Does my dog need a coat?
Ever watched your dog shiver or curl up into a ball and ask yourself "Does my dog need a coat?" There are plenty of misconceptions knocking around, and we've often heard the expression "Mine has a coat already". We'd like to share our experiences of designing and selling dog coats to help clear things up. There are many factors, and we'll share the top six.
- Dog size:
Smaller dogs generally feel the cold more than larger dogs, with certain breeds especially prone to feeling cold, like Chihuahuas or Italian greyhounds. Both slim, short-coated breeds. But size is not the only factor, as you'll discover next.
- Dog coat type:
Bigger dogs can also feel cold if they have thin, short coats. We sell many dog coats and dog jumpers to owners of Vizlas, German Short-Haired pointers, and Boxers to name a few - all large, muscular and short haired. If you own a Husky or woolly coated Poodle, for example, the cold will be less of an issue for them.
- Grooming schedule:
We have first-hand experience of this with our Miniature Schnauzer, Rio. Like many breeds, he needs regular grooming to keep his coat in great condition. When he has a haircut between Autumn and Spring he feels the cold terribly. Do I need a dog coat in this case? Absolutely. The extra layer will keep them comfortable, and save you from the dreaded side-eye!
As they age, dogs exercise less, sleep more, lose weight and experience stiff joints - like us humans! All this can leave your dog feeling cold and uncomfortable, irrespective of their size. Customers often contact us faced with the challenge of trying to get an old dog to wear a coat for the first time. We'll share how to tackle this issue later on.
- Home environment:
If you live in a cold house, your dog will also feel it too. Some dogs are outside during the day, some sleep in kennels, some go hunting. Any or all of these factors are reasons to consider a coat or jumper if your dog is shivering.
- Fashion credentials:
Seriously, how can we not address this one! If your dog is a fashionista and has to be the centre of attention then they will need a dog coat for every occasion.
So, does my dog need a coat? If you answered YES above, then what should you choose? We’ve got some tips below for choosing the right garment to suit your dog.
Dog Coats: great for outdoor use where your dog is supervised. Plus they're super stylish. But we don’t recommend you leave your dog unattended at home in a dog coat with pieces that could snag or trap your dog.
Dog Jumpers: can be an excellent choice for highly active dogs. They generally allow greater freedom of movement and won’t pop open like a coat. Dog jumpers are also perfect around the house or layered-up under a waterproof dog rain coat.
"Help! My dog won’t wear a coat"
If your dog doesn’t like wearing garments here are three steps you can take:
- Choose something lightweight: A heavy coat will feel strange for a dog who has never worn one. It’s pretty simple. Light is best.
- Avoid velcro and sleeves: The ripping of velcro can frighten dogs, and trap hair. Sleeves can also feel uncomfortable and restrict movement. Start with something that provides maximum comfort.
- Start early: Condition your dog to wearing clothing when they are young and you'll face less of a battle when they are 13 years old and arthritic.
We hope this guide has helped you determine whether you need an extra layer for your dog. Our tips are based on our own dog-owning and product design experience, as well as feedback from our dog-loving customers. If you have any questions, please get in touch.