Is there anything cuter than a dog wearing a sweater? I don’t think so! However, winter coats for dogs are not always needed. It is very important to assess our dog’s requirements and, based on them, make an informed customized decision, so let’s talk about winter coats for dogs!
For several years, I swore my dog didn’t need a sweater. He was a young long-haired dog with no health issues. ‘He has lots of hair to keep him warm. Besides, it’s not like we’re in Alaska’. Even though I was convinced, I still got the feeling he could be cold, especially at night, so I decided to buy him a fleece sweater. From that day on, he jumps with joy every time I pull it out and he can’t go to sleep without his coat during winter.
Dog coats: It’s all about their needs
Since dogs can’t talk, paying extra attention to their needs is essential. Although the weather may seem like it’s too cold for your dog to go out naked, sometimes it’s just a concern as pet-parents, and has little to do with the real needs of your dog. That being said, unless you own a snow dog (such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, Huskies, or Chow Chows, among others), when the temperature starts dropping below 32°F, it’s time to pull the coats out. However, some dogs could use a sweater even in warmer temperatures.
You can decide whether or not your dog needs a coat according to:
- Breed: Different breeds, different needs. As a rule of thumb, breeds that need dog winter coats are Greyhounds, Chihuahuas, Puddles, French Bulldogs, Small Terriers, Whippets, to name a few. However, every dog is a small world and you should evaluate its own particular needs.
- Age and health condition: As dogs get older, they can develop medical conditions that compromise heat regulation. Even if they didn’t need a coat in former years, they may need one now.
- Comfort: last but definitely not least. Even if you have a 10-year-old short-haired dog who would make a strong candidate to wear a sweater, you need to read his signs thoroughly. Dogs are very intuitive animals, so if your dog is constantly trying to get his coat off, you should respect his wish.
Choosing winter coats for dogs
When choosing dog clothes, you should go for a soft fabric to avoid possible allergic reactions. Make sure they have no zippers or anything that can hurt your dog. If they have Velcro straps, make sure the size is right to avoid hurting his skin. Also, if you live in a snowy place, you should probably get your dog a waterproof coat to keep him dry during walks.
Your dog’s comfort comes first. Whatever is the sweater or coat of your choice, make sure he feels comfortable wearing it. He will spend a lot of time with his coat on, so it needs to be soft and cozy.