We all have our winter wardrobes and summer wardrobes with appropriate clothing for different temperatures and weather conditions. There is no reason why we shouldn’t offer the same to our pets. The doggy fashion industry continues to offer countless items of clothing and there are lots of practical winter dog jackets out there. So, why should we get one and what should we look for?
Why Get a Doggy Winter Jacket?
Dogs can benefit from a winter coat to stop them from getting too cold or wet while they are out. This is especially helpful for any breeds that suffer from poor temperature regulation. Smaller toy breeds can get cold very easily and short-haired breeds don’t have as much insulation as fluffy coated dogs. A good winter coat will help them stay warm, protect them from illnesses and make them much happier on a walk.
What to Look for When Choosing a Winter Jacket for Dogs
There are some important considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best product for your pet’s needs. It is easy to be distracted by the prettier, cuter items when we actually need to think about more practical factors. If it looks good then that is just a bonus. Those factors include:
Warmth is the most crucial consideration here. The whole reason for buying these coats is to stop your short-haired or vulnerable dog from getting too cold. That is why you need to look at the materials used in the products. Is the main jacket material thick enough to keep heat in in the winter? Does it have any sort of lining, such as a faux fur? Also, think about the shape and length of the jacket here. How much of the body does it actually cover? Too short and it might be ineffective.
On a similar note, we have to think about the fit of the jacket. It needs to be nice and snug in all the right places so that cold air doesn’t get in. At the same time, it can’t be too tight or restrictive. Your dog needs to be comfortable enough to run around and act like a dog – even with this extra layer on. The best winter dog jackets will have an adjustable fit with straps and buckles and come in different sizes. It helps to measure your dog properly first. Don’t just assume they take a medium size and then find they need something larger.
This is something that some owners may overlook. One of the problems with the winter is that the mornings and evenings get a whole lot darker. You may find that there isn’t much light when taking your dog for a walk. Therefore, bright colors and reflective strips can help.
Those darker winter months also tend to bring a lot of bad weather. Weatherproofing is essential for these coats in this situation. They need to have a waterproof exterior so that they don’t get soaked with rain.
The Ease of Use
Finally, all jackets need to be easy to use from an owners point of view. This means straps that are easily accessible, quick release clasps and designs that dogs can step in and out of. The worst case scenario is wrestling a sodden coat from a miserable dog after an unsuccessful walk.
6 of the Best Winter Dog Jackets
1. RUFFWEAR Quinzee Insulated Jacket
Additional benefits here include the light loop on the back, the leash portal, the reflective trim and the spandex stretch panel for a better fit. However, that Beacon light from Ruffwear is sold separate, the trim is quite thin and it might not be the easiest product to take off. The appeal here depends on the shape of your dog, their patience and when you intend to walk them.
2. LESYPET Leather Dog Coats
The surprise here is that this product ticks a lot of the boxes mentioned above. There is warmth in the material and the fur collar. The snug elasticated bands help with the fit and the wind-proofing. There is also a snap-on closure that makes it easy to put this on and take it off. As a result, many owners are thrilled with this affordable option. Some may even get the alternate color.
3. Kuoser Cozy Reversible British Style Winter Coat
This winter vest is different because it offers a reversible design for a 2-in-1 approach. This means that you get one side with a plaid material and another with a waterproof material. Your dog can be more fashionable on clearer days and then you can reverse the jacket when it begins to rain. The appeal here will, of course, depend on whether your dog is happy to have the coat changed halfway through the day.
There are sizes available here from XS to XXXL so there should be something for most dogs. There is also a simple hook and loop closure to let users take it off with ease. However, there are some users that have had problems with stitching on the velcro elements. This suggests that it might not be as durable as other vests.
4. JoyDaog Fleece Lined Warm Dog Jacket
There are some nice details here in the design to make sure that dogs are comfortable and secure. There is that elastication on the edges, the quality of the stitching and the leash hole at the neck. However, there may be issues here with the weatherproofing. The fit and closure do mean that is wind-proof, but there isn’t any waterproofing. There are also mixed comments about using the poppers underneath.
5. SELMAI Hooded Dog Coat
There are warnings from the company that their sizes do run smaller than other companies. They, therefore, advise dog owners to measure their pet carefully for the best result. Another problem for some owners is that there is no loop for a leash. There seems to be the expectation that the dog will be on a harness over the hoodie. Those that use this method and get the right fit can find that their dogs are happy, comfortable and warm.
6. Fitwarm Knitted Sweatshirts for Dog Coats
The thick grey wool of this hoodie should be warm and comfortable enough for most dogs. However, the looser fit might not offer as much protection from the wind. Again, you will need to put a harness on over this hoodie when taking the dog for a walk. Otherwise, most owners seem to be impressed with the quality and there are little dogs sleeping in this because they are that comfortable.