Using The Dog Coat: Yes Or No?

During the cold weathers of autumn and winter, it’s more common for us dog owners to dress up our dogs. But how sure are we that using the dog coat is a good idea?

Here are some thoughts on the subject.

When to use the dog coat

Personally, I’m not a big fan of dog coats but sometimes they’re necessary. In certain parts of the world that have cold climates, sometimes reaching below zero, using the dog coat is essential.

Dog’s breed plays an important role in determining if you should give your dog a coat or not. For example, short-haired dogs such as Greyhounds or Pinschers are prone to suffering from the cold. This is why it’s necessary to dress them during cold seasons. The body mass of a dog should also be taken into consideration. A thin dog will end up suffering more from cold weather than a dog with more body mass. This is because a dog with more body fat is more efficiently able to insulate themselves from the heat, while a thin dog doesn’t have the same body fat.

We also need to consider the dog’s age and his lifestyle. Older dogs are more prone to suffering from the cold than young dogs. Additionally, dogs that spend a lot of time indoors are more sensitive than those who spend more time outdoors. In fact, a dog that is mostly indoors won’t grow a thick fur that is needed to help him survive cold weather and thus, the chilly temperatures outside could be dangerous to his health. In this case, when you take your dog outside, give him additional protection by means of a winter coat.

For example with my dog Kira, we gave her a winter coat when she was already 10 years old, but only on very cold days. Kira is a cross between a Belgian Shepherd and a Newfoundland, and she was blessed with a thick, impenetrable coat. However, with age, she developed joint problems and we had to help her by giving her a coat as a defense from the cold.

using the dog coat - Just My Dog
Thanks to Mariell Selsen Paulsen for the photos
When To Avoid A Dog Coat

Unless you live in a cold place like Norway, like beautiful Dina in the photos, it’s unlikely that using the dog coat will be necessary. Use it only on cold days: if in November there are 18 degrees, it is clear that your dog doesn’t need a coat, even if looking at the calendar you would say so. On sunny and warm days, I see Pinchers and Chihuahuas dressed and with their tongue out.

Generally speaking, long-haired dogs, both big and small should never wear a coat. The exception to this rule is when there are special medical needs or unexpected harsh weather. You should also take into consideration the kind of activity your dog will do. If he runs at the park, a coat won’t be useful. But if he walks with you on a leash, then it could be useful.

Most dogs find the coat nothing but a nuisance; it restricts their movements, makes communication with other dogs difficult, and makes it unnecessarily hot for them.

How To Make Your Dog Wear A Coat

If you decide that your dog may need to wear a coat, prepare for this properly. Remember what I said about the harness? Just like that, gradually introduce the coat to your dog without forcing him to wear it. Some dogs may experience a real trauma if you force them to wear it, and they may react badly.

Soon, we’ll go deeper into the topic of dog coats – later on, we’ll talk about what kind of coat to choose.

What experience have you had with dog coats? Share with me in the comments below!

 

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