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Do dogs need a coat when it’s cold outside?

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Do dogs need a coat at all?

Well, it kinda depends .. Our furry Goldendoodle Simba does not normally wear a coat in the winter (OK, nor does she wear a hat and scarf.. although I’m liking the sophisticated French vibe she’s got going on in the photo).   

Thai on the other hand obviously has a completely different build and background.   Especially having come from Thailand where the minimum temperature does not tend to drop below 24 C.  Let’s just say she’s not built to be dragging a sledge behind her whilst dashing through the snow!  

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Thai not quite getting the point of using a coat

So what dogs need a coat to keep them warm?

Some dogs are absolutely fine in the winter months, but some can do with a little bit of extra TLC.   Here are some tips to help you decide what dogs need a coat. 

Small dogs

Smaller dogs find it more difficult to retain body heat than larger breeds.   As such, they can do with a bit of a helping hand.  And let’s be honest, with so many outfits to choose from, they sure look adorable as well!  

Dogs with a thin body type, short hair, or from warm climates

These dogs will feel the cold more than, say, a fluffy Great Pyrenees dog.  Therefore giving them a coat or sweater will help to keep them warm and comfortable during walkies in the winter (apart from our dog who decides to get themselves soaked in a cold pond!). 

Older dogs, or dogs with health problems, including arthritis

Older dogs also have difficulty in generating, or retaining, body heat and may be helped with an additional protective layer.   Dogs with arthritis will feel more comfortable during the winter with a bit of extra warmth on their joints.  

How cold is it and how long is the walk?

The actual temperature and the amount of time you will be taking your dog out for will influence whether they need a coat or not.   If you’re intending to have a full on snow ball fight and you’ll be out for ages,  putting on a coat sounds like a good idea, (for all parties involved!).  If you’re just letting your dog out long enough to have a quick wee,  getting them dressed up in their full gear is probably not necessary.   

Functional or Fashionable?

Although they can look extremely cute when dressed up, dogs can overheat when wearing coats or jumpers indoors.   Unless the house has a heating problem, it’s probably not necessary for them to wear it indoors.  In addition it can cause rubbing and feel uncomfortable for your dog if they wear it for a long period of time.  As such, coats and jumpers are best kept for outdoor adventures only.  

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2 Comments

    • Thanks Candice. Yes definitely, Chihuahuas would benefit from a coat in the colder weather to keep them warm. And they look gorgeous with so many outfits to choose from 🙂 The possibilities are endless!

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