Do Dogs Need Coats in the Winter?
Winter can be a brutal period for humans, and since we do not have any extra skin to provide insulation, we obviously need help from coats and extra clothing. Dogs do have an extra coat that acts as insulation for harsh weather conditions, but the question is, do dogs need sweaters? There is no straightforward answer to this because sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. When they do, there are some factors that come into play before making that choice. Winter is one of those situations that can increase the need for coats on dogs. If you as a dog owner have ever asked yourself ‘Do dogs need coats in the winter?’, then this article will provide you with the answer. We will examine why dogs need coats and how to keep dogs warm outside.
When Is The Appropriate Time For Coats?
Dogs can take care of themselves in terms of warmth when the temperature is 45°F and above. However, the minute that number starts to drop, it might be time to bring in the reinforcements. For puppies, short-haired dogs, and small breeds, anything below 32°F will be a perfect time to get the coats. At 20°F, you should start paying attention and looking for indications whether your dog is too cold or not. Behaviors like shivering, whining, slowing down, or acting anxious are signs that tell you that it is time to go inside. Fragile dogs might need even more help when it comes to keeping warm during the winter. For instance, dogs with a weakened immune system will have skin issues like hypothyroidism, preventing them from effectively warming themselves up. Older dogs that suffer from arthritis will also need additional padding since the cold weather can make their condition more painful and unbearable.
What To Know About Dogs And Coats
- There is a myth that dog coats need to look heavy and bulky to protect your dog adequately. Technology has made provisions for less to become more even with clothing. Some jackets are thin but carefully designed with certain insulation materials to keep your dog warm. Always check the label on the coat and do some research before putting your dog in it. Also, remember that your dog can overheat if it’s too much covering on them.
- The size of the coat matters a lot, and it is crucial to get the right size for your dog. It is not true that your dog’s jacket must be very tight before it keeps your dog warm. Remember that comfort is essential, and your dog must be able to move freely. There shouldn’t be any loose straps or fasteners that may interfere with the dog’s movement. Any hanging parts of the coat might rub against the dog and irritate their body parts. If the jacket is too loose, then the purpose will be defeated, and the dog will still be cold. There should be enough coverage for essential parts of the body, like the midsection and possibly their neck. If it is raining or snowing a lot, a jacket with a hoodie will be useful.
- Larger dogs do sometimes need extra protection during the winter. It is true that smaller dogs do not retain heat well and so they will need the extra padding during the winter. Bigger dogs might not look it, but some of them also have this problem and need to be covered up. Some breeds like greyhounds are more susceptible to cold weather, and a jacket will be of benefit to them. This is because even though they are big, their fur might not be thick and dense enough to keep them warm.
- One other myth about dogs and coats is that all dogs are okay with wearing coats. This is not true because some dogs get very uncomfortable wearing clothes, and they should not be forced to. You can find out if your dog will buy into the idea by trying it on at home first. If they are responsive, then you can go ahead and take it outside, but if not, you should find an alternative. It is essential to pay attention to your dog’s response so that they do not become aggressive or irritable towards you.
- It is not advisable to keep your dogs indoors with a coat on due to the increased chances of overheating. Your dog’s skin can also be irritated and chaffed if the jacket is kept for too long. The apparel is meant to protect against the cold, and chances are, it is not cold inside. As earlier mentioned, temperatures of 45 degrees Fahrenheit are okay for dogs to handle, but anything below might raise a need for coats.
Getting The Right Coat
You might be wondering “do dog sweaters keep dogs warm?” Yes, they do if you have the right one on. Coats with features like waterproof material, durability, reversibility, and ability to clean are essential factors to look out for when picking a coat for your dog. The materials used can determine how long the apparel will last. Some other features like reversibility and ability to wash, as well as a leash attachment, Velcro or zipper closures will contribute to convenience and safety. An additional safety feature is reflective material since that helps you keep an eye on the dog even when visibility is low. You should measure your dog to get the right size before choosing the coat. Keep the dog in an upright position, and with a tape measure, measure the length from the base of the neck to the beginning of the tail. Most dog jackets use this measurement for sizing.
If you have a pet, it is your responsibility to keep it as comfortable as possible. Your dog experiences cold just like you do, and the winter can be trying for you both. If you cover up to be warm outside, then maybe you should consider doing the same for your furry companion. The answer to “do dogs need coats in winter?” is yes, they do when you are taking them outside. Your dog will appreciate you more if you put effort into making sure they are warm during the winter.
- Do Dogs Need Coats in the Winter? 7 Myths and Facts – Dogster
- How Cold Is Too Cold For Your Dog – Pedigree Foundation