Does My Dog Need a Winter Coat?

With unusually cold weather across much of the country, daily dog walks may be more uncomfortable than ever, for both human and canine. Even if you’ve never used a coat for your dog before, as you bundle yourself up to go outside, consider whether your dog needs some protection from the cold, as well.

As a general rule of thumb, large dogs with thick, dense coats are well protected from the cold. This includes Northern breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, with fur coats genetically designed to keep them warm. But there are dogs that need to be protected from extreme weather.

  • Small, toy, and miniature short haired breeds, like Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs. These small pups can’t easily generate and retain enough body heat to keep themselves warm.
  • Dogs that sit low to the ground. Although breeds like Pembroke Welsh Corgis, for example, have thick coats, their bellies sit low enough to the ground to brush against snow and ice.
  • Breeds that typically have long hair but are clipped or shorn, like Poodles. Grooming may alter the natural protection of their coats.
  • Lean-bodied breeds with short hair, like Greyhounds and Whippets, should also be protected from the cold.
  • Senior dogs are prone to conditions that may require a winter coat, such as arthritis or a weakened immune system. Heat regulation may decline with age, making even a thick-coated dog uncomfortable in the cold.

Once you’ve determined that your dog needs a winter coat, look for a coat that protects his neck and belly. It should extend from the base of his neck to his tail, without being so long that it would make bathroom stops problematic. You’ll want a coat that fits snugly without being tight. Clothing should never restrict your dog’s movement.

Here are some coats in different styles and materials that are sure to keep your canine warm and comfortable when temperatures drop.

Best Dog Winter Coat – Huerta Extreme Warmer Dog Winter Jacket

Thanks to the dense insulation, this is the perfect coat for extreme cold temperatures and snowy or icy conditions it’s designed to keep the most important muscle groups for heat production warm, and the lining reflects body heat back at your dog. The polyester material it’s made from is durable and the surface material is laminated with a waterproof and breathable film.

You can choose from 9 sizes, between 10 and 26 inches long, as well as 3 solid colors, along with park camo and coral cameo. It has an impressive rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon from hundreds of reviewers,

Best Budget Winter Coat – Think Pet Warm Reversible Coat

If you’re on a budget, but you need a warm winter coat for your dog, this is the ideal option. It’s made from polyester with poly fill padding inside. While it isn’t waterproof, it is water-resistant, so will stand up to light mist or snowfall. It has a good amount of belly coverage and extends up the neck to keep your dog even warmer.

There are eight colors and plaids to choose from and since this is a reversible coat, you get two looks in one sizes running from x-small to x-large, so most dogs are covered. This coat has a 4.4 rating from more than 1,400 reviewers.

Winter Coat – Kurgan Dog Jacket

This rugged winter coat should keep your dog toasty for many winters to come. It has a water resistant outer shell, and poly fill padding inside for warmth. However, it isn’t suitable for extremely cold temperatures unless you layer an extra sweater underneath.

It comes in 9 reversible colors, so that’s a total of 18 hues altogether, giving you a huge number of options. Sizes range from x-small to x-large, although it’s best to refer to the size chart for exact measurements. With around 2,000 reviews on Amazon, it has an overall rating of 4.4.

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