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Cold-Weather Canine: Best Dog Gear For Winter

Photo: Ruffwear Polar Trex

For those of us who are lucky enough to know what it’s like, owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have — so long as you’re properly prepared for the responsibility. Not only do you get a pet but you get a lifetime of companionship, a partner who’s always ready for adventure, and definitely some laughs along the way. And we’re firm believers that all of that should be met with as much generosity on our part as possible.

A part of that generosity means equipping your dog with the proper gear, both at home and when you’re out on an adventure. And that’s especially important when the weather gets a little bit rough, because (despite some unfortunately common misconceptions) our four-legged friends are not that much better at surviving the harsh cold than we are without a bit of help. Yes, even huskies are susceptible to chills. So, when snow starts to fall and the mercury drops, turn to our following list of the best dog gear for winter.

Chilly Dog Head Muff

If it’s cold enough outside for you to wear a beanie, guess what? It’s probably going to make your dog’s head cold, as well. And while a standard hat doesn’t really work for our four-legged friends, the Head Muff from the folks at Chilly Dog most certainly will. Made in a wealth of sizes and colors, this device will protect your dog’s ears from frostbite and keep their head toasty warm.

Purchase: $19+

Farm Innovators Quart Heated Bowl

If you’ve got an outdoor dog — meaning they spend most of their time in the yard — the colder months can pose some strange problems. For instance, their water bowl might freeze over. That is unless you’ve got the Farm Innovators Quart Heated Bowl. Thermostatically controlled to only operate when necessary and featuring a chew-proof cable, this bowl will make sure your mutt’s water never turns to ice.

Purchase: $25

Ruffwear The Beacon Safety Light

Especially in rain, sleet, and snow, visibility can be pretty poor whether you’re just out for a stroll with your pooch or if you’re out on the trails for some winter adventures. In either case, it’s a good idea to strap the Ruffwear Beacon Safety Light to your dog’s collar. That way, if they scamper off, you can find them easier and oncoming hikers or cars on the road will see your dog with fair warning and know to watch out.

Purchase: $25

Mountainsmith K9 Dog Pack

If outdoor adventure is your thing, you’re probably going to want to bring your dog with you — even in winter. But adding a member to your hiking party also means carrying more gear — even if that’s just water and snacks. Of course, your dog is also perfectly capable of hauling their own, if you rig them with the Mountainsmith K9 Dog Pack. Designed specifically for hiking, this saddlebag-backpack hybrid is a durable and reliable hiking harness that lets your pooch literally carry his or her own gear.

Purchase: $39+

K&H Pet Products Pet Bed Warmer

Whether you live somewhere in the Great White North or you’re just visiting for a spell, things can get pretty damn chilly. And your four-legged companion is certainly not immune to the cold. Yet dogs often don’t get the benefit of snuggling up under fluffy comforters and bedsheets, with most sleeping on a fairly basic pillow pad. To make sure your dog stays warm all through the night, just slip one of these Pet Bed Warmers inside their bed and it will turn it into the equivalent of a heating blanket. Just keep in mind that this is meant to be stuffed inside a bed and not for direct contact.

Purchase: $40+

Canada Pooch North Pole Parka

Even if you’re avoiding the cold — if you own a dog, you’re going to probably have to go outside so they can relieve themselves. But while you’re wearing your comfiest puffer jacket, what’s Fido stuck with? If you’re really concerned with your pooch keeping warm in a cold snap, you’ll wrap them in the Canada Pooch North Pole Parka. Surprisingly stylish for dog gear, this mini coat is a brilliant way to keep your canine cozy.

Purchase: $42

Atlas Pet Company Lifetime Leash

Most standard pet store leashes were not designed for hard use, especially in cold weather (which can sometimes compound wear and tear). By contrast, the Atlas Pet Company’s Lifetime Leash was made to last, well, a lifetime. In fact, they’re so confident in the quality, that they offer a lifetime guarantee on it — even if your dog is the one that does the destroying. And that’s a lot more than we can say for most other leash brands.

Purchase: $48+

BarkerBag Dog Sleeping Bag

If you’re the type to go camping and you own a dog, hopefully (and especially in winter) you’re responsible enough to let your dog stay in the tent with you. However, that’s only the first step in keeping your dog healthy and happy at the campsite. The other: ensuring they’re warm through the night. And that’s manageable without sharing your sleeping bag, so long as you’ve got the BarkerBag dog sleeping bag. Designed to be zipped into the seam of your sleeping bag, this one will share your warmth without taking up your personal space.

Purchase: $79+

Rex Specs Dog Snow Goggles

Snowboarers, skiers, and mountaineers should be well-acquainted with the risks of snow-blindness. If you’re not, here’s a quick lesson: white snow can reflect the sun’s light into your eyes and literally blind you — even permanently if there’s prolonged exposure. That can also happen to your dog. Which is why you should get a pair of Rex Specs dog goggles. With several different lens options, these can protect your pooch’s eyes from the elements, especially in the dead of winter.

Purchase: $80+

K9 Ballistic Tough Deep Den Dog Bed

Cold weather and cozy bedding go together like wine and cheese, and your dog’s sleeping arrangements should be no different. So when things get chilly, pop out the K9 Ballistic Tough Deep Den Dog Bed and call it a day. This ultra-tough sleeper boasts a waterproof membrane, it’s made from a chew-resistant ripstop fabric, it’s easy to wash, and it was even made in the USA. Perfect for either indoor or outdoor, this puffy pillow bed can’t be beat.

Purchase: $89

Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots

We cannot stress this enough: if the ground is too cold for you to walk on it barefoot, it’s probably too cold for your dog, too. Save your canine from suffering potential frostbite by slipping its feet into the Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots. They’re cozy warm, have an easy zip-up format for quick on and off, their soft-shell upper is weatherproof, and they even have legitimate Vibram outsoles — like real human hiking boots.

Purchase: $100

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker

There were reports that the weather in the Midwest is so bad, people could get frostbite within five minutes of exposure to the elements. What they weren’t saying on the news is that it could also happen to your dog if he or she goes running off. But you can stay worry-free and prepared to go hunt down your pup to save it in the coldest of winter weather, so long as Fido is wearing the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker. Shock-resistant, IPX7 waterproof, and equipped with activity tracking, GPS, and cellular connectivity — you’ll always know where your pooch is and what they’re up to.

Purchase: $100

Akoma Hound Heater Dog House Furnace

While we certainly hope most people have the good sense to bring their dog inside during the colder months of the year, we also understand there’s difficulty in that for some people. If you’re determined to make your pooch stay outside in winter, the least you could do is equip their dog house with the Akoma Hound Heater dog house furnace. Thermostatically controlled — meaning it turns on when it needs to and off when it doesn’t — this 300-watt heater can warm up a space that’s up to 75 cubic feet. But it also boasts a heat shield, so it’s not hot to the touch, making it safe for your dog to be near.

Purchase: $150+

Ruffwear Omnijore Jorring System

You can think of jorring like a combination of dog sledding and cross-country skiing. And it’s an especially fun activity for anyone with a dog or two that has a lot of energy. But you need specialized equipment to get it done the right way, which is exactly why Ruffwear made their Omnijore System. Including a harness for you, one for your dog, and the leash that connects you — this rig is great for taking your dog skiing, but also works great for skateboarding or bicycling, if that’s more your speed.

Purchase: $170

Molosser Aegis All-Weather Dog Jacket

If Helly Hansen, the renowned sailing-inspired outdoor brand, was interested in making dog gear, the Aegis All-Weather Dog Jacket would be right up their alley. Boasting a design that blocks out water, dust, dirt, snow, and even road salts, this Polartec weatherproof shell is so loaded with tech features, we’re almost jealous that it wasn’t made for humans. It has 3M reflective panels for low light visibility, comfortable and quick attachment points, and it’s even fully-articulated for a complete range of motion.

Purchase: $248

10 Best Dog Breeds For Outdoor Adventure

If you want to hit the trails with a canine companion, you first need to adopt a dog. But you should keep in mind that there are a few that are a lot more adventure-ready than your average chihuahua. You can find them all here on our list of the best hiking dog breeds.