Dreary weather getting you and your dog down, dog walker? Don’t let it spoil your dog walks. Dog boots, hat and coat can help your rain-shy pup enjoy dog walking more by keeping him dry and comfortable and, if you should have an ice storm, by protecting his feet from ice and salt. But since most dogs don’t enjoy apparel (after all, they have coats, right?), it can be hard for them to tolerate wearing clothes. Here’s how you can make it easier on them.

Buy the right size. Your dog’s comfort is much more important than how adorable he looks in his new clothes. Measure your dog with a seamstress tape before shopping. Ideally, try before you buy at a pet store that allows pets. An ill-fitting outfit will likely backfire.

Avoid obstructing your dog’s face or squashing his ears with a hat. This can be tough for dogs with upright ears, but hats that allow their ears to fold down and offer a comfortable, snug fit may work. Try on a few different styles to see what works and what educes endless flapping and pawing.

Coats and boots with adjustable straps help ensure a good fit. Make sure he can walk without stepping out of the boots. The coat should also allow you to use his collar and leash and allow him to eliminate effectively.

Select outerwear with reflective material sewn into the design for extra safety on dark, rainy walks.

Before the next rainy day dog walk, practice with the new clothes inside. Offer treats, praise and lots of petting to associate the new clothes with good things. Trying on the outerwear ahead of time not only builds familiarity, but also gets your dog’s scent on his new duds, which is always important to canines.

Make sure the coat doesn’t rub his hair the wrong way. Reach under and smooth down his fur as needed.

Don’t worry if he doesn’t like his clothes immediately. It usually takes time for dogs to adjust to, well, anything new. Although your dog may not embrace his new gear right off, he may become more accepting as he realizes he stays drier when wearing it.

Let your dog walker and pet sitter know about your dog’s coat, boots and hat so they can use the items as needed. As with any aspect of dog ownership, consistency is key.

Happy dog walking!

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation for pet care or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com