Protect Your Fur Baby: What to do when Cold Weather Strikes

November 19, 2019 by University District

Winter safety tips for the pet in your life


Winter may be chilly, but it’s also a time of year where we wake up to freshly fallen snow that turns our landscapes into a magical winter wonderland. It’s a great time of year and although us humans pretty much know how to prepare ourselves for when the mercury dips, our pets need a little more help to make sure they are warm and well-cared for during Calgary’s cooler months.


University District and our future retail partner Pet Planet are here to help!  We sat down with Sally Kananen, Director of Animal Health and Product Knowledge with Pet Planet for its top tips and product suggestions for when the weather outside is frightful. 


From protecting fur babies that enjoy romping in the snow to ways you can entertain your pet indoors when the wintry winds blow. Keep reading to find out how you can protect your four-footed family members and ensure a safe and happy winter for all.


Let’s get started but before we do, let’s introduce you to Pet Planet!



Mark your calendars, pack your mittens and bring the whole family, including your four-legged furries to Northwestival, University District’s annual winter outdoor festival! Join us on December 8 from 1pm to 6pm at for an afternoon packed full of family friendly holiday surprises and all things merry and bright that make the Northwest worth celebrating. For admission details and more, click here


Two Paws up for Pet Planet


After the passing of a family dog to cancer, Laura Leah English and her mother launched its flagship store to Calgarians in 1996, and has been making waves (and wags!) ever since.


The inspiration? 


“We wanted to provide a community-based pet food store founded on pet health wellness through education, where owners could make healthy choices for their furries to help them live longer, happier and healthier lives,” notes Sally.


From products to grooming and its self-service washing stations, Pet Planet takes a more holistic approach to everything it offers.


“Pet Planet is a no rawhide retailer and has been the only pet retailer to never offer this on our shelves,” she adds.



Twenty-three years later, the local family business has grown to over 50 locations reaching coast to coast in Canada, with twenty of those stores based in Calgary. University District will be home to it’s 21st bringing with it, its bright and vibrant atmosphere that’s loved by two-and four-legged visitors alike.


U/D residents, neighbours and their furry companions can look forward to Pet Planet’s membership program which offers customers special discounts on products and services, as well as weekly promotions such as Bone Tuesday, Treat Thursday and Free Biscuit Friday.



Brrrr… Winter Care Tips for Your Furry Friend


When cooler weather arrives, we ready ourselves with coats, scarves, mittens, hats and warm blankets but what about our four-legged companions? Give your pet the extra attention it needs with these pet care tips that will help keep your furry family members happy and healthy until the grass starts growing again. Let’s take a look!


Keeping Warm: Dress Them Up!


Doggy coats, sweaters and booties, oh my! We may admire our pets’ plush coats, but as beautiful as fur is, it’s not a perfect insulator, especially during Calgary’s winter months.  Use sweaters or cozy coats that reach from the neck to the base of the tail to keep your pupper warm during outdoor excursions to the Urban Dog Park in U/D or nearby Edworthy Park. Remember, a good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you in your winter coat, it’s too cold for your pet.


If you do a lot of walking on sidewalks or your pup is bothered by the snow or ice touching its feet, a pair of snug booties may make the outdoor journey much easier and can help protect your pet’s paws from ice and rough road salt. A bonus: booties should help the house stay cleaner, too!


Product Suggestion: RC pet dog coats. Choices vary from light shells and base layers to coats that offer superior protection and high-end features. They also come in popular colours and patterns, as well as many sizes to fit all doggy shapes.



Paw at some Paw Balm


Cold weather brings icy sidewalks, and those layers of salt meant to melt it away can be dangerous for your pup causing paws to dry out, crack and bleed. Keep your best friend’s furry little paws in tip-top shape and shield those delicate toes from cold, ice and salt burn with some soothing paw balm.  Simply massage it on to your pet’s paw pads before a walk around the neighbourhood to create a moisturizing wax barrier that will protect them the elements. Then wipe and rinse after each walk to remove any excess salt.


Tip: Trim away! If your dog has furry feet, keeping the fur between paw pads trimmed can help prevent salt, snow and ice from getting lodged in-between your pooches toes. 


Product Suggestion: Pet-Tek Paw Balm is an all-natural paw and skincare product that combines safe and edible ingredients that will soften, repair and protect your four-legged companion’s skin, paws, nose and ears.


There’s nothing quite like a cozy bed and extra blankets to burrow into after a long day of frolicking in the snow to make the furry in your life feel warm and well-cared for. To help inspire you, check out these expert tips and quirky ways to keep your space primed for you and your four-legged fellows. 


Let the Snood out of the Bag!


If you and your doggo are venturing outdoors to nearby Bowness Park for an extended period in the chilly weather, add a snood to their regular winter get up! A must-have during wintertime, a snood will protect your pet from hypothermia and frostbite, keep their ears and neck toasty and warm, making our harshest winter days feel healthily warm.


Product Suggestion: RC Pets Summit and Polaris Snood is a hat and scarf combo that will keep your fur baby’s ears and neck warm during cold, windy conditions. The super stretchy fabric and drawstring cinch will allow your pupper to move around with ease while keeping them cozy and snug!



Throw Your Furry … a Supplement


Like humans, our pets don’t necessarily get all the nutrition they need from their diet. From supplements that provide support for arthritic joints and fatty acids to reduce shedding to antioxidants and probiotics. Vitamins can help with a variety of issues, including our wintry conditions. Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Adding a supplement such as coconut oil to their diet can help keep your pet’s skin and coat shiny and healthy.


Tip: Give your furry the boost it needs with some supplements! Consult your local animal healthcare professional if you have questions about what supplements to give your pet.


Plan on getting your pet a present this holiday? Give your four-legged friend the gift of joy with the merriest treats, toys and accessories. To help you plan your holiday shopping list and to keep your spending in check, the pros at Scotiabank share some tips and ways to stay on budget this season. Take a look here



Let them “Go Wild”!


Frosty winter weather can limit the time pet parents and their four-legged companions spend outdoors, but your fur baby still needs to be entertained when being outdoors seems more foolhardy than fun. Never fear! You can still exercise your pet during the year’s coldest and iciest months. 


Spend some much-needed quality time your fur baby with an outing to Pet Planet. Build a small agility course out of piles of snow in your backyard (if you dare!) or even indoors with pillows, couches, beds or anything you have around the home.  Try doggie day care and playing toss or mini-fetch with a toy in the house to tug-of-war, obedience classes, teaching new tricks or commands and treadmill walks. There’s so many ways to help your furry burn off some energy and keep them stimulated!


Tip: Get creative and try a game of hide and seek to practice the “come” command or stuff a Kong toy to make your furry work for his/her treat. Pets love it!



Time to Work on that Winter Bod’


Just like their owners, pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in the wintertime.  Naturally, feeding your furry a little more during the cooler months can provide much-needed calories, and giving them plenty of water will keep your pet well hydrated, which is especially important if they’re wearing extra layers outdoors. Remember to reward your four-legged companion with a couple treats for braving the wintry conditions and to boost their energy levels!


Tip: A high quality, whole foods diet will help ensure a healthy coat and good energy for the season.


Pay special attention to your loyal friend’s wellbeing by keeping these winter care tips in mind. And don’t forget that cuddles with your canine or feline buddy are a great way for everybody to keep warm!

Do you have a favourite way to keep your pet active? Have a tip or suggestion of your own to share? Share your recommendations with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or bring your furry meet us at Northwestival. We would love to meet you and your four-footed friends!

Join the Discussion

Comments are moderated before being posted. Your email address is required but will not be published.

Join our email list for more information and our newsletter.
I'm interested in learning more about:
Popular Keywords
For the Love of NW Calgary: Meet U/D Residents with Deep Roots in the Area
Upcoming Events at U/D this Spring and Summer
New Builder Feature: Crystal Creek Homes Launching GUILD at University District
See All Blog Posts
2023, A year in review, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, apartment rental, Aria, Artist, August, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD Awards, Block Party, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bubble Tea, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Builder Launch, Building Industry and Land Development, Business, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary Art, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, Calgary community, Calgary Drinks, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary Hearing, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Cambridge Manor, Canada, Canada Day, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, Celebration, centerpieces, Central Commons, Charcut, charity, cineplex, Classes, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cooking, cooking together, Creative, Crystal Creek Homes, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Dining, Discovery Centre, DIY, dog park, Dogs, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, Easter, Eco decor, eLearning, Entertainment, environment, events, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family, Father's Day, Financial, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Green Calgary, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Hearing loss, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, home, Home Automation, home decor, Home Maintenance, home office, Home organization, Home Ownership, Home Technology, homemade pizza, Homeowners, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, Ice Rink, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, Jayman BUILT, Kananaskis, kids learning, Level Playing Field, lighting, local, local business, local good, Love on Main Street, love your pet, made in Calgary, Magna, Maple, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mindful spaces, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, Nature, New at UD, New homes, New Projects, New Resident, Night Market, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, Office, Olympic Oval, online learning, Orangetheory, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Parks, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Photography, plant, plant care, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Programs, puppy love, rafting, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, Retail, Retail Main Street, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save-On-Foods, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, Skating, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Sports, Spring, Spring Cleaning, Staples, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Food, summer getaways, sustainable design, table setting, tablescape, Thanksgiving, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, Tips and Tricks, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, U/D, UCalgary, UD Events, UD Life, UDLife, University District, University District Dental, University of Calgary, Urban Balcony, urban dog park, Urban Garden, Urban Patio Decor, Valentines Day, Vegan Cuisine, Vegan Food, Vendors, vermicomposting, Village Ice Cream, Volunteer, Volunteerism, Walking, West Campus Development Trust, Wine, wine experience, Winefest, Winsport Zipline, winter, winter activities, winter festival, Winter Fitness, winter fun, winter memories, winter pet care, winter pet care tips, winter traditions, winter warm up, Winter workout, women grooming, Women Leaders, workouts, Yard, year in review, YYC Events, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Discover NW Calgary's most interesting places, people and things

Visit Our Channel

Looking for something to do in NW Calgary?

Check Out Our Event Calendar

The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.