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!
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.
“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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or bring your furry meet us at Northwestival. We would love to meet you and your four-footed friends!
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.