The Best Dog Coats and Jackets for Winter

We always want the best for our dogs. That’s why we need to make sure that our dogs are warm enough during the winter. When the temperatures drop, we want our furry friends to be safe for their daily walk. Read on to learn about the best dog jackets for winter to keep your dog’s tail wagging.

Does Your Dog Need a Jacket?

Your dogs ability to keep himself warm is dependent on many factors such as breed, size, and age. Certain breeds and sizes of dogs require jackets because they have a hard time creating and retaining enough body heat to keep them warm in cold temperatures. Jackets give dogs a little extra help retaining body heat. They also protect dogs from getting wet in the snow, which will further hinder their ability to retain heat.

Small and light breeds, toy breeds, and dogs with naturally short and thin coats may require a jacket when the temperatures drop. These types of dogs have more difficulty keeping themselves warm. Many dogs, such as poodles, with very short hair also may require coats, even if their hair is very thick. Short-legged breeds also may benefit from jackets because their stomachs are low to the ground and likely to brush against snow. Breeds that may require jackets in the cold include Chihuhuas, Greyhounds, Whippets, and breeds such as terriers and pinschers.

However, large dogs that have very thick coats often do not require a jacket. A jacket may even make your dog more uncomfortable, as they may run the risk of overheating. Breeds that do not require jackets include Huskies, Malamutes, and Saint Bernards. These breeds are usually well acclimated to the cold.

Regardless of breed, dogs that are elderly or chronically ill may require extra insulation in the cold. If you have an old or a sick dog, it may be a good idea to try out a jacket in the winter.

Your dog may be too cold if they are physically shivering or shaking. Changes in behavior, such as displays of anxiety, may be a sign your dog is cold. Further, your dog may hunch his back and tuck in his tail. He also may whine or bark at you. Serious signs of hypothermia are weakness, slow breathing, lethargy, and stiffness. If your dog displays any of these signs during the winter, it may be a good idea to try out a jacket.

Cold dog

What To Consider When Buying a Coat

When you are purchasing a coat for your dog, it is important to consider the following factors.

  • Size: A jacket should be fit enough that it stays on your dog. However, it should not restrict your dog’s movement in any way. It also should not be too big so that your dog’s leg can slip out. Be sure to try the jacket on your dog before purchasing.
  • Construction: The best dog coats should not ahve extra material hanging off of the jacket that could get caught on your dog’s paws or nails. Also be sure that there are no parts that your dog might chew or swallow.
  • Material: Choose a waterproof jacket if you are planning on walking your dog in the rain or the snow. Jackets that are not waterproof won’t protect your dog from moisture and will make your dog colder than he would be without a jacket. Take into account how heavy and insulating the material is, how often it may need to be washed, and whether it will itch your dog. A blend of wool and cotton or acrylic will keep your dog warm without itching him. Your dog’s comfort is the most important factor!
  • Ability to Relieve Himself: Make sure that your dog can use the bathroom without getting it all over the jacket. This is especially important to consider with a male dog.
  • Thickness: Pay attention to the temperature outside in order to determine how heavy your dog’s jacket should be. A good rule of thumb is to think about what sort of clothes you are wearing, and to place a similar weight of clothing on your dog.

The Top 7 Best Winter Dog Coats

Check out our reviews of the best winter coats for dogs:

Zack & Zoey Polyester Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat


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Known by some as the best dog winter coat, this coat has a water resistant shell and reverses to a soft printed fleece. The reviews say that the waterproofing is very effective, and undergarments can remain dry for over an hour in the rain. This makes it suited for all weather conditions. It also has velcro around the neck and stomach, so the fit is adjustable. It is machine washable, making it easy to clean. It costs about $20. Large dogs did not have an issue with the coat falling off or restricting movement while running around. However, the sizing is sometimes a little difficult to choose. It is therefore important to measure your dog prior to purchasing in order to choose the right fit.

Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket


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This jacket is reversible and quilted. The outside of the jacket is waterproof. The jacket is also machine washable. However, this jacket is a little more pricey than the last jacket at about $30. Despite the higher price, most of the reviews suggest that the jacket is sturdy and good quality, and therefore is worth the price. This jacket fits large chested dogs well, as it is able to completely cover their backs. The coat is also very efficient for very cold temperatures, and it is able to block wind. This makes it a good fit for dogs living in very cold climates. However, some customers did report issues with sizing, despite measuring their dogs. Be sure to try this jacket on your dog in order to ensure a proper fit.

Gooby Padded Cold Weather Vest for Small Dogs


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Like the previous jacket, this jacket has a water resistant outer layer and is machine washable. However, unlike the previous jackets that use velcro, this jacket has a zipper closure. The zipper also has a fur guard so that your dog’s fur does not get caught when zipping it up. This jacket is also a little more expensive at approximately $30. However, the reviews suggest that this jacket is very high quality. It is lightweight on your dog, and yet still thick enough to keep him very warm. The zipper is sturdy and secures the jacket well. This allows for the jacket to be put on and taken off your dog easily. Most of the reviews suggest that the fitting is great for small dogs. This coat, however, is intended for small dogs only, and therefore there are no sizing options for a larger dog.

PetsLove Doggie Thickening Jacket


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This jacket is made from polyester. It also features a fleece lining, and is machine washable. It features a leash attachment, like the previous jacket. However, the leash attachment is rather small. Some owners therefore had trouble feeding the leash through it. It is also waterproof. It is therefore suitable to both rain and snow. This jacket is a little cheaper than the previous jackets at about $20. It is suitable for dogs of all sizes, and even works on cats! However, it is important to measure your pet’s chest prior to purchasing. Unlike the previous jackets, this jacket has a hood to cover your dog’s head. Like some of the previous coats, the underneath of the jacket contains velcro. However, this sometimes leads to fur being caught in the velcro. This jacket is still a great option if you are looking for something slightly cheaper.

Derby Originals 600D Waterproof Insulated Dog Blanket Coat


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Like the previous jackets, this coat has a waterproof outer shell. The coat secures with an adjustable belly wrap with velcro closure. One downside to the velcro is that it becomes worn out and may stop sticking. However, there are also front buckle closures, a feature which the previous coats did not have. The coat also features shoulder gussets, which allow for easy movement. This jacket does not have a leash opening. The neck opening is rather wide, however, which allows for a collar and leash to be fitted with the jacket. The coat is very durable for active dogs. One review said that the coat has held up after over a year despite frequent and active play. Further, the coat is light and easy to wash. This helps make your job easier. This jacket costs less than $10, making it an incredible value for the price.

PAWZ Road Large Dog Plaid Shirt Coat Hoodie


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This jacket has an adorable and unique plaid hoodie design. This pattern looks adorable on dogs. The inner layer of fabric helps to keep your pet warm. Unlike most of the other coats, this jacket is cotton. This means that it is machine washable. However, some reviews say that it is slightly rough on the inside. This may mean that it is not as comfortable for your dog. It is also not as insulating as some of the other jackets, and it is not waterproof. Therefore, this jacket may be suited better to slightly warmer climates. The price is lower than most jackets listed at a little over $15. Most reviews report that this is a high quality jacket and will be effective at keeping your dog warm in the winter. However, sizes run a little big, so consider sizing up when purchasing this jacket. This jacket is intended for large dogs only.

Neartime Dog Coat


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This jacket is made of a cotton blend. This means that it is not waterproof, so this may not be suitable for dogs in very cold conditions. It features an adorable bow design. Although the jacket is cotton, it still keeps your small dog very warm in the cold. It is also an incredible bargain at just under $5. This jacket uses snaps, which may be slightly harder to get on your dog. However, these snaps are sturdy and will stay on. There is some discrepancy among sizing even when measuring your dog. Therefore, be sure to try this on your dog in order to ensure sizing. According to reviews, this tends to run a little large. However, this jacket is great if you are looking for something cute, cozy, and affordable.

Conclusion

You can find the perfect jacket out there no matter your dog’s size or breed. There are tons of adorable options that won’t hurt your budget. With a little research, you can discover the best dog jackets for winter. Remember to consider the weather conditions that your dog will be encountering so that you can keep your dog warm and comfortable all year long. I’m sure your dog will thank you for it. But remember, the best dog coats for winter are the ones that you and your dog will actually use!

Resources: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?, Do Any Dogs Really Need Sweaters or Coats?, How To Tell If Your Dog Is Too Cold

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