Tahoe Top 5: Dog sweaters are adorable, but functionality this winter is key | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Top 5: Dog sweaters are adorable, but functionality this winter is key

George the beagle models his plaid fleece layer, after rolling through the snow piles, of course.
Courtesy Sean Field |

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There are several locations to consider for your particular pet’s winter layers, and below are a few:

Pet Station: Truckee, 11429 Donner Pass Road; Tahoe City, 585 West Lake Blvd.; and Incline Village, 910 Tahoe Blvd. (there are also locations in South Lake Tahoe, Reno, Spanish Springs and Gardnerville)

Hot Diggity Dog and Cat: 8675 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

Squaw Dogs Pet Emporium: 2850 Village South Road, Olympic Valley

TAHOE-TRUCKEE — We’ve all heard it before, “if you’re cold, they’re cold,” and this winter is no exception to weather preparedness — especially for our four-legged friends.

“People remember to pack warmly for themselves, but forget about the dogs,” said Michelle Okashima, owner of Hot Diggity Dog and Cat pet store in downtown Kings Beach. “It’s been so cold and the little guys from the Bay Area all come up here naked.”

North Tahoe-Truckee pet supply stores carry a range of winter gear and accessories to help your pup (or outdoorsy cat) stay comfortable until the snow melts.

Our pets’ feet aren’t used to the salt and cold conditions, for which Okashima recommends doggy footwear.

“Doggy shoes aren’t only for wintertime,” she said. “They’re great for hiking, walking on hot sand or pavement — we don’t realize oftentimes how hot it really is.”

Betsy Farley, who we consulted at Pet Station in Truckee, echoes the shoe sentiment.

“My dog has shoes and he loves them. They’re great in the summertime,” she said, before joking: “And the socks are great if you can’t necessarily afford $70 dog shoes — they’re nice if you have hardwood floors.”

Unfortunately, my 8-pound Chihuahua wouldn’t make much of a dent in slipper-mopping.

In any event, Pet Station has multiple locations across the region and, like Hot Diggity Dog and Cat, carries a wide variety of jackets for your dog.

Sweaters are an option for layering underneath snow-protectant shells, but Okashima says measurements vary by maker, and it’s always best to bring your pet with you to find the perfect fit.

Below is the Sierra Sun’s Tahoe Top 5 ideas for winter wear to keep your furry friends protected from the cold through these next couple months.

As Okashima puts it, “you need things that are functional, comfortable … as well as cute.” Featured items include current pricing and location, below.

1. Fleece layer

A cozy fleece layer is perfect to double-up on warmth underneath an outer shell, and is also a great option on its own for warmer days where waterproofing isn’t necessary.

Cost: Xs. – Lg.: $38 – $44 at Pet Station; Hot Diggity Dog and Cat ($49.99 XL at Pet Station)

2. Sweater

The sweater modeled by Mike Dedogge (who has his own business cards, and has been featured in previous Sierra Sun stories) is hand-knit by Chilly Dog Sweaters, who Okashima supports along with other small businesses for their philanthropic efforts.

Cost: Xs. – Lg.: $35 – $54 at Hot Diggity Dog and Cat

3. Jacket, outer layer

Keep your pets dry with a waterproof outer layer. Easily attachable Velcro along your pet’s belly will get you both out the door and hiking in no time.

Cost: Xs. – Lg.: $38 – $44 at Pet Station; Hot Diggity Dog and Cat

4. Socks and Shoes

To protect your pup’s paws, socks or booties may be the way to go. They provide a protective layer between your dog’s pads and the ground beneath for freezing, icy walks as well as hot summer pavement and sand — an investment that will last all year.

Cost: Xs. – XL: Pawks Socks: $14.99, Little Barkers sneakers: $21.99 at Pet Station; Vibram sole XL: $68.99 at Hot Diggity Dog and Cat

5. Paw Wax

A must-have this season and year round is paw wax, a natural balm that conditions and soothes your dogs paws and acts as a protectant against tough weather and terrain conditions. Simply apply prior to heading out.

Cost: Visit Hot Diggity Dog and Cat to purchase Petnology Essentials “Paw Pad Protector,” order pending arrival.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.