Winter is back and we pull out our thick down jackets, scarves and gloves. Many dog owners wonder "Does my dog need to wear a jacket?". In this article, we address questions that dog owners often ask about dog coats!
A dog coat as protection against the cold
If you don't live in Canada, Iceland or Scandinavia the weather in your area probably doesn’t get too cold - most dog breeds in the US do not need a jacket in the winter. Of course, there are always exceptions for individual dogs and a few breeds.
Protection against hypothermia
Elderly or sick dogs can quickly get cold in winter weather if they are not wearing a jacket. In addition, there are a few other groups of dogs that may need a jacket, these are:
Dogs adopted or moved from a warmer climate
Have you adopted your dog from Greece or Spain where it is still nice and warm? Then your dog will probably need a jacket this winter, as its coat won’t keep your dog warm enough in a colder climate. Maybe the dog’s coat will grow into a beautiful winter coat next winter but this winter your pet needs extra protection.
Old and young dogs
Puppies do not have a fully grown coat yet, as they are still developing. As a result, they may get cold quickly and need extra protection in the cold weather. Even old dogs whose coats are thinning will need a jacket to keep warm.
Skin condition or allergy
Does your dog suffer from a skin condition or an allergic reaction for which it is being treated? Then your dog's coat is often less dense, so it is not surprising that your dog temporarily needs a dog coat.
Dogs with a short coat or no coat
There are multiple dog breeds that require a jacket no matter how old or fit they are. These include dog breeds with short coats. The dog breeds that fall under this category are, for example, the greyhound, Great Dane, bull terrier or French bulldog. In general, short-haired dogs or smooth-haired dog breeds are dogs that need a jacket.
A dog coat as protection against the rain
Your dog's coat is the best protection a dog has against moisture. Rain is not bad for most dog breeds and is good for the coat. If your dog has problems with his coat or if you don't feel like having a wet dog in your house, you could dress your dog in a raincoat. In principle, it is not
necessary but as the owner, you can best determine whether your dog needs a raincoat.
Protecting your dog in the dark
Walking your dog in the evening is part of every dog owner's life. Now it is getting dark earlier and earlier and dark-colored dogs are especially difficult to see. If you often let your dog walk around loose and it is a bit of a dreamer, it is advisable to provide your dog with a reflective coat or a special dog collar. For instance, you can use a reflective dog leash, reflective dog vest or a reflective dog coat. You can also provide your dog with a dog collar LED light (or bicycle light) or buy a light leash. Not all dogs really enjoy walking around like a disco ball or they get so distracted that they don't go about their business. So be careful with the brightness of the lights.
What kind of coat does your dog need?
There are several types of dog coats on the market. There are fleece dog coats, raincoats for dogs, dirt and water-resistant dog coats and more. For example, on freezing days, a hairless dog would be best served with a fleece dog coat plus a windbreaker coat over it.
Please note: the danger of overheating
Hypothermia is not good, nor is overheating. Pay attention to that! A dog coat is a fun way to dress your pet up but it may not be in your dog's best interest! Is your four-legged friend cold outside? Dress it in a dog coat that matches the outside temperature. As soon as your dog is warm, you can take the coat off. Is your dog sprinting like crazy? Consider taking the jacket off for a few minutes to allow your dog to cool down.