To dog coat, or not to dog coat?


While lots of breeds of dogs have long, thick coats to protect them from the elements, many struggle in cold and wet weather, and a coat may be a great option to help protect them.  

During the winter, there are certain breeds with thin, fine coats that are more vulnerable than others, while other breeds with curly, absorbent coats could also struggle.  Small dogs and toy breeds can also more susceptible to the cold that other breeds. 

A coat that is introduced in a positive way, so that your dog feels comfortable wearing it, can be a godsend for those cold winter walks.   We have Poochons who are small and have a curly, single coat, so really struggle when it's cold and wet.  They wear their coats when out and about on winter days, and always get a thorough dry-off when they come back into the house. 

In addition to small dogs, there are other dogs that can benefit from wearing a coat including puppies and very young dogs, older dogs, dogs that are underweight and dogs with an underlying health condition (check with your vet if a coat is appropriate if your dog does have a health condition).  It's important to make sure that a coat is appropriate for your dog, and that they aren't getting overheated or feeling anxious by wearing it.

The following breeds and crosses may also be vulnerable to winter conditions.

Dogs with short, fine coats including:
  • Greyhounds
  • Whippets
  • Dalmations
  • Bull terriers
  • Staffies
  • Daschunds
  • Chihuahuas
  • Beagles 
  • Bassets
  • Yorkshire terriers

Dogs with curly, absorbent coats:
  • Poodles
  • Poochons
  • Cavapoos
  • Cockapoos 
  • Poodle crosses
  • Bichons
There are so many to choose from, that it's difficult to know where to start, we really like this type of coat which we bought for Pablo and Pickle from Noble Pet.

We use this coat because it is:
  • Waterproof 
  • Fleece lined
  • Has reflective strips
  • Covers their tummy
  • Long enough to cover their back and bottom (ours have long bodies)
  • Fastens by velcro (which is great for squirmy dogs)
  • Has a harness hole
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • Low-cost
We also find that these coats don't restrict their movement, so they can play and run and do all of their normal doggy things while wearing it.  

We taught Pickle and Pablo to LOVE wearing their coats, by introducing them for short periods in the house first of all, while pairing wearing the coat with totally yummy treats.  It was worth taking this time at the introduction stage instead of rushing it,  so that they built up positive associations with the coats.   They both now get super excited when their coat comes out because they learned that wearing a coat was pawsome, not something to be endured!