Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hops in the Right Direction: Baby, It's Cold Outside! (So Enter Your Dog in an Ugly Sweater Contest and Win Stuff!)

I'm a pretty girly girl, and of course Prada is as well.  Prada's closet (okay, her recycled shoebox) is pretty well-stocked.  Not with dresses or super-frilly things, but it gets cold in Chicago and she's a wimpy little lap dog even if she doesn't know that, so she does have several sweaters and a heavier coat.

Like pretty much everything with Prada, getting her a coat was a process of trial and error.  The first coat I got her was a nice heavy one with fleece lining.  Two straps--one around the neck and another around the belly--were velcro-equipped to hold it onto her.  It slid right off down her side.  As it turns out, a dog needs both front legs in order to hold that style into place.  Now she's got one with two separate leg holes--only one leg required to hold it in place.  This is probably fairly obvious, but not something I'd ever had to consider before.  I will be adding a patch to cover the remaining leg hole--that scar is still temperature-sensitive, so it would be pretty silly to keep her warm everywhere but where she's coldest.

Sweaters shouldn't have "arms."  The extra one gets caught on brush and things in the yard and when we're walking, and generally is a pain.  I really like the inexpensive ones that just have slits for leg holes--it's really easy to tack the extra one closed.  (It looks a little goofy, anyway, having all that fluff sticking out of the hole.)

On a related note, I've seen several alarming things for pets on the market lately relating to cold weather. 

First, scarves.  Really?  Really?  You know that's useless, right?  Also, it seems like a choking hazard.--what if those long ends get caught on something while the dog is running?  She could seriously hurt herself.

Second, Uggs.  Ugh.  I've had really active dogs that end up with sore feet because snow balls up in between the pads of their feet, so I get the necessity of boots for some dogs.  However, those are made especially for paws, so they won't fall off, and stick as close as possible to the natural shape of their feet.  These Ugg-styles don't have those features--they seem to be an accessory, not a neccesity.  I've yet to meet a dog that likes wearing boots.  Those that do, walk really funny in them, at least at first--and those are the good ones.  Put a dog with questionable balance like Prada in Uggs, and I feel it's probably an accident waiting to happen.

I'm all for making your dog look cute.  Want to put bows in her hair?  Okay.  A bedazzled collar?  Fine, whatever.  A snarky t-shirt?  Cool!  But putting your dog into something potentially dangerous, especially when they are going to be outside and in any way active, doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

Let me know what you think!  Do you know anyone who has used these products and loves them?  Have you ever put a dog in boots?  Most importantly, have you ever entered your dog in an Ugly Sweater Contest?  Now's your chance!  Email your photo to, and in early January (after the holiday madness), I'll choose a winner to recieve a $10 Petsmart or Petco giftcard!

(Also, I would love to hear your thoughts:  Anything you want to hear about on Hops in the Right Direction?  Any questions about your three- or four-legged friend?  Any adoptable dog you'd like to see sponsoring a post?  Email me!)

(Also also:  I have used too many exclamation points in this post.  And the title of this post.  Sorry.  I'm just so excited!!!!)

No sweaters needed if we cuddle in bed!

This week's posts are brought to you by Rusty, an adoptable chihuahua who best likes his beds and snuggle buddies warm, especially if something good is on TV.


  1. My brother put his dog (a Jack Russell-Pug, or Jug) into a Santa costume with a hat and booties - the dog pouted and wouldn't move. :-D I wish I could find a picture of it!

  2. A jug o' pouting Santa! Love it! I totally dressed Prada up for Halloween--she was a Frankenstein-style monster, with all kinds of faux fur and feathers and genuine fake lizard skin. My sense of humor is a bit sick, but it seemed appropriate.

  3. When Dear Sweet Mama tried to buy boots for her Dear Sweet Dachshund, Rudi, she took him to PetSmart to try them on and he immediately flung himself into the floor and wailed like he was being tortured. Of course, he never goes out in the snow anyway -- she lets him pee on newspapers in the garage when it's bad outside!

  4. I used to have a doxy, and the Green Bay winters were definitely hard on him. Of course, the snow was usually up to his shoulders at least, meaning there were some pretty sensitive parts *in* the snow. Don't know that I would want to pee in those conditions, either. I bought him boots, and he would take about three duck steps and then freeze in horror.

    Tell DSM to enter the contest! Dear Sweet Dachshund in Oh God Sweater!