Does my dog need a coat?

Does my dog need a coat? Their fur can protect them from cold temperatures to a certain degree, but there are times when your dog could use a little extra warmth. Here's how to know if your dog needs a coat and the best options for dogs who do.

Does My Dog Need A Coat?

If you're anything like us, you love your dog. And when it comes to keeping her warm in the winter, you might be inclined to give her multiple layers of clothes, just like you wear. But do dogs need coats in winter?

It's a common question among pet owners: Does my dog need a coat?

The answer is, it depends. Some dogs are fine without a coat while others are better off with one. Dogs with short hair may not have enough fur to keep them warm in cold weather. Other factors can affect whether or not your dog needs a coat, including age, weight and medical conditions. Certain breeds have naturally short hair that doesn't provide adequate insulation from the cold.

Their fur can protect them from cold temperatures to a certain degree, but there are times when your dog could use a little extra warmth. Here's how to know if your dog needs a coat and the best options for dogs who do.


Do Dogs Need Jackets At All?

You can tell if your dog is cold by looking at his behavior. Cold dogs will do things like shiver or move around a lot as they try to stay warm. Common sense also plays a part. If you're cold and wearing a light sweater, chances are your dog is too, even if he's not shivering.

It's important to remember that dogs don't have the same ability we do to deal with cold weather. We put on a sweater when it gets chilly, but for most dogs that's not an option. The only way for them to deal with being cold is to shiver or move around more than usual, which burns calories and can lead to weight loss over time. Dogs have their own fur coats, but that coat is designed to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Dogs in colder climates will naturally adapt over time, growing thicker fur and other adaptations that allow them to deal with colder temperatures. However, adopting a dog from warmer climates can make this adaptation process take longer or make it impossible without some help.

If you find yourself asking the question “do dogs need jackets?” I encourage you to check out our very own Airyvest jacket. It may be just what your pup needs.

Do Dogs Need Coats?

A dog coat is a good idea for any dog that lives outdoors in the winter. But even if your dog spends most of his time in the house, a coat can help when he's outside for walks or playtime.

All dogs are different, just like people. Just like some people get cold easier than others, some dogs may tolerate colder temperatures better than others. However, most dogs should wear a coat when the temperature falls below 45°F (7°C). Is your dog shivering, hiding or seems to be cold? If so, they may need some help staying warm. 

After being asked “should dogs wear coats?”, Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a staff doctor at New York City's Animal Medical Center answers "The general rule of thumb is that if you're cold, they're cold, if it's below 45 degrees Fahrenheit and your dog is spending a lot of time outdoors, he could benefit from a coat."

Do dogs need coats then? Some breeds seem to be more sensitive to cold weather than others. For example, small breed dogs don't have as much body mass as larger breed dogs, making them less tolerant of cold temperatures. Other factors that may make your dog more sensitive to the cold include age (a young puppy or a senior dog), illness (such as diabetes), and weight. If you're unsure if your dog should wear a coat during colder weather, consult your veterinarian for their recommendations.

Older dogs can have a harder time regulating their temperature with age, they become more sensitive to both heat and cold so they need coats more often than younger pups do. Dogs with health conditions like diabetes also need coats more often because they're prone to hypothermia. If you have an older dog or one with health problems, it's a good idea to purchase a coat so you can use it whenever needed.

At Waudog we are proud to carry Airyvest, which is a light jacket that will keep them warm while allowing to move without restrictions.

Should Dogs Wear Coats in Winter?

Your dog’s coat acts like both a heating and cooling system. In cold weather, a healthy dog’s coat keeps him warm. In warm weather, your dog sweats through his paws and cools himself by panting. Because of this, most dogs don’t need to wear coats or sweaters indoors or in mild weather.

The exception to that rule is if you live in a very cold climate and/or your dog is older or very small (a Chihuahua, for example). Older dogs and puppies might not be able to regulate their body temperature as well as younger adult dogs can. If your dog is old or young, it’s probably smart to cover him up when the temperature dips below freezing.

Dogs who are hairless or have extremely short coats should also wear sweaters in cold temperatures because they get chilled very easily. If your dog falls into one of these categories, he might need a sweater even on days that you feel comfortable without one.

If your dog has long, thick fur, he doesn’t need to wear a sweater unless it’s really cold outside and you think he might get chilly. Dogs with long fur include Newfoundlands, huskies and malamutes. These dogs have thick double coats that provide excellent insulation against the cold.

These dogs should never be shaved in the summer months because their thick coat not only provides extra warmth in winter but also protects them from sunburn and overheating during warm weather. These dogs should be brushed regularly, but bathing is not necessary unless they get very dirty.

But does my dog need a winter coat? Regardless of breed or coat length, if your dog is sensitive to cold and shows signs that they’re uncomfortable, then it’s time to get them a coat. If then, the answer to “does my dog need a coat?” would be a resounding “yes.”

Make sure to take a look at our Airyvest jacket, the lightest warm jacket for dogs that exist.

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