How to Find a Cool Dog Coat
Sometimes the dog’s fur might not provide adequate protection during those rainy autumns and cold winter days. Especially since most owners prefer breeds with shorter hair, that don’t always make for the best insulation, dog clothes have become more than just a fashion statement, but a necessity for keeping the animal healthy. Far from being an unnecessary spending, the best dog raincoats, dog jackets, and sweaters can actually help save you money, by cutting into the trips to the vet while also improving the overall quality of life for your pet.
Most of these have a similar cut, which we will detail below, but you must also take into account the specific breed you are dealing with when buying, as well as the temperament of your particular dog. Your animal companion might not like the feeling of being snuggled up in clothing, or it might overheat if you’re dealing with a breed that’s already adapted to the cold.
Needless to say, smaller or leaner dogs will be in greater need of clothing than bigger breeds since it will be harder for them to maintain their core temperature due to their smaller overall mass.
How we chose the coolest dog coats
We’ve taken a look through some dog coats reviews to give you a couple of pointers on what specific things to look for when browsing through what’s for sale.
There are dog sweaters, dog jackets, even dog hoodies or tweeds, but no matter their style, they tend to have a similar cut, dictated by the animal’s anatomy. They mainly cover the dog’s spine and sides, and close somewhere around the lower chest and just underneath the neck.
Items intended to provide especially good cold protection tend to cover more of the chest and belly areas, and might even feature sleeves. Special care should be given that these don’t close too tight and impede breathing, that they don’t constrict movement or that they are easy to take off when the need arises.
A modicum of rain protection is offered by most winter clothes, but the best dog raincoats are supposed to also cover the head and sometimes feature flaps that extend to offer some protection to the dog’s legs and backside.
Otherwise, the back side and lower belly should always be left open, so as to avoid bathroom-related accidents.
Your dog jackets comparison should start by considering what are the specific needs you want for it to fulfill. It’s a little vain to dress your dog just for the sake of style, especially since tight-fitting clothing might cause the animal a measure of discomfort without offering any benefit in return.
If you live in a cold area and the pet shows signs of discomfort when it’s being walked during a winter day, then you should consider investing in a thick winter jacket that will also offer a good measure of protection from rain. These generally cover a lot of body surface and also come outfitted with a hood, pretty much like their human equivalents, with which they also tend to share the building material.
You should remember that dogs are generally more resistant to cold than humans, so they might not need as much supplementary protection from clothing as you or I. Don’t go for parka when wool might do the trick. There are a lot of new dog sweaters out there, that offer extra warmth during a cool day, without the bulk and rigidity of a full-on winter jacket.
If rain is an issue but cold is not, don’t overheat the poor animal and settle on a vinyl raincoat, which will offer great practicality and no added cost or discomfort. Remember that the best waterproof dog walking coat should offer some covering for the head and the dog’s sides while leaving the belly and chest relatively open to allow heat to be lost.
Some doggy jackets feature pockets and holders, which are useful if you want to keep track of your dog related paraphernalia during walks and some are even specialized for transforming your pooch into a pack animal.
A thing to look for is neck covering, or the absence of it. Some clothes cover the neck, which might make it difficult to be used with a dog collar, especially if the piece of material that goes over the neck isn’t easily retractable. You might want to associate these jackets with a leash that’s attached to straps over the dog’s torso.
Reflective material or even LED lights are used to reduce the risks associated with night walking, especially on the side of the road or other areas where you can meet cars. These generally blend well with the rest of the material and they don’t really take away from the coat’s aesthetics during the daytime, so they’re definitely something to consider at little extra cost.
Dogs are notoriously messy animals so expect that their clothes will be faster to get dirty than your own. Look for coats that are machine washable to spare you the trouble of having to resort to dry cleaning.
If rain is your main concern, then you should take note that a poncho, which is basically a piece of vinyl will be a lot easier to clean then something more substantial. Basically, you just stick it under a showerhead after you are done with the walk.
The best dog coats can cost in the three figures, and for this money, you should expect some attention given to their looks. Most simply take cues from human fashion and imitate common designs, such as trench coats, parkas or flannels, while others decide for a more novelty approach.
Deciding on the material comes mostly to user need and preference, and since the manufacturers use pretty much the same stuff like with human clothing you should be familiar with their properties.
Leather is especially stylish but expensive, and might not be the best choice for an animal that will use it to rub against tree trunks; puffers are cheap, light, and provide good cold protection, but have a tendency to tear easily; wool is light and warm, while its infamous itchiness won’t pose that much of a problem for a furry creature as it would for a human. The list goes on and on.