May 23, 2006

The Dogs Of Fashion

As winter arrives in the northern parts of the world and webreak out our down filled parkas, our fleece lined ski jackets,long-johns, hats and mittens – do we stop to think of our fourlegged friends and companions? Well, most of us don’t, which ishard to imagine seeing as he’s one of our best friends.

Most of the dogs that we keep have not been bred for a severelycold climate. They were bred for size, companionship, show andas working dogs. Only the Spitz-type dogs such as the Alaskanmalamute and the Huskies were bred for cold climates. These arelarge dogs with heavy mass and thick coats that are able toretain and maintain their body heat.

Many of the larger short haired breeds such as the Bulldog,Boxer, Dalmatian and Great Dane appreciate a sweater in coldweather. However, most of the dogs we have as pets in our homesare from the medium to smaller dog breeds. These dogs, becauseof their smaller body mass and typically thinner coats, can getcold very quickly. Their extremities, being smaller, have agreater chance of being damaged by the cold than do the largerbreeds. Small and toy dogs have an extremely hard timemaintaining and retaining their body heat. At worst frigid air,snow or slush can cause your dog to get frost bite and at bestit will certainly make her him not want to go outdoors forexercise, walks and toileting.

One of the best ways to protect your pet from the elements is tokit them out with specialty dogclothes designed to keep them warm. Like our own clothing,the materials used are designed for comfort and durability.Fleece, cotton and nylon are commonly used in the constructionof doggie coats, capes, sweaters, shirts and boots. If you wantkeep your dog comfortable in cold weather you will need topurchase at the very least a coat or cape (to help retain bodyheat) and fleece lined nylon boots (to protect the feet fromsnow and cold). Almost any pet store will have dog apparel tosuit most breeds. To find larger sized clothes (for breeds likethe Greyhound) or specific brands and styles, you may have tosearch out an on-line store that carries these products.

If you live in the Snow Belt, do your dog a favor – get him somewarm clothes to wear. He’ll be happier for it and you’ll havepeace of mind that your dog is safe and comfortable.

About the author:

About the Author – Mike Mathews is a contributing writer andeditor for the popular dog breed site: . He provides informative, real-world advice and tips on dog breeds and dog health .

Mike Mathews

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