My dog wears a dog coat, does yours?

Autumn, I can already feel the crisp fall morning air, apple cider and pumpkin lattes! Summer is always hard to say goodbye.  As I walk my dogs along the sidewalk, kicking up colorful leaves, it makes saying goodbye a little easier.  With fall comes the lovely fall weather, which isn’t always so lovely. It can be windy, wet and chilly. A combination of any of those is a recipe for being uncomfortable outdoors for you and your dogs! I need a dog coat.

It’s time to start shopping for a coat, for your dog! I’m not talking about a dog coat from a fashion stand point or as an accessory, but as an aid to protect your dog during the wet and cold seasons.

I am not talking about a dog coat from a fashionable point of view or as an accessory, but as an aid to protect your dog in the wet and cold season. The top priority here should be functionality.

First I want to show you some important signs to look for when your dog is cold.

A cold dog keeps will be tense, you will see his muscles tighten. Often they crouch together and pull up their stomachs. Dogs also tremble when they freeze.

Jumping from one paw to the other is a sure sign that a dog’s paw are getting dangerously cold. Once your dog experiences the extreme cold for too long, they often become reluctant to go out in cold or wet weather. Kind of like a traumatic experience for them, which makes sense if you think about it.

Freezing is unpleasant

Freezing feels the same for our dogs as it does for us humans. The result of the tense muscles are painful tensions and cramping. In addition, freezing means a lot of stress for your dog. Like us humans, dogs become restless when they freeze and can also become crabby, possibly aggressiv. e.

Do all dog breeds need a coat?

It is always much debate whether a dog needs a coat or not. I often hear arguments like: “That’s a big dog, he doesn’t need it” or “Their fur coat is so long anyway, that’s enough”.  But the decisive factor, whether a dog needs a coat or not, is neither the size nor the length of their fur coat.

Of course a dog coat is an obvious choice for many short fur and greyhound-like dog breeds.  Not only for the short hair breeds but it protects and provides comforting and maintains healthy body heat for almost all breeds.

There are some breeds that are natural winter dogs such as the Siberian Husky or Akita. These breeds will have what’s called an undercoat that really thickens up starting around this time of year. They also tend to shed, A LOT.  These winter breed dogs probably are just fine and quite happy jumping in the snow without a coat. Still, look out for the signs I listed above and always check to make sure they’re not shivering. Every dog is an individual and doesn’t always adhere to the typical standard breed description.

Older dogs and dogs with joint diseases can be very sensitive to the cold weather.  Wearing a dog coat will protect the back and joints against adverse weather conditions. It offers comprehensive protection against cold and moisture in the joints.  A dog coat that is water resistant or waterproof, flexible and even slight padding will really make your senior dog comfortable during the cold morning walks or wet evening strolls.

As you can see, it’s not the size or length of your dogs fur that determines if a dog coat is good for their health. Even dogs with longer fur and large breeds could use a cozy dog coat. If your dog is older and/or has  joint problems, such as osteoarthritis and spondylosis, will benefit greatly from a protective coat!

Tips – be patient

Most dogs will  accept a dog coat quickly and easily. Usually they’ll be so excited to go outside to play they could really care less if you put a coat on them. But of course there are those dogs that might flop on the floor and refuse to move, as if you just clipped a brick on their back. If your dog happens to be the theatrical kind, then you’ll need to let them get used to it first. Put the coat on for a few minute at a time, reward them while they have it on and then take it off.  Just be patient in any case and give them time to get used to it. Don’t give up!

The selection of dogs is really fantastic these days compared to just a few years ago.   However, it is difficult to recognize which coat is good and which is less suitable. Most pet parents look first at the color or style and only at second glance they’ll research the functionality and material.

But the look is not everything with the dog coat!

Unfortunately, the smartest design is useless if the essential body areas are not well protected and the dog still freezes. If the cut is so unfavourable for your dog it could inhibits their movement. There is then a greater chance your dog won’t accept the coat because he does not feel comfortable.

Buying dog coats – watch out for:

Here are some aspects to pay attention to when buying your dog a coat:

Functionality is the most important point when choosing a dog coat. There are different materials that keep away rain and wind and withstand bad weather.

Chose materials that are weatherproof on one side and breathable on the other.

Inside if the lining of the coat is soft and cuddly, your dog will most likely find comfort in this.

It is important that the coat is washable. In rain, snow and mud it is hard to prevent the coat from being soiled by dirt splashes. Unless you don’t mind dry cleaning your dog’s coat, make sure it can be easily washed.

The coat should fit your dog perfectly. If it is too big it slips and becomes permeable to moisture, cold and wind. If it is too small, it cuts in and your dog cannot move well. Sometimes a coat that is too small can pinch and hurt. So your dog may be opposed to the coat in a negative way. Take the measurements of your dog before you start shopping and make sure to consider adding a little extra if they have thicker fur. I actually made this mistake when I first measured my dog, I did not consider she usually has longer fur. She had just come from the groomer the day I happened to measure her. Ooops!

If the coat is too short on the back, it will not be well protected and kept warm. Often coats stand off at the back and offer space for cold and wetness. You can measure from the neck to the base of their tail, this will give you an accurate back length.

Sometimes forgotten, but just as important: the belly should also be kept warm. It is very sensitive to cold, because the coat on the belly is thinner and some dogs have a naked belly. Unfortunately, many coats are still cut in such a way that the belly is completely free and defenceless.

Since there are so many different body shapes for dogs, more and more suppliers are offering custom-made products.  I still haven’t found a coat that covers the belly as good as I would like. I have seen some for larger breeds so I know they’re out there.  Just making this a point you might want to consider.

My last point, since I do have princesses, I am guilty for looking for super cute coats for my girls. My goal is always their comfort and their happiness.  So functionality and quality do not have to be compromised over style! There are some really sweet coats available, posh and dapper styles!

You can find a selection of great dog coats here on Amazon

Have you found an awesome dog coat? Let us know!