Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The great clothes debate: Does your dog need a coat?

It's the question every pet person has heard -- to clothe, or not to clothe your dog?

I admit, before I owned a dog, I came down firmly on the no clothes side. I even wondered if it was some form of abuse. If you haven't noticed, my opinion has softened somewhat.

But I know the question still remains among pet owners -- is dressing up your dog too much?

Now's as good a time as any to have this discussion -- because baby, it's cold outside!

Yes, even here in Florida.

Lows have been in the 40s and 50s every night. They may even get down to the 30s this week. Yeah, I know boohoo, right?

Well, I'm fine, thanks. It's the dogs you might want to be worried about.

They're willing to snuggle, it's so cold!
You see my dogs are southern dogs, and Lulu is a Florida dog. When Lulu and Jasmine are outside it's clear they are not used to the cold. Poor Jasmine especially shivers and whines outside.

Keeping warm and dry in jackets by Jelly Wellies (Lulu) and Buster (Jasmine).
If you have a dog who has short hair, a lean body type, is small or has a health issue, you should really consider getting a coat or a sweater.

What should you look for:
  • If you live in a snowy area, you may want to consider a water-resistant coat. 
  • You want something that covers the chest. The chest and abdominal area is your dog's core, just like it is on you. If you keep that area warm the heart can better pump blood to other areas of the body and help regulate temperature.  There area also has the least amount of fur.
    (Often in stores you see a coat that covers the back with a piece of fabric that goes across the middle. That's not as helpful when it comes to the cold)
  • Something that fits snug around the chest and waist, but not too tight. It should also give a little cover to the neck and down to the tail.
  •  Be roomy around the arm pits so the dog has plenty of movement.
If you've ever been to Pets Weekly.com, last year Stacy Mantle did a good write-up on coats for winter. It includes some of my favorite companies, like KumfyTailz and Thunderworks

You can find the Jelly Wellies and Kruuse BUSTER raincoats that Lulu and Jasmine are wearing above on Amazon.

So tell us below -- do you think dogs need coats when it gets cold?

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  1. My dogs are not a fashion statement, nor do they have a huge wardrobe of coats and sweaters. However, I woke this morning to 9 degrees and wicked wind and was very glad they had warm coats to wear! Plus, Jeffie wears boots, too :-)

  2. Our guys don't need any coats. But I appreciate that some breeds do.

  3. I'll admit... I always kind of scoffed at doggie clothing.
    But, I've mostly had medium and large sized dogs myself.

    I fostered a (cute!) little chihuahua mix for three months last winter / spring and boy did he like to wear his sweater or coat when it was cold outside!

    Lulu's fabric is super cute, by the way. :)



  4. Fostering several beagles and hound mixes convinced me of the importance of coats for some dogs. My golden retriever has never shown any sign of minding the cold. But I will shorten our walks if it's particularly frigid outside.

    I'm bringing a new foster pup home tomorrow and already trying to think of what I might have around the house to fashion a temporary coat from.

  5. My hubby does not believe in coats for the dogs, especially our beagle Cricket. Granted, she's always on the move when we're outside, but still. Now our Lab mix is just over a year old, and still has very thin fur on his belly, and I am going to get him a coat. I did put a sweater on Cricket last year, and she looked so cute! She wasn't thrilled about it though.


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