Do dogs need winter coats? Sweaters?

Walking along 59th street towards Central Park, a dog with a bright blue sweater and matching booties walked past.  A safe distance away, my friend blurted, “Why do dog owners torture their dogs by dressing them up like that!?  The dog must feel utterly humiliated!”  I guess his rational is that dogs aren’t like people, and were designed to not need clothes.

Since today was the first day of the year when I felt my nose hairs freeze up and my teeth ache from the wind chill, I wondered – “Do dogs really need coats and sweaters in the winter?”  So I did a little research and it turns out that some dogs actually do benefit from having a coat or sweater to keep them warm.  What I found makes total sense.

Dogs that are small and have really short hair benefit more from wearing winter coats and sweaters.  Chihuahuas, Daschunds and even Greyhounds are breeds that lose their body heat faster than the average dog.  Puppies are also more susceptible to the cold.  If your dogs is shivering a lot and suddenly stops – THAT’s something to be concerned about. But a Husky wearing a turtleneck is probably a little over the top.  What do you think Mr. Jobs?

Steve Dogs

I know Apple isn’t the same without me.

Unless you’re making them wear one in really high temperatures, putting on an extra layer for warmth probably won’t harm the dog, so if it makes you feel better to play it safe and don’t mind the extra steps before going on your nightly walk, looks like it’s okay.  Still, I might avoid going overboard.  Exhibit A.

A Christmas Story Snow Suit

Imagine if a dog couldn’t ‘put his arms down.’ HIs belly laying flat on the ground.

Also, older dogs, especially ones with arthritis, suffer from the cold much more than younger ones with healthy joints.  So if you have an older dog, in addition to the outdoor coat, one might even consider getting them a heated dog bed or tucking them in with an extra blanket and after the goodnight belly rub.  Or I guess one could try one of these?  Hmmmm.

dog snuggie

Is she knitting him a sweater to wear over his Snuggie?

Especially when it snows, as much as dog booties make me giggle, they can protect your dog from tracking in salt that could contain impurities that you don’t want to be licked off their paws.  I mean – I’m Asian, so I guess I would even make a dog take off their shoes before letting them into my apartment.  There’s GOT to be a command that gets a dog to wipe their feet before coming into the house.  Anyone seen it?

Thanks for reading!

If you’re looking for local New York dog community that share pet sitting favors and like the idea of a play date, why not check out Waggit?

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Ever want a puppy to follow you home?

Like lots of kids, I always wanted a puppy to follow me home.  Using my imagination, I’d picture a happy puppy with floppy ears, curiously walking behind me, stopping when I stopped, following my every move until I arrived home.  Then he’d look up at me with those puppy dog eyes until I swooped him up and held him close in my arms.  I’d then use those same puppy dog eyes on my parents and sweetly ask, “Can we keep him?”

I realize this is a cat, but you get the picture.

Puss n Boots

‘Purrrty please?” [blink blink]

Another one of my favorite memories growing up was watching Lady and the Tramp.   I wanted a puppy just like Lady to jump out of a perfectly wrapped box, start licking my face and then I’d start petting her super soft ears.  Oh, the blissful feeling!  Remember the scene when Lady is a puppy and she so desperately climbs the stairs so that she can sleep with her Masters?  I must have watched that movie a million times.

Here’s a heartwarming photo of a puppy that followed this solider in Afghanistan for miles before he was finally picked up and put in the soldiers pouch.

Puppy Soldier

“After following the Marines numerous miles, a soft hearted Marine picked the puppy up and carried the puppy in his drop pouch.” by Kevin Hanrahan

What it is about puppies that make us so attached to them?  Or on the flip side, what is it about people that make puppies so attached to us?

It’s a loaded question, but I’m sure there are some folks out there that know what I’m talking about.  If you have stories or can think of reasons why we love our dogs so much, would love to hear them!  Tweet at us @getwaggit

Related:

A Case for Dogs

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Holistic Pet Care – My visit to Whiskers in the East Village

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Hustling from breakfast in the East Village – I finally had a chance to stop by Whiskers Holistic Pet Store.  I originally learned about it through a New York Times article and it’s been on my short list of places to check out.  After a very impromptu walk in, I found myself plopped on a stool in a cozy corner of the store with one of their sales representatives, Joe.  Being in the pet food business for over a decade, Joe didn’t hesitate to give me a crash course in pet nutrition.  Here are some of the things I remembered from my chat with Joe.

  • Just like people eat yogurt with pro-biotics because it’s good for our digestive tracks – pets should too.  Probiotics help pets digest their food better.
  • Supplementing your pets diet with fish that has omega oils is good for their joints.
  • If you can, feed you pet raw foods.  But if you don’t have the lifestyle where you can prepare raw foods every meal, that’s okay.  There are easy recipes or pre- cooked frozen pet foods that can be good alternatives.
  • Pet allergies and kidney disease is on the rise, in large part because of what we we’re feeding our pets.
  • As much as Whiskers is a great place to learn about how to keep your pet healthy, it’s not a pharmacy. They provide recommendations on how to better care for you pet, but not medically treat your pet.
  • Dogs naturally ‘binge and fast’.  Which is why it’s not good to leave dog food laying out all day.  The only thing a dog needs at all times is clean water.
  • It’s important to not over feed your pets.  Routinely feed them 3 small meals a day.  That’s about it.  You don’t want your dog to be another victim of pet obseity.  It’s a rising trend in America.

I totally get that it’s part of Joe’s job to promote products from the store, but I personally didn’t feel pressured to buy, I felt like his goal was to simply teach me things I didn’t know about pet nutrition.  Joe answered all my questions and gave me some print outs of other resources worth checking out.  With so much experience in the industry, Joe made me a believer in feeding pets good food, even if it costs a little extra.  The benefits of a healthy pet diet can be realized with fewer vet visits, and of course – a long happy life with you and your pet!

Whiskers has two New York locations.  One in Manhattan, the other in Astoria Queens.

Storefronts

Manhattan: 235 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10003-7536 (212) 979-2532
Queens: 19-31 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105, (718) 956-6706

Other Holistic Pet Care sites

http://www.onlynaturalpet.com

http://www.thewholisticpet.com/

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New York Pets and Hurricane Sandy – A Special Benefit

A special fundraiser to help raise money for New York pets effected by Hurricane Sandy is coming up this Wednesday,  November 7th at 8pm.  If you’re in Greenpoint, stop by to meet some fellow animal lovers, listen to some great music and support a much good cause!

“New York City’s animals were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Fosters and pet owners have found themselves having to surrender pets in their care. There was a long power outage at Animal Care and Control, resulting in many animals stuck on the ACC’s Kill List. Many local rescues sustained extensive damage to their facilities. This all has resulted in many homeless animals at risk of being euthanized. ”

Sandy Animal Relief

Buy tickets/donate and more info here:

http://www.eventbee.com/v/sandy

https://www.facebook.com/notes/adopt-ny/the-adopt-ny-hurricane-sandy-relief-fund/516723935006979

Meet the foster pet of your dreams through the Adopt NY site here:

http://www.adoptny.org/browse/

 

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East Village Tompkins Square Dog Parade – Perfect Weather, Perfect Dogs.

What do you get when you combine dogs, Victoria Secret models, aliens and drag queens?  The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, of course!  I know we’ve been writing a lot about dogs and Halloween, but we just had to share some more photos from this years event.

Dog Halloween

Great day to get out and do something fun with your dog.

A week and a half before Halloween, the event had perfect weather, smiling faces and a ton of dogs dressed to impress, make you giggle and appreciate how dogs can bring people together.  People of all ages and backgrounds took pride is getting their dogs in the spotlight and a chance to win some fun prizes from local dog companies like EverMore pet food and Barkbox.com.

The $5 admission fee went towards maintaining the dog run as one of the most well kept dog spots for the folks in the East Village.  A good cause and some great fun.  Can’t wait till next year.

Be warned, the cuteness factor is off the charts.

Evita Dog

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – the truth is – this dress itches.

Dog Skeleton

Do you think he’s got skeletons in his closet?

Tired Dog

You are getting sleeeeeepy. Very sleeeepy.

Butterfly Dog

I’m not sure the wings could support a successful flight.

Drag Queen Dog

Honey, you never looked better.

Wonder Woman Dog

They could both do a Pantene commercial.

And last but not least …

Dog Butt

Have we met? You look familiar. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife?

For more photos, checkout our Facebook Album.

Are you and your dog prepped for the actual day of Halloween?

 

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A Fundraiser for Animal Rescue: The Waggit Weenie Roast

Warm summer nights in the New York are great.  Neighborhoods with great bars and restaurants come alive with people looking for a place to chill out and have a good time.  So here at Waggit, we thought, why not invite our friends to chill and hang out while raising money for something we really care about: animal rescue.

So with a lot of help from our friends and some careful planning, Waggit successfully hosted our very first fundraiser – The Waggit Weenie Roast.

Waggit Weenie Roast

Wiener dog jokes aside, over 50 people came out for our modest rooftop party in Long Island City.  With the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop, people loaded up grilled hotdogs with toppings like sauteed kimchi, fresh guacamole, bacon and spicy jalapeno peppers.  And of course – what hot dog spread would be complete without toppings for the ever popular chili cheese dog?

With a healthy supply of chilled drinks and desserts, there was plenty of room to spread out, have a nice conversation and kick back after a long work week.  Combining our love for dogs and New York, two movies were screened at the party.  Best In Show, an obvious dog lovers film, and You’ve Got Mail, a classic romantic comedy that takes place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Riverside Park loves dogs!

At the end of the night, close to $700 was raised to support the Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue (BBAR) organization.  For the past year and a half, BBAR has found homes for over 275 dogs that came from rural shelters in southern states like Alabama, Florida, and the Carolinas.  By organizing transport, holding adoption events almost every Saturday in Williamsburg, and by being an active support network for owners, BBAR makes it easy to adopt a dog in need of a good home.  For more information, check out their website and pay them a visit at their hangout spot on Saturdays at NYCPet Store in Williamsburg (475 Driggs (by N11th).

Badass Brooklyn

Badass Adoption Event (July 14) from Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue on Vimeo.

Waggit would love to feature other rescue groups in other New York boroughs, so if you’re interested in getting your favorite rescue group a shout out on our blog, please write us at info@waggit.com.  We love hearing from our readers!

Dog Fashionistas of New York

Alright New York, get our your Stilettos and sunglasses.  Fashion week is coming.  The dates are Sept 6-13th.

New York City prides itself on New York Fashion Week.  It’s our chance to highlight the best new fashions trends and celebrate textile creativity with a bonanza of fun events.  Think sipping champagne with Vera Wang and seeing Karl Lagerfeld drawing crowds in Soho.  

But did you know that NYC also boasts a Pet Fashion Week?  Showcasing new trends in pet fashion, the event not only happens in New York, but around the world in other fashion hubs such as Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Now, many of us, probably can’t boast having a super fashionable dog, nor have the resources to spend a pretty penny on the accessorizing or dressing up our pets, but there are always ways to have a good time with your beloved pets appearance.

So run out and have a fashion day with your dog and some play mates!  Be sure to bring the camera and let us know how it went.  We’d love to hear some funny stories and share your photos!

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