Oh, the weather outside is frightful. And when you live in Chicago, pet parent life is not so delightful. Particularly in the winter months, dog moms and dads likely find themselves like me. Piling on the layers and trekking off into the tundra, all for the love of our pups. When it comes to braving the chill, there are several products that I consider must-haves. From gear to clothing, this is what little miss Greta and I consider to be most important in our winter routine.
1. Healer's Dog Boots
I've tried every pair of dog booties under the sun. These are one of the few that my dog Greta will tolerate. Perfect for those deep Midwestern snows, they'll protect your pup's paw pads and ensure that your walk isn't paused by frozen feet. Grab them here.
2. Boots & Barkley™ Dog Puffer
Winter protection, but make it fashion. When you live in a big city, it's important too keep up appearances. That's why Greta loves her trendy Target puffer. Warm enough to fend off the sleet and snow, but cute enough to make it onto the runway. Get your own here.
3. Musher's Secret
If your poor dog's paws get chapped and raw in the cold weather months, Musher's Secret is a must-have. A replacement for booties if your dog simply won't tolerate any shoes, it uses a wax-like texture to protect your pet's feet from ice melt, salt, and snow (and even heat in the summer). Pro-tip: some owners have reported allergic reactions in their dogs. If you want to give it a try, test it on a tiny portion of your dog's paw first. And be sure not to overuse - dogs need rough paw pads to protect them from environmental irritants! Grab a tub here.
4. Dog Collar Light
When daylight hours start to shorten, it can be a good idea to invest in some sort of collar light for your pet. Walking in the dark can be quite dangerous and put you and your dog at risk of accidents. A LED collar light will ensure that your pup is visible, even in darkness. Grab one here.
5. Seasonal Treats
Reactive dog parents know that treats are a #1 must-bring on walks. They help distract from rogue off-leash dogs, refocus misdirected energy, and are fun training tools for strengthening your bond. I love grabbing the latest festive treat from the pet store - my favorite brand is Bocce Bakery. The branding is adorable and Greta thinks they're delicious. Get a bag here.
6. Distracting Dog Puzzle
As much as we try to walk our dogs enough to satisfy them, the winter months pose quite a challenge. Sometimes, we're just unable to fulfill our dogs' exercise needs. An enriching puzzle is a great way to ensure your dog cat expend any extra energy. Shop one here.
7. Warm Dog Bed
At the end of the day, all your dog wants is a warm bed to come home to. Greta was never a fan of dog beds until she tried the calming fuzzy dog bed from Amazon. Supposedly, it's supposed to mimic the feel of a mother dog's fur. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I do know that it has my pup snoozing away for hours every night. Shop them here.
Don't forget, the greatest gift a pet parent can get their dog or cat is a happy, healthy life. Consider looking into pet insurance, so you never have to make a hard decision between your beloved companion and your wallet. Get a quote today.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.