Is Your Pooch Prepared for Winter?

The northeast got a surge in warmer temperatures this fall, but I’m not fooled. I know frozen puddles are just around the corner and I’m already pulling out Bitsy’s winter sweaters for our morning walks.

It made me wonder what other steps dog owners take to keep their furry friends warm throughout winter.

sherpa dog bed
Bitsy rests on her favorite sherpa dog bed.

Warm Bedding
Bitsy sleeps with me at night so she stays plenty warm, but during the day she is on the floor. I’ve tried different dog beds and she currently likes her fleece mat. Lately I’ve been looking at heated beds and stumbled across this self-heating product from The Lakeside Collection. The reviews are mostly positive and at less than $20 I will happily give it a try. I’ve seen others online that cost much more so I will test this one first.

Heated Dog House
As an indoor dog, Bitsy only scurries outside to join me. In fact she is kind of pathetic if left on the back deck alone. She peers through the door with eyes pleading for me to let her in.

I know some dogs like to hang outside for longer periods to sniff the air, listen to the sounds of the neighborhood, and protect their territory from squirrels and chipmunks. In that case, an insulated dog house may be a worthwhile investment. I cannot recommend any brand, though I think Wal-Mart has a pretty decent selection.

 

Dog Booties
I have friends who trained their dog to wear boots during winter walks. It took several sessions at home, a few minutes at a time and gradually increasing, to get him used to the feeling it created on his paws. He eventually warmed to the idea and I imagine was grateful when traversing icy sidewalks!

Bitsy’s little paws are pretty furry and we keep our walks shorter on those icy bitter days. I avoid walking her on salted driveways and sidewalks. If we come upon one, I just scoop her up and carry her to a safe spot. I found this small company called Hound & Tail that has a great entrepreneurial spirit I’ve considered buying from. However, there are plenty of companies that sell doggie boots with positive reviews.

dog holiday sweater
Bitsy poses in her new holiday sweater.

Sweaters for Warmth and They Look Good Too
My favorite way to keep Bitsy warm once winter kicks in is to put her in a sweater. She has several and is a good sport about wearing them. I think she secretly likes the positive attention everyone gives her whenever she gets dressed for a walk! Some folks say their dogs act embarrassed when wearing clothes, but it’s not like I dress her up in a tutu. And if you know anything about the spirited (and vain) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, they love positive attention. Mine is a total camera ham.

What products do you use to keep your dog warm once temperatures plummet? Please add a comment below!

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Dog Selfies – Crazy or Brilliant?

Dog Selfies – Crazy or Brilliant?

Do you avoid traveling because you hate leaving your dog? Don’t want to seem crazy to your petsitter by asking for pictures while you’re gone? Let your dog take the pictures herself with the Dog Selfie camera.

OK, let me back up a bit.

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I prefer to take Bitsy everywhere with me as you can see above at the beach. We travel together when possible, but every once in awhile I am forced to head out alone. Occasionally my dog is not invited to weddings, family reunions, or group excursions. Keep in mind, I sometimes decline invitations that exclude my canine companion because she loves an adventure as much as the next dog…but every once in awhile I hire a pet sitter.

I stumbled across this awesome video from Mashable that shows you how to set up a pet selfie contraption. While the mechanics seem pretty straight forward, training my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to press the red button may be a bit more of a challenge.

I can totally picture crazy dog owners like myself setting something like this up in the dog pen so that Bitsy can send me an occasional selfie when I’m on the road!

This got me to thinking that maybe I should set up a webcam while I’m away too. I would get my Bitsy-fix and make certain she is doing OK — killing two birds with one stone! I will need to discuss it first with my trusty pet sitter though. I trust and respect her and would not want to give her the impression that I suspect her of neglect. Fortunately she knows that when it comes to my dog I am a bit of a nut!

So, what do you think about dog selfies or a nanny-cam for your pet? Over the top or a good idea? Leave your comments below!

Puppy Videos to Brighten Your Day!

Tuesday is really just a second Monday. Bitsy decided that it was a brilliant idea to roll in wet dead leaves RIGHT after coming home from the groomers. So, on days like today, when I just don’t understand dog logic, I surf the web to find interesting videos that make me smile. Here are two that I found:

Puppies learning how to howl

And this goofy lab who did a fun trick (possibly by accident…)

Hope these videos can be a good pick-me-up on your 2nd Monday!