- Outerwear can help short-haired dogs stay comfortable longer in the cold.
- Don’t force your dog to wear something if he or she protests.
- If your dog seems to be reacting poorly to cold temperatures (such as prolonged shivering), contact your veterinarian right away.
In cold weather, some dogs may be more comfortable in outerwear (sweaters or coats). Some dog breeds (like malamutes, huskies, Newfoundlands, and other breeds with thick coats) thrive in cold temperatures, so these dogs don’t need outerwear. However, outerwear can help short-haired dogs (like boxers, greyhounds, and vizslas) stay comfortable longer in the cold, allowing them to conserve body heat as well as energy for walking and running. When it’s cold, outerwear is recommended for dogs recovering from surgery (anesthesia can disrupt a dog’s ability to regulate his or her body temperature). If your dog seems to be reacting poorly to cold temperatures (such as prolonged shivering), contact your veterinarian right away.
Dog boots are recommended if your dog will be outdoors for a long time or will be walking on ice, which can injure paws.
Dogs of any breed can benefit from canine raincoats, which can help keep your dog and house dry. Many canine raincoats have the added benefit of reflective material for safety.
Tips for Dressing Your Dog
- Don’t force your dog to wear something if he or she protests. You might have to gradually introduce outerwear to your dog. For example, first, show your dog the clothing and offer a treat. The next day, offer a treat, loosely set the outerwear on your dog’s back, and then remove it. The next day, offer a treat and try securing the outerwear to your dog. It’s important to keep each experience brief and stress-free for you and your dog.
- Outerwear should fit snugly but not restrict movement.
- Don’t use outerwear with small parts that your dog could eat.
- Use outerwear and boots that are easy to put on and remove. Note that Velcro can trap fur and become ineffective in wet, snowy conditions.
- To prevent your dog from becoming overheated, make sure to remove his or her outerwear and boots when he or she goes indoors.
- If the outerwear has a sewn-in D-ring, ensure that it is secure enough to hold your dog. If you are not sure that the D-ring will hold, use outerwear with a harness opening instead.