Should my dog wear a coat? As the weather begins to grow colder and wetter, many dog owners become concerned for the health and well being of their pets in the cold. If humans get cold, surely your pet will as well. While many arguments say that dogs in the wild do not wear coats, it should be kept in mind that household canines are used to being kept in warm, indoor spaces and probably have a lower tolerance for the cool weather!
A dog’s tolerance to cold depends on many factors, including breed, fur type and age. So read on to find out whether you should snuggle up your canine in an extra layer before taking them out for their next walk in the rain!
While other dog clothing, such as sweaters and scarves, can also keep your dog feeling snug, many owners opt for coats and jackets as the go-to outfit for winter. Coats have many benefits for the dogs that wear them, including:
- Many coats are waterproof, meaning they can protect your dog from rain and wet weather
- Coats can come lined in fleece, wool and other materials especially made to keep your dogs body warm
It’s In The Breed
The breed of your dog is one of the main indicators of whether or not they’d require an extra protective layer for the cold! While some breeds have a very high tolerance to the weather, others can easily feel the cold. Solid-built dogs with denser coats, a good amount of muscle tone and a little fat are less likely to get cold.
Whether your dog has a single-layer or double-layer coat can make a great difference in their tolerance to the weather. Double-coated dogs are generally made for the cold, such as Huskies, Akitas, and German Shephards, who can easily withstand windy and rainy weather. The coats of these breeds are biologically designed to keep them warm in winter. Moreover, the immune system of these dogs may be stronger than that of their smaller, short-haired cousins.
In terms of other breeds with a single layer of fur, they are far more likely to get easily cold. Even if your pup has what appears to be long hair, it should be examined to make sure its at an appropriate thickness, as thinner fur does not offer the same warm and protection. Dogs with a thinner leaner build, such as greyhounds and whippets, are also more prone to getting cold in winter.
Moreover, smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds and French Bulldogs, are known to be much more vulnerable to the cold than larger breeds, partially due to having weaker immune systems and because their stomachs are very close the cold ground.
Dogs that are elderly, ill, or suffer from kidney and heart disease should also always wear a coat when going out in the cold as they are far more likely to become sick from cold wet weather.
Next time you ask yourself should my dog wear a coat? make sure you have looked into your dog’s breed, fur type and health in order to figure out if your canine companion requires the extra layer of warmth!