Do Dogs Need a Winter Jacket?

As the temperatures drop down and the weather gets colder, many dog owners question if their dog needs a winter jacket. Seeing pet owners walking their dogs dressed in cute little jackets or coats has probably made you wonder if your dog needs one as well or if it’s just a trend. And, while it’s a common belief that dogs don’t need a jacket because they have a coat, it’s not like that.

Dog Winter Jacket: Need or Fashion?

Some people buy their dogs winter jackets because of fashion. Dressing a pet has become trendy in the past decade. That’s why you can see a lot of people walking their dogs dressed in hoodies, jumpers, or vests.

Other people buy winter coats for their dogs because they would freeze without one. Namely, some breeds must wear a coat because of their characteristics, such as a short coat or small growth. Nonetheless, all dogs need a jacket if the temperatures drop down to 40°F/4°C and below. And, if you notice your dog is shivering, burrowing under a blanket, or lifting its paws, you should definitely get them a winter coat regardless of their breed.

How Do I Know If My Dog Needs a Winter Jacket?

Many factors determine if a dog should wear a winter jacket or not, such as your dog’s breed, age, health status, tolerance to cold, and wind. According to them, the following dogs need a winter coat:

  • Small dogs, toy dogs, and small tiny shorthaired breeds like Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, French Bulldogs, and toy terriers. Their bodies are small and/or coats short so they lose heat very fast.
  • Pups, senior dogs, and sick dogs, regardless of their breed. These dogs need a coat because they can’t stay warm for a long time even when it’s not very cold. Even if their coat is thick and long, elderly dogs need a winter jacket because they are prone to conditions like arthritis and weak immune system.
  • Thin dogs with short hair like Greyhounds and Whippets. These breeds need a coat because they don’t have excess body fat or thick coat that will keep them warm when exposed to lower temperatures.
  • Dogs that sit low to the ground like Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Although this and other breeds have thick coats and enough fat to keep them warm, their bellies are close to the ground, which makes them feel cold.
  • Long-haired breeds, like Poodles, that often get groomed. Although these breeds have long hair, it’s often cut, so there’s not enough coat to keep the heat in.

Final Thoughts

Does your dog belong to any of these breeds?

If yes, make sure you get them a winter jacket as soon as possible to prevent sickness, hypothermia, and freezing.

If not, there’s no need to buy a coat. However, you should keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour when exposed to cold weather and snow. If you notice any of the previously mentioned behaviours, your dog may after all need a coat to keep them warm during the cold winter days.

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