in a coat is, the better approach would be to look at why the dog might need the coat. As we all know, dogs’ fur serves a purpose which is to regulate body heat. But unfortunately just like humans, dogs have migrated across borders, continents and even hemispheres. Dogs that were bred to adapt to arctic weather now need to adjust to hotter climates and vice versa.
This is where doggy fashion comes into play on a practical level. Certain breeds have shorter or thinner coats and are more prone to get cold quickly. For these breeds it is very necessary to be protected when going out into very cold weather. Larger breeds with thick coats may also need a sweater or coat if it is either snowing or raining to prevent their coats getting wet and freezing, which could be potentially harmful.
Dog booties are also very handy during extreme cold weather. Roads are covered in salt and chemicals in preparation for snow and this could be harmful to your dog’s paws.
Walking bare paw on snow and ice could also be very uncomfortable for your dog and could even lead to bleeding and cracked paw pads. Snow might also stick to the fur between the paw pads which could lead to irritation and ultimately discomfort for your dog.
Cold weather can certainly bring about a lot of problems for both humans and pets alike, but if you take all the necessary steps to protect your best friend from these elements, winter can be a fun time for all. Always make sure to take precautions when venturing out in the cold with Fluffy and keeping him warm and cozy throughout. Be on the lookout for any signs that your dog is too cold and avoid being outside for long periods in extreme conditions. By following simple steps and knowing the signs you can prevent fluffy from worsening medical conditions such as arthritis and it can prevent new conditions such as pneumonia, frost bite and hypothermia.
So now that we have covered cold weather, let’s have a look at warm weather. Living on the East Coast means we suffer through brutally cold winters but we also experience sweltering hot summers. Both can pose health risks to our favorite furry friends.
The most obvious risks when it comes to hot weather is dehydration and heat stroke. Dogs with shorter and thinner coats are less likely to face these risks as their body heat can be lowered by their lighter coats, but dogs with thick or long coats could struggle cooling down in the summertime. Unless your dog is very prone to feeling chilly even on the hottest of days it is advisable to not dress your pooch up during these months. Adding additional layers could deter your dog’s natural ability to regulate their body heat and this could lead to overheating and heat stroke. Should you wish to trim your dog’s coat, never shave it all the way to the skin as that could lead to Fluffy getting sunburnt. Always remember to keep your dog hydrated and avoid harsh activity during the hottest hours.
During the hottest days, even though your dog cannot be wearing the latest runway trends they can certainly still put their best paw forward. Dog booties or socks are often recommended for longer walks outside to avoid burning their paw pads. Cement and tar become extremely hot in the middle of the day and prolonged exposure to it could cause your dog a great amount of pain. There are other alternatives and quick fixes for dogs that refuse to wear booties, but it might be better to limit walks to early morning and evening when it is cooler out.
Luckily for pet owners there’s always ways to protect your fur baby from the weather and all it takes is a little research and planning to keep them happy and healthy all year round.