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Does My Dog Need A Winter Coat?

It has been a brutally cold winter for most of America so far this year. Most of us have been bundling up underneath layers of shirts, sweaters and jackets just to stay warm. And often we think, since our dogs are wearing a fur coat at all times they don’t feel the cold as we do. However, that’s not exactly true. In fact, many breeds do need a winter coat or sweater during the cold months of the year.

How to determine if your dog needs a winter coat:

Consider their breed and size

Of course, smaller breeds and skinny dogs will more than likely need a coat. Smaller breeds such as, chihuahuas, miniature pinscher, toy terriers, toy poodles and the like will feel the just as much as you do. The same goes for large breeds with thin coats and frames. Very lean breeds like Whippets and Greyhounds have thin skin and tend to get cold and shiver quickly. These types of breeds will enjoy their walks much more if they have on a coat or sweater more than a heavily coated dog like a Husky.

Consider their age

Also, young puppies and senior pets will need coats and sweaters as well. Puppies haven’t quite developed their thick skin and layers of coats and as they age those same layers get thin. That’s why it’s good to make sure they have a coat and sweater on to keep them cozy.

Factor in the temperature

If your thermometer drops below freezing often and your dog spends a lot of time outdoors when it’s cold then they probably still need an extra layer. Most vets recommend this even for large breeds, even if they are used to the cold. They still have areas that aren’t heavily covered (like bellies and ears), which can have them feeling pretty frigid. The only dog that vets don’t recommend sweaters for is one with long hair because they are naturally predisposed to survive the cold temperature.

How to Pick the Perfect Coat

Whether you’re shopping online or at the local retailer, you can easily feel overwhelmed by the all of the choice. Here are a few general tips to help you find the perfect coat or sweater for your pup.

  • A sweater should fit snugly and completely cover their stomach and end at the base of their tail
  • Toys breeds usually wear extra small
  • Beagle-sized breeds wear a small
  • Retriever-sized dogs wear large
  • Larger sized dogs will wear an extra large
  • Your dog should be able to move freely
  • It should be fairly easy to get on and off
  • Water-resistant fabrics are best for areas with lots of rain and snow

We all want our dogs to be just as warm and cozy as we are! After all, dog coats and sweaters weren’t developed just for fashion. Even though they do look adorable in them, they were created for necessity. So, bundle up the whole family and enjoy your own winter wonderland!

Don’t forget to give us a call for dog walking services to keep your dog entertained during the day! We’d be happy to be poked, come play, walk and care for them to break up long days when you’re out and about.