Dog Coats: Fashion or Function?

by DFS-Pet-Blog on October 1, 2010

Kobe modeling the Cheyenne Shearling Dog Coat.

Kobe modeling the Cheyenne Shearling Dog Coat.

**Guest post from Ellen B.**

Problem: It’s pouring rain and your dog has to go outside. He cringes as he’s forced out the door and you dread that wet dog smell.
Solution: A dog coat.

Problem: Your dog’s coat thickness is adjusted for indoor living, so heading out into the howling wind or freezing weather for some much-needed exercise turns into a quick do-what-you-have-to-do matter.
Solution: A dog coat.

My husband and son don’t fully appreciate me putting a coat on our dog. However, when we were on an 11-hour car trip and it was raining, they did appreciate not having to ride with that wet dog smell after a potty stop. Plus, the few times they’ve been assigned dog-walking duty when the temperature drops below freezing, I believe they can see the difference in Kobe’s comfort when he does – and does not – have a dog coat on.

There are many other reasons for clothing your dog, but warmth and staying dry are the two reasons our dog wears a coat. Granted, some dog breeds can cope with cold weather naturally, but our dog needs a little help from a coat.

Proper fit is the key to comfortable dog coats. Watch this video to learn how to measure your dog so you can order clothing that will fit properly. Be sure to take into account that a big-chested dog, even if he has a short neck-to-tail length, will need a larger size.

Have I ever put a sweater, scarf or hat on our dog just because I think it looks cute? Yes! My family may have a valid point that he doesn’t need a sweater in a very comfortable, heated house, but a coat for outdoors is something I insist is a necessity for our dog.

Mojito in his Muttluks and Jackson Jacket.

Mojito in his Muttluks and Jackson Jacket.

I’d take this topic one step further and talk about dog boots, but luckily Keri already wrote a blog post titled Does Your Dog Need Boots?

Where to buy: Drs. Foster & Smith has an excellent selection of dog coats – find one that suits your dog’s style & need!
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rosemary October 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

When I started walking with Lucky last year, I knew that when it got cold, he wouldn’t want to go out for an hour or more long walk. I got him a coat to wear when it was cold and/or raining. I also wound up making a fleece liner to put under the coat, because when the temperature went into the 30’s, it didn’t seem warm enough, and he was still shivering.

Because of the humidity down here, it feels colder than it really is. I get colder here at 30 degrees than I did in Oklahoma at 0 degrees. I feel like the Michelin man in cold weather, because I am wearing so many layers. Also, we walk in almost anything, short of hail or lightning. Even if it’s pouring rain, as long as there is no bad lightning, we are out in it.

I plan on buying Lucky a new (warmer) coat this year, and also one for Ilka. People laugh at us, but I’m of the theory that if I’m freezing, then my indoor dog probably is too. I don’t think that most dogs need an extensive wardrobe of dresses and shirts just for looks, though. A sweater for chilly or a coat for cold days, and boots if they have sensitive feet, or a sore/cut on their foot, and maybe a rain coat if they really hate getting wet is enough, in my opionion.

Don’t forget, even a dog of an Arctic breed needs to be acclimated if it’s to be comfortable in the cold. If it’s kept inside, it gets used to the indoor temperature, and won’t have as thick a caot as an outdoor dog of the same breed. If you wouldn’t leave the house for any length of time without a parka, why make your shorthaired house dog leave it without a coat also?

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