We are often asked this in the shop. We do also get owners who scoff when they see other dogs trying on coats and the standard exclamation is 'A dog has its own coat why does it need another one?'. Our answer is that they don't always but because of the wide variety of breeds of dogs some have coats better suited to colder weather than others.
What breeds need a coat? I am afraid our answer is a bit wooly. We can't answer this one in simple terms. Generally some of the fuller coated dogs do not need coats but sometimes as pups or elderly dogs they may feel the cold more. Their coat may also be a bit thinner at these lifestages. We do often find breeds such a the Hound types and smooth, short coated breeds tend to feel the cold more than the shaggier varities! You will often find that when a dog has just had a haircut that they may need a coat as the shorter hair may be a shock to the system! Haircut time in colder weather is the time when we tend to use a coat for our dogs Daisy and Sam (Spaniels).
How can I tell if my dog needs a coat? The most obvious answer is look out for your dog shivering. Other signs are when your dog doesn't want to go out when it is cold and wet but does at other times, if their tail is tucked between their legs in colder weather, if their extremities feel extremely cold to the touch.
What kind of coat is right for my dog? Again there is no set answer to this. We always encourage function over fashion and recommend a good practical, breathable coat. Unlined coats are good for the elderly dogs with a thicker coat and joint problems as this allows them to avoid getting too damp without overheating. Fleece lined or padded coats may be better for the very short haired dogs which shiver a lot in the colder weather.
Click here to view our selection of practical dog coats (don't forget to take your time when taking measurements!)
One of our dogs, Sam, is pictured above wearing his Hotterdog Fleece after a haircut.
Copyright Note - We are happy for these articles to be shared but would ask that these are credited to us as it has taken us a long time to pull together all this information and research and it is our own wording so we would be upset to see this being reproduced without the appropriate credit.