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Picking the Best Winter Coat for Your Dog

Picking the Best Winter Coat for Your Dog

Blog by Irene Hislop

“I love the way my wet dog smells after a walk in the rain,” said no dog owner ever.

Once autumn arrives, it is all but impossible to avoid taking your dog for a walk in the rain. And bringing a soggy doggy into the house generally means mess and the dreaded wet dog smell. While we can cover some nice products for bathing away that wet dog smell, like our Foran Pet Care Tender & Tearless Shampoo or  Foran Pet Care Soothe & Sensitive Shampoo could also do the trick. However, if you’re looking to avoid adding bathtimes into the routine, a good dog coat can prevent most of that hassle.

The saying ‘there’s no bad weather, only bad gear’ applies to dogs too. Unless a dog is frail or elderly, they need a walk daily for their physical and mental health. With a rain jacket to keep them warm and dry, your dog can enjoy walks in all but the worst weather. So how do you pick the best winter coat for your dog?

What to Look for in a Dog Coat

In Ireland and the United Kingdom, we can count on autumn and winter being wet, cold and windy. Some dog breeds are more prepared for the elements than others, and your dog’s natural coat and body type determine which dog coat for winter is best for them.

  • Rainproof is key.

Keeping your fur baby dry is one of the main purposes for having a dog jacket. While some dogs such as greyhounds and others with thin coats might also need a fleece for indoors, a waterproof dog coat is a must-have for most dogs.

  • How much extra warmth does your dog need?

A German Shepherd or Bernese Mountain Dog probably won’t be that bothered by the cold, especially on a brisk walk. But if you have a sighthound, Boxer or other thin-coated breed, keep them warm. Elderly dogs of any breed also need a warm dog coat if they are outside.

  • Can you get it on and off your dog easily?

Dogs don’t always see the benefit of a coat to keep them warm and dry. If your dog dislikes being groomed or putting on a harness, look for a dog coat that is easy to get on and off them. Coats that fasten around the neck instead of going over the head are easier. If you’re having a serious amount of trouble, treat training can help your dog to make a positive connection with coats. Our faves for this situation would be our Leader Train Me Treats!

  • Will it stay on an active dog?

Some dog coats look fantastic but aren’t made for active dogs. Look for one that fastens securely around the neck and belly.

How to Fit a Dog Coat

Getting the right size is key to ensuring your dog’s comfort in their winter jacket. Fortunately, it’s not difficult. Measure your dog from the base of their neck where their collar sits to the base of their tail.

When you first get the dog coat, introduce it slowly. Let your dog smell it, and offer a treat when they examine it. Ideally, leave it out somewhere they will see and smell it often for a couple of days and give them a treat whenever they show an interest in the jacket. When you first put it on them, take your time and offer treats. Once they associate their coat with going for a walk, they’ll be happy to see it.

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