Does your dog really need a winter jacket?

May 19, 2020 A Dog’s Life

Pet winter jackets are cute. If you’re quick to grab your puffer jacket the minute it gets chilly, you might be wondering if your dog needs an extra layer of protection too. Most dogs can benefit from some additional warmth, but not all of them need it. For example, Siberian Huskies are known for their thick fur and ability to adapt to cold climates.

Like all dog parents, you want your canine buddy to be warm, safe and protected when venturing outside in winter. Let’s take a look at a few factors to keep in mind.

Does your dog really need a jacket?

 Most medium-sized dogs will be okay for short bursts outside (e.g. potty breaks or a quick walk). But, if your dog is small like a Chihuahua or thin like a Greyhound, they might need that extra layer of protection. Small dogs, dogs with short fur, and old or ill dogs are especially vulnerable to icy weather. Keep in mind your dog’s size, breed, and how cold it is outside.

Small and short-haired dogs

 Small dogs don’t hold onto body heat as well as larger dogs. So, even if it’s just a quick trip around the block, they might still need a sweater or jacket. The same goes for dogs with short hair. That’s because they have less air trapped between their skin and fur to create a warm layer of protection against the chill.

 Choosing the right jacket for your dog

 Some materials can cause allergic reactions. Chat with your vet first and ask for material recommendations that are suitable for your dog’s fur coat type. Then, measure your dog for size. Check that the jacket is comfortable, not too tight, and doesn’t drag on the floor.

Still not sure if your canine buddy needs a jacket? When in doubt, play it safe. You can always take it off if it looks like they’re getting too warm. And of course, if you notice shivering, limping, or any signs of anxiety or distress in your dog while out and about, it’s time to head indoors.