Temperatures are dropping, and advertisements for pet clothing are once again making the rounds on social media and pop news. Should you buy your dog a winter coat? What kinds of winter dog jackets perform best in cold weather? Are dog coats even necessary? To answer these questions, let’s play True or False.
1. All dogs need winter coats.
False. The truth is that not all dogs need winter jackets to keep warm during the cold months. Large dogs with ample coats, like Siberian huskies, are naturally suited to cold environments, so a dog coat would most likely be unnecessary.
However, puppies and senior dogs can find it difficult to keep warm in the cold. Also, dogs with very short hair, like Greyhounds, would definitely benefit from a dog jacket to help them keep warm.
2. Cold weather dog coats should not be constricting.
True. Unlike humans, dogs don’t like to be swaddled – or wrapped up tightly – in warm clothing. While our first instinct might be to zip ourselves into a big down parka and flip up our collar against the cold, dogs need to be free to move while wearing a dog coat.
3. All dog winter jackets are pretty much the same.
False. The ideal winter coat for dogs will be made of moisture shedding material to keep off rain and precipitation, and will offer some kind of fleece lining to keep in warmth. Dog coats made of cotton or denim, or wool sweaters for dogs, are a definite no-no. Cotton and wool absorb and trap moisture, which will actually make your dog even colder.
4. Dog coats can do more than keep your dog warm.
True. Some manufacturers use reflective material on their dog coats to help provide visibility in early mornings or late evenings. Since the days are shorter during winter, high visibility dog products like reflective dog vests or reflective leashes enjoy higher sales in colder seasons. There’s no reason a winter dog coat can’t follow suit and help provide a bit of extra protection against automobile or hunting accidents.