Dog owners frequently wonder whether a winter jacket is really necessary for their favourite pooch. tameTIMES did the research to answer this very question, and the answer is: YES and NO.
Although some dogs will need a coat for the winter to protect them from the cold, others may be harmed by the extra layer of warmth. The decision to have your dog wear a coat is often purely an emotional choice. Walking outside with your pet in cold weather makes you feel concerned for your dog and whether it is warm and safe. Apart from this, the fashion industry is moving into the pet world, with American Pet Products Association reporting R28-trillion spent on pet fashion, collars, leashes, toys and pet tech products, an increase of 7%. Younger pet owners now move to a “pet parent” approach and in general owners have become more humanistic in their approach to pet care.
Many factors must be considered when deciding on whether your dog should be wearing a coat. Things to consider include wind chill, the possibility of getting wet, the time of day and whether it is sunny or cloudy outside. To play it safe, rather use the jacket when it is very cold, you can remove it if your pet seems to be uncomfortable or overheating. If you are outside in the cold and you see your dog slowing down, acting anxious or distressed, it’s time to go back inside. The age and health status of your pet also plays an important role in the decision. Elderly, very young and sick dogs struggle to cope with temperature extremes.
Relatively speaking, a small dog has more surface area through which they can lose body heat and therefore benefit more from a protective winter jacket. Dogs like Chihuahuas, Toy Terriers, and Miniature Dobermann pinchers falls in this category for example. Body fat also helps your dog stay warm in cold weather, so thin dogs like Whippets and Greyhounds will definitely appreciate a coat. Dogs with thick double coats of their own, however, is perfectly suited for cold weather. Dogs that should not wear a coat includes Huskies, Chow Chows, Pomeranians and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Although breeds like Pembroke Welsh Corgis, for example, have thick coats, their bellies sit low enough to the ground to brush against wet grass and frost. Breeds that typically have long hair but are clipped or shorn, like Poodles. Grooming may alter the natural protection of their coats and would need a protective winter jacket.
The next step in the big coat decision is to consider the type of fabric to use. Certain fabrics can cause allergic reactions in dogs including itching, sneezing, swelling of the facial area, and even diarrhea and vomiting.
Once you have the perfect material you need to decide on the style of the coat. There is the Reversible Bone Dog Puffer, the Reflective Dog parka, Casual Quilted Jacket, Fleece Cold Weather Coat, Wool and Shearling Dog coat, Padded Coats for smaller dogs, and the Extreme Warmer Dog Coat.
Source: American Kennel Club