Bless his heart.
A boy and his dog who rests on his back while he does his math in mom’s big bed.
Pictures might be mediocre but the moment was pure sweetness.
As I am preparing all of our boys for another Michigan winter, I realize I need to make sure my dogs are winter-ready too.
Remy has a lot of hair but it is mostly fluff and he doesn’t have the benefit of an undercoat to keep him warm. Emma is a short-haired dog and she too gets cold outside. Their new sweatshirts will help keep them warm in the fall and for short trips outside but I have been considering what they need to keep their feet protected as well.
Many driveways and sidewalks are salted with rock salt and similar products that are harmful to pets. Paw pads can be extremely sensitive to these products and their paws can sustain burns, cuts and infections because of winter conditions and icy roads and sidewalks. Paw pads can be burned by ice treatments as well as packed ice and snow stuck between paw pads which can be painful. Ice melting products can also be ingested by dogs nursing their sore paws and those products can be toxic to them. Icy pathways can cut their sensitive paw pads which can lead to pain and infection. Another danger I recently read about is that litter on sidewalks can be hidden in snow – I had never even considered that. I’m going to have to be mindful of that because one of our neighborhood sidewalks always has broken glass and other trash on it. Dogs are also susceptible to frostbite.
It helps to walk your dogs through the snow to avoid harmful chemicals people, businesses or even city services may put down on streets and sidewalks. It seems that winter poses a whole set of safety concerns I had never given any thought to until I started reading about the best ways to care for my pups. I’m going to be extra diligent to trim the hair between Remy’s paws this winter because that really does help with the snow getting packed in his pads. Some dog owners suggest rinsing their feet in warm water when they come inside to melt any snowballs packed in between their pads and to rinse off any possible chemicals that they have contacted. Last winter I tried to make booties for my dogs but after several attempts I gave up. I can sew many things but I could not make satisfactory booties – maybe that’s because I over complicate everything. This year I am going to try to find a few styles of foot protection and see what works best for Emma and Remy. Many people seem to like fleece booties but I assume that’s because they are easy to make and they are much more affordable than a doggie boot. Ideally I would prefer a boot because it would keep their feet dry and I think it would be most durable. I’m interested to see if they even tolerate wearing something on their feet.
Of course I will review these options as soon as possible because it’s really a good time of year for all of us to start thinking about making sure our beloved canine friends are safe this winter. If you have any suggestions for winter footwear for dogs, please leave me a comment so I can learn from your experience.
If you are interested in pet-friendly ways to treat the ice on your own driveway, or if you want to promote pet-friendly ice melting products to your community, I recommend checking out these resources:
The Toby Time blog has good information I found helpful when I was doing some blog research.
*This is not a sponsored post. My links are not affiliate links. I just want our pets to be safe this winter.
We purchased Remy from Kim at Goldendaydoodles in Grand Rapids, MI. She’s got the sweetest, cutest little doodles and right now she has puppies available here.
If money grew on trees and if I had one of those trees I would absolutely snatch up one or more of her adorable mini goldendoodles. I swoon. Harry wants to come and live with us.
Remy and Emma like to wrestle and it is seriously one of the cutest things to see them play so wild. Emma is doing so well nearly 14 months after we brought her home. She still gets anxious around strangers and other dogs but it is better and we are so thankful she has such a good friend in Remy. They really love each other.
Emma is at a significant size disadvantage when they wrestle but we still haven’t seen one of them take the place of the Alpha Dog yet. They each win some and lose some. When they wrestle they like to chew on each other. If Emma is lucky she gets a hold of Remy’s ear and chews on it for a while. As a result Remy has started getting little mats in his ears for the first time ever.
He doesn’t seem to mind me combing mats out of his hair, except his thin belly skin, but I wouldn’t be inclined to try to comb them out of his ears because I’m sure that would hurt. I was intrigued last week when I stopped into The Chow Hound to pick up a new comb for Remy. The comb I had previously used worked great but it hurt my hand all the time.
Previous comb (smaller one pictured) – Top Paw $10
New Comb – what a difference a handle makes! – Safari Comb $7.50 here.
While looking for a new comb with a handle I came across a kind of funny looking comb and it piqued my curiosity. I asked the sales associate and she said she didn’t know much about that comb specifically but she did say they sold a lot of them. The comb is the Safari Dematting Comb and I was intrigued. She said I could return it if I wasn’t happy with it and all Safari products were 25% off so I brought it home. That night when I gave Remy a bath I started grooming him and came across a good size mat on his ear. I’m pretty careful with his ears so this was a good place to try the effectiveness of this new comb.
Basically you work the teeth into the bottom of the mat and it slides right through the mat breaking it up. A few passes through the mat and the big mat is many little mats and they comb right out with a fine tooth comb. This entire mat would have been out of Remy’s ear, painlessly, in about 30 seconds had I not cut my finger. I don’t know what I was thinking other than I instinctively went to comb away the clumps of hair on the top of the comb and the razor edges got my thumb. I really loved the way this combed right through every mat I came across. The only issue I have with the comb is it would be nice if it had a self-cleaning guard of some sort because when it gets clogged up it is a hassle to brush it out from the back side, in my opinion. There are a few pieces of fur still left hanging on those blades that I just didn’t feel like messing with.
These are the remnants of the mat above after just a few swipes with the de-matting comb and the fine tooth comb. See my band aid. 😦
Those teeth are razor-sharp but it does come with a snap on vinyl cover to help protect the blades. I’m keeping it up high and in the original packaging just to be extra careful.
I love this comb and with a retail price of $12.29 it was totally worth it. Amazon sells it for $9.99 here.
Affiliate links included in this post. Emma and Remy appreciate your using our affiliate links so they can try new things and chew more ropes instead of shoes.
This is cute Remy.
Take a good look because these were the last photos taken of him before he was stripped of his dignity.
That camping trip I posted about was such a great time for him but his fur was terribly matted after playing in the water and rolling in the dirt and sand for a week.
I am training myself how to groom Remy – goldendoodles are high maintainance dogs and it takes me hours to groom him. I would like to take dog grooming classes someday so I can do an even better, hopefully quicker job. This summer I was defeated by his mats – I couldn’t keep up with them and I couldn’t cut them all out. He needed professional help.
To be continued…
Emma & Remy have had a fun summer. I’ve taken oodles of pictures and have much to share. Summer vacation is almost over so you can expect much more frequent posting around here.
Today Emma and Remy spent the afternoon at the beach, enjoying beautiful Lake Michigan, fetching Gabriel’s crocs (they float and are a good substitute for a water toy when the water toys are accidently left at home) and getting riled up over bird shadows.
On the way to the beach we passed the most interesting veterinary practice I have ever seen. This Animal Hospital gets props for creativity but loses big points for poor taste.
Really, a big shot? Does this just say, We love pets to you? The big shot mailbox is a huge advertising fail in my book.
Emma & Remy are enjoying camping this week and after the day at the lake we are heading back to our campground for dinner. Remy wants to get out for a stroll to visit his new friend, a wheaton terrier named Milo. Pictures coming soon.
I’m testing out uploading a video from my phone. Today we took Emma & Remy to the beach. Much fun was had by all humans & canines.
Emma and Remy are very close and it is evident they have much affection for each other. They seem to have a great understanding of each other.
I know one of them must be the “alpha” but it is hard to see on a day-to-day basis. I really don’t see one a leading the other. They live peacefully together, showing much respect for each other.
Remy is food obsessed. He is the most food motivated dog I’ve ever seen. Emma is not a food motivated dog. She likes treats but she gets much more excited to play. She did get a little snippy about her marrow bone when we bought those but that was a very special treat and I think she knew Remy would have taken it she would have never seen it again.
We feed the dogs side by side. We fill the bowls, they sit, we give them their bowls, they eat. Same routine alk the time, no drama, and Remy is always eager for his bowl to be set down so he can inhale it as fast as he can.
This morning the dogs were waiting and I asked Christian to feed them. He assumed Nick had already fed Emma, not uncommon, and he just fed Remy and walked away. Remy sat there looking at the one bowl of food -Emma never advanced, she was actually behind him. He smelled it and backed away. He repeated the smelling and backing up but he didn’t take a single bite.
I watched and realized Remy wasn’t sure if that food was his or not and in spite of his hunger, he waited for Emma to get a bowl of food too. Not once did Emma go near that bowl or show any sign she wanted it. He just loves her and wanted to make sure she had breakfast too. As soon a food was set down for Emma too he was happy to dig in.
I love my dogs and their sweet relationship.
Gabriel is sad today. He is remembering our cat, Buddy, who left our family about a year ago.
Gabey is such a tender little boy, with such a soft spot for animals. It always makes him sad when he thinks about our pets that are gone.
He came in from playing to color a picture in rememberance of his favorite cat. He had a good cry, we had a good snuggle and drawing a picture seemed to help him.
The hardest part of being a pet owner is saying goodbye.