Winter warmers for pets

Updated: 2014-11-25 10:08

By Zhang Wei(Shanghai Star)

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Winter warmers for pets

As the temperature drops, it is important to keep your pets warm and well-dressed. Photo provided to Shanghai Star

As the cold weather approaches, pet owners must not forget the most vulnerable members at their family. Zhang Wei reports.

As winter approaches, many people are busy buying new coats, thermal underwear and blankets. They want to be insulated from the cold from head to toe, but how do you ensure your pets are also comfortable when winter hits?

Many dog owners dress their animals up in winter coats. But it is important to note that different breeds deal with winter differently.

Small and slight bodied dogs with short or thin coats, such as Chihuahuas, terrier and pinscher breeds, need protection from cold weather. Greyhounds, Whippets and dogs with thin body types, also need extra warmth in winter. Poodles grow thick hair but their owners tend to have them short-cropped. So in this case, they also need to be protected from the winter chill.

For all these dogs, it is recommended owners dress them in a coat when venturing outside in winter.

Larger dogs with thicker coats of hair do not need to be dressed in winter because their fur is designed to protect them from low temperatures. Husky, Malamute or Saint Bernard breeds are perfectly suited to cold weather.

There are exceptions, however. Older dogs with weak immune systems and dogs with diseases such as Cushing's disease or hypothyroidism need clothes to stay warm.

Once a pet owner has determined that they need to buy a coat for their beloved dog, they should make sure they are getting a garment the animal will be comfortable in.

Material is very important. The best choice is a good blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic that can prevent animals from itching.

Getting the right size is also important. The clothes need to be snug without being tight. The most important areas are around the neck, around the largest part of the chest and the distance from the neck to waist. Remember, dogs cannot wear pants, so the sweaters' length is not to cover the lower part below the waist.

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