The next time you step outside with a heavy winter coat, gloves, and a pair of fleece-lined leggings just to walk your dog around the block, check if they could use a little extra warmth, too. Nowaways, winter coats for dogs exist to keep your furry friend roasty toasty out in the elements. Even if your dog is a breed built to withstand frigid temps, like an Alaskan malamute or Siberian husky, there comes a time when even they could benefit from wearing an extra layer.
“All dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia when exposed to temperatures lower than 20 degrees [Fahrenheit] for an extended period of time,” says veterinarian Sarah Wooten, DVM. While fluffier breeds might be able to get away with their own coat on a quick walk, they’ll need some kind of protection if they’re out for long periods of time. “Even healthy adult arctic breeds that live primarily outdoors need a dry shelter from the elements to stay warm.” Additionally, some dogs may start to feel uncomfortable when the weather drops below 40.
Not sure if your pup needs to bundle up? Keep reading for expert tips and the best winter coats for dogs to keep them cozy all season long.
What kind of dogs should wear a winter coat
To know if your dog is the perfect candidate to wear a coat in cool weather, Dr. Wooten says to consider the following: size, weight, fur length, health, and current living climate. Most often, smaller dogs, senior dogs, short to medium-fur dogs (like labs, pointers, and poodles) short-legged dogs, and slender dogs (such as greyhounds, Afghan hounds, or salukis) can benefit from wearing a coat, she says.
At the same time, each dog is different and it’s important to watch for any signs of discomfort. Behaviors like, “shivering, burrowing under blankets, lifting a paw (because it is cold), or wanting to come inside,” are great indicators of your dog’s warmth level, Wooten says.
And surely you’ve heard the phrase, “If you’re cold, they’re cold,” which is pretty self explanatory: If you’re uncomfortably cold (or hot—it goes both ways), it’s likely your pet will be, too. So if you’re putting on a winter coat to go outside, they could likely benefit from one as well.
What to look for in a winter coat for dogs
If you’re in an area where it snows and rains a lot, Dr. Wooten recommends opting for materials like nylon and plush polyester to help keep your pup dry and warm. Both fabrics are generally waterproof and windproof to offer protection against moisture, wind chill, and unexpected downpours. Polar fleece is also pretty cozy, but it can be too warm for some dogs. (Like those arctic breeds that are already walking balls of warmth.) And if you’re thinking about putting your dog in a pure wool or cotton coat, maybe think twice. “Wool and cotton are not good choices because wool can be irritating, and cotton (unless it is waxed) is a poor insulator and locks in moisture,” Dr. Wooten explains.
Best winter coats for dogs
PetRageous Designs, Kodiak Insulated Dog Coat — $33.00
Available sizes: S-XXL
If you don’t want your pup to track water inside your home after a walk to the park, this heavyweight coat from PetRageous Designs has got your fur baby covered. Made with a nylon outer shell and poly-cotton blend lining, this jacket acts as a durable shield against the elements. It’s both windproof and waterproof so that your doggo can enjoy sniffing around in the elements without catching a chill. The collar also has a handy opening for you to slide a leash through to make going on-and off-leash easy. It comes in a variety of sizes but also includes a strap around the waist, so you can get the most custom fit possible.
- Reflective stitching for visibility
- Reviewers say not compatible with harness
WeatherBeeta, Comfitec Reflective Parka 300D Deluxe Dog Coat — $69.00
Available sizes: 12″-32″ long
What makes this coat so cold-weather-friendly is the full coverage it provides for your dog’s chest and belly. Th durable outer shell is made with heavy-duty polyester that is entirely waterproof, perfect for areas that get a lot of snow and sleet. Additionally, it features a large elastic collar and reflective accents that offer enhanced visibility at night. For dogs who like to play hide and seek in high grass and easily get wet, this is a match made in heaven.
Colors: Orange and yellow
- Waterproof and durable
- Ideal for large breeds
- Adjustable underbelly strap
- Sizes are based on dog’s length, not chest size or diameter.
Ruffwear, Vert Jacket — $100.00
Available sizes: XXS-XL
For active dogs who love to roll around in the snow, this Ruffwear Vert Jacket is the VIP of jackets they’ll love wearing. Its nylon shell fights off the wet weather while the lofty, synthetic insulation provides just enough warmth for your pup to keep from freezing. Other features include leg loops to hold the coat in place on windy days, extended flaps over the hindquarters for extra protection, and quick-snap buckles that make getting it on and off a breeze. Basically, everything you’d want in a winter coat for your dog.
Colors: Orange and teal.
- Loft/synthetic insulation
- High coverage
- Leg loops
- Limited stock/sold out on multiple sites
WeatherBeeta, Windbreaker 420D Deluxe Dog Coat — $35.00
Available sizes: 12″ to 32″ long
For those drizzly, windy days, this WeatherBeeta Windbreaker is here to help keep your doggo nice and dry. Lined with cozy fleece in the collar and legs, it’s give them a bit of warmth when the temps dip, but not so much they’ll overheat. It’s not insulated, though, and designed to be more of a raincoat, crafted with a water-resistant shell that sloughs away moisture. After your walk, unsnap the fasteners and pop it in the washer and dryer before you head out again.
- Water- and wind-resistant
- Large neck opening
- Not insulated
Canada Pooch, Peak Performance Insulated Dog Vest — $55.00
Sizes available: 10″-26″ long
Give your dog a lewk with this Canada Pooch dog vest that is the pup’s version of a trendy puffer. Not only is it stylish, but it is designed to keep your doggo warm in any climate. Like the others, it’s warm and weather-resistant. But this one has notable details, like a neck toggle and stretch belly for a custom fit, zipper closures for harnesses, and even a pocket for dog treats.
Colors: Gray and orange.
- Fits most harnesses
L.L. Bean, Mountain Classic Dog Parka — $30.00
Available sizes: S-XL
L.L. Bean is known for their classic outerwear for humans… and dogs. This quilted puppy parka will keep your furry friend comfortable on winter walks thanks to its weatherproof exterior, insulated interior, and cozy fit. Bonus: It’s reversible for double the style.
- Insulated and weatherproof
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