Build Your Dog’s Winter Basket

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Build Your Dog’s Winter Basket


Hello, friends, and welcome back. January was interesting and busy! Filled with Preparation activities for Winter Season and unfortunately, failed travel plans due to COVID restrictions. Sigh…but…oh well! 

I went thru Sophia’s things. She has really accumulated a lot of stuff. Grooming supplies, feeding supplies, outdoor gear, travel supplies, and clothing. Lots of clothing. I found myself scrutinizing her reception basket and figured out that for this Winter season these things would no longer do.


How Is Your Dog’s Closet Going? 



Who knew that I would become obsessive with doggy sweaters? In 19 degree weather, the dog has to have additional protection. Plus it’s cute, right? 

Well, winter care means getting your stuff together and being prepared for your dog’s return from the outdoors. Have you found yourself scrounging for items to care for your pup in order to save the doors, floors, and walls from their particular brand of destruction? I have. Dogs just aren’t hardwired to enter the house and then stay at the mat to wait for you to get them together. That boundless energy continues beyond the mat and rushes to the water bowl, the kids, their favorite toy, etc.  But because they do, your home becomes filthy quickly. Here at my home, the pet peeve is muddy pawprints. Unless I catch Sophia right at the foyer, the filth is imminent. 

That’s another story. Sophia’s winter reception basket is in need of freshening. I am rebuilding it. In fact, let’s build one together.




Basket  –          Size matters. It’s up to you, of course, how large your reception basket is. I prefer one that is flexible or loosely weaved, large enough to hold the dog, and one that withstands water and holds up to heat.

Heater  –     These are available in varying sizes and do require that you cover them while they are in use. Some are sold without the covers. I say, if you aren’t going to spring for the cover then a towel or blanket will suffice.

Towels  –  Soft cotton, terry, or microfiber are nice here. Remember this is for cleaning up, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money here. A really thirsty towel works the best for us. To save, your local thrift store is an excellent value if you can’t part with any of your bath towels [Lazy me? Sophia has long since been the recipient of the ‘good stuff’ based on my unwillingness to drive out and pick things up 🙂 ]

Reception Basket



Blankets    –    any blanket with enough weight on it to sufficiently warm the animal works. Size matters. And so does sturdiness. Let’s get a blanket large enough to wrap the entire dog. It’s cold out there.

Heater    –     Heating pads assist in quickly raising the body temperature and thwarting frostbite. For Sophia’s feet this little heating pad is a lifesaver. I plug it in when we rise so it’s warm for when she needs it. Once back inside from our morning walk, I place her into the basket onto the heater to help melt snow stuck in her paw pads and to immediately warm up her toes. This also ensures that we keep the salt from her mouth. Remember, the rock salt helps us to keep the walkways safe to traverse. But, those salt pieces can wedge themselves in between toes and cause burning and discomfort. Plus, they are toxic. Luckily we can begin to brush them away with our towel quickly.

Brush   –    For removing debris please have your brush ready to take care of faces, paws, tails, tummies, and chests, that may also be covered in winter debris. Looking good!


Paw and nose balm  –  Hey! You would never go out during winter time without your lip protectant, would you? Don’t let your dog suffer! With temperatures this low, and exposure to salts, be certain to care for those sensitive areas. Paw balms also double as nose balms and keep paw pads from cracking. Did you look? Honestly? When is the last time that you took a thorough look at your dog’s feet?  The healthy paw pad is soft and smooth without any cracking aor snagging when you glide your fingertips across the paw pads.  Unhealthy? Snagged, cracked, split, and dry? Ouch! That has to hurt. If that were your foot, no way.  



Natural Dog Company PawTection Dog Paw Balm

Any brand you can get your hands on works well for this purpose. I prefer brands that sell product in stick forms. It’s less messy and it is quick and easy to apply. Keep those paw pads cared for with additional moisture. Watch for ingredients which are full of rich butters and oils to penetrate your pup’s nose and paw pad tissue.


For any of these items, I strongly recommend chewy.com. They will have whatever you need, according to your breed, and dog’s size, your preferences, and your pricepoint. On top of that, they will deliver to your door. This a great time to mention Chewy Pet Pharmacy too. Remember, continue to treat your dog for fleas and ticks during the wintertime too.


Optional – Shampoo. The environment is changing. The winter climate comes with a different set of parameters that can throw your dog’s skin and coat out of balance. Switch your shampoo with the change of seasons to address the changes that can occur. Moisture is key. Try shampoos that treat for itchy skin, and add moisture, moisture, moisture. Our favorite? Hartz Groomer’s Best Extra Gentle Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo, Buttermilk scent. “



 Add one to your dog’s basket just in case a more serious cleaning is required. There are those times when brushing and toweling dry just won’t get the job done. Let’s be prepared.


Now That It’s Built


Now that your dog’s reception basket is built….use it! Have fun with your variations and placements. Right by the door is best. Treat yourself too! Is there a place for the lead? Is there a place for your hat, gloves, and coat? Your boots? I didn’t forget about you! You need care too. While you are shopping for your dog’s reception basket things also think with how you would like to be received.

 How about:


  1. A cup warmer for your mug that you can keep plugged in and ready with your favorite warm beverage?
  2. How about battery operated wintergloves? Those will allow you to remain outside a little longer without discomfort, which is so good for your dog. How many times do they have to c’mon in to the house because YOU ARE READY TO GO? I’m just saying…
  3. Footwear Proper footwear is important for your health. Get a pair that is waterproof and insulated. Be sure that they fit well and then accompany your purchase with thick, warm, comfy socks. When you return indoors, leave them on the snow tray to keep your foyer clean and tidy. Trade them for slippers or whichever style is yours when you are relaxing at home.




You Can Do It


It’s never to late to adopt this new habit and change the way that you manage winter time walking. This is your opportunity to re do the foyer with a coordinating basket that makes dogwalking easier. And it’s also your opportunity to treat yourself. New Year New You. Self expression is good for you. Don’t forget. You may want to add sweaters andd coats or booties to your dog’s care items.


From Our Table


Just Food For Dogs

I care about what Sophia consumes. If I make food for myself, I prepare it with her in mind. That’s been great for me. There are som many things that she can’t consume that it stands firmly in the way of sharing. I’ve become healthier as a result because if she can’t have any…why bother. 

The doggie sharing system is definetly a one way street. That is the flow of food goes from me to Sophia. But this food manufacturer has flipped the script with this here creation. This dog food brand is new to our table. It’s Just Food For Dogs and they have whole entire amazing kitchen pantry Just For your Dog Food. Seriously! I really like the packaging and the message. But here is the kicker. The food manufacturer proudly says that this is not dog food. It’s food.

It’s human grade food. In fact, would you like some? Go ahead! Man. I stopped in my tracks after reading that one. However tempting this may be, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … I am not eating that.  It’s for Sophia. But good to know that she could share in return, [“I totally would share with Mom.” – Sophia]

About this item

Fit For Human Consumption

  • Real food for dogs – Human-edible Chicken Breast and Thighs, Long-Grain White Rice, Enriched, Fresh Spinach, Carrots, Apples, Rice Starch, Safflower Oil, Cod Liver Oil, & JFFD’s vet-developed Nutrient Blend.
  • Whole-food ingredients – This is not dog food. It is food. For dogs. And every single ingredient is fit for human consumption to ensure the highest quality, whole fresh food for dogs to help them look and feel their best.
  • Zero preservatives – and zero rendered meats, zero artificial coloring, zero growth hormones, and zero scary acronyms like BHA, BHT, or LFBT.
  • Ready-to-serve nutrition – Every recipe is formulated by our team of veterinarians and canine specialists, and then gently cooked to maximize nutritional value and promote a healthy immune system
  • #1 vet recommended fresh food brand – “JustFoodForDogs offers excellent dietary options that help prevent muscle breakdown and improve immune system function. It’s also a convenient way for busy people to feed their dogs a whole food diet.” – Dr. Sara Fiocchi, DVM, DACVIM Oncology


I mean, the entire description right there is totally how the brand describes themselves. The website has a food calculator and a Vet Portal too. There is no way a pet parent could become bored with this line quickly. Wow! I am going to be in their pantry all Spring and Summer just based on the Do It Yourself Nutrient Blend items.


Okay. Ratings time. 4.1 stars. Just squeaks by our minimum but we are delighted that they have made it to From Our Table. Where this food falls flat in the ratings is appearance and aroma. No issues here. But some small percentage do say that it didn’t take much to vote the food 1 or 2 stars because their dogs wouldn’t even approach it. Sophia? She’s spoiled and wants to know exactly what I am up to in the kitchen and just where is her share. She was easy to attract with this food. I found her slightly pensive but not against it. No big overatures here. Just good food. I will give her a 3 on the enjoyment meter. Since she had just returned from outdoors for a romp in the snow, her appetite was up. She didn’t gobble but she did accept. Thumbs up there. After 3 days no adverse reactions were noticed. I decided to use it primarily for a topper from there.  What excites me is that option to supplement the food with powders and oils and really get in there to customize her meal. Did you see this fish oil? ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Omega Plus Fish Oil

Just blend in what your dog needs. Perfect anytime of the year but especially important during the winter season. Nice!.

Pet Insurance Plan


Okay then. All done at the table for today. Visit us next time for another interesting dog food review. We are at YouTube too.





  1. Hello these. I was just surfing the web when i stumbled upon your website here  and had a little read of your article here. I have to say that its not a topic that i would have looked up as i no longer have a dog, but still interesting all the same and educational .

    Thanks for sharing


    • Thanks! We are happy that you’ve found us and enjoyed the article. Come back and visit us for more information on fostering and adopting dogs. There is a lucky dog out there just waiting for a new forever home. Visit us on YouTube too……Jacquelyn.

  2. Hi Jackquelyn,

    Thank you for sharing this helpful article; I really enjoyed the reading.

    I have never thought of building a winter dog basket before, and I think it’s an excellent idea. I have a senior dog, so he needs more attention than ever. What food would you suggest for an old dog? There are so many choices and brands that it makes it very difficult to choose. With grains? Without grains? It’s really confusing. 

    Thank you very much for this great post.

    • I honestly love this question. Brains, muscles, and natural defenses are the big 3 to manage to ensure a long, happy, healthy dog’s life. My recommendation for feeding Senior dogs is Purina. They really understand the lifecycle of dogs and what their nutritional needs are at each stage of life. We recommend Purina Pro Plan Bright Minds and Purina One Smart Blend Vibrant Maturity. With Sophia, I feed her the wet food primarily as toppers or blended with kibble to keep her sharp. She’s super active and it is a joy to see her as frisky today as she was at 5 years of age. Grain or grain free is typically to do with 

      A. Allergies and 

      B. The debate on feeding raw or not. 

      It’s up to you according to your dog’s needs and activity levels. For us? Grain free most of the time.

      Ultimately, I find that when a pet parent focuses on the overall well being of the animal, the food choices will vary greatly. In other words, because the dog is senior does not necessarily mean that you will exclusively feed them Senior formulas. Purina Plus One and Purina SmartBlends dry food choices are great for targeting a specific need for your animal outside of the fact that the animal’s age is greater than 7. After that, I recommend Eukanuba Senior Dry Dog Food. Eukanuba builds champions! See their exciting line of products for excellence in feeding choices as well.

      These are all excellent food choices but remember to pair these choices with plenty of fresh water and exercise to achieve maximum results.

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