Best Dog Jackets for Winter 2019

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This pooch is rocking an insulated style coat.

We all love our pets, but we share a special bond with our dogs. But in the winter when the temperatures drop, we need to ensure that we protect our little, and not so little, friends from the harsh conditions so they don’t get cold or injured.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the best winter coats for your dog across a range of sizes and styles so you are bound to find something suitable for your pooch.

Plus we’ll be giving you some tips on how to measure your dog for the right size and fit as well as some tips on looking after your dog during the winter months.

If you’re new to buying dog coats head down to the bottom of the page to read our in-depth Buyer’s Guide if not, check out our reviews of the best dog jackets for winter own below.

Product

Detail

Our Rating

Price

Hurtta Extreme Warmer

Best Dog Jacket for Winter

Weatherbeeta Reflective Parka 300D

Best Parka Dog Coat

PETCEE Waterproof Dog Jacket

Best Waterproof Dog Jacket for Winter

This pooch is sitting pretty in a bright red rain mac style coat.

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to a great dog coat so, if you’ve already been looking chances are you might be a bit confused or over-whelmed by the choice!

But don’t worry, in this first section we’ll point you in the right direction with our reviews of the Best Dog Jackets for Winter. There’s a few categories but we’ve tried to make it quick and easy to get to the one you need, so look at the Contents list and jump straight to the one that you feel will meet your dog’s needs.

When selecting dog jackets we looked for those that were -

  • Good quality.
  • Fairly priced (this doesn’t mean cheap - but priced fairly for the quality of the garment).
  • Machine washable (unless otherwise marked).
  • Practical.
  • Adjustable (unless otherwise marked - knitted coats, hoodies and onesies don’t tend to be adjustable but they don’t need to be).
  • Available in a wide-range of sizes to fit the smallest dogs to the largest (unless otherwise marked).
  • But not forgetting stylish.

So let’s get down to it.

Hurtta Extreme Warmer - Best Dog Jacket for Winter

The Hurtta Extreme Warmer is the ideal winter coat for those who go on long cold condition outdoor activities such as walks and hikes.

Product highlights

This coat has been designed to reflect body heat keeping your dog warm and helps protect and keep your dog's muscles warm.

The Good

This coat offers excellent coverage and the tricot fabric hood helps warm your dog’s neck and ears.

Ideal for adventures in the snow, rain and cold. 

The Bad

There really isn’t much negative to say about this jacket but the price might put some people off and this jacket is hand wash only.

Pros

  • Available in a wide selection of sizes
  • Good coverage over the entire body
  • Pleasant range of colors available 
  • Heat reflective

Cons

  • It is a little expensive however, as mentioned above, this is a quality jacket that, if well cared for, should last your pooch for many seasons
  • Not machine washable

Hurtta 

When it comes to extreme dog coats, the people at Hurtta have got it under control. The company was started in Finland back in 2002 from the simple desire to ensure their own pets could enjoy fun in the snow and extreme weather conditions of their winters.

From that simple mission grew a global company that has made some of the toughest dog coats going caple of ensuring your faithful friend can accompany you on your adventures - or just a walk in the park - without getting cold.

Their product range covers everything from rainwear, leashes and harnesses to safety products and of course, extreme weather coats. You’ll find an extensive range of different styles including sleeved overalls to parkas and extreme warming jackets.

Hurtta have a long pedigree when it comes to design and manufacturer of dog coats and it shows in their products.

If you are the type of person who doesn’t let the weather keep you from enjoying the countryside and you want your best pal running alongside you, these are the coats for you - well your dog!

Hurtta Summit Parka - Runner Up

Another worthy contender in this best dog jackets for winter article, Herta comes up again. 

Product highlights

A well-constructed dog coat made from quality materials that will provide a comfortable and warm experience for your dog. It ensures that the key muscle groups are covered ensuring that your dog will be warm and won’t want to stop exploring with you.

Hurtta have years of experience creating jackets and it shows in their attention to detail.

The Good

Featuring a waterproof Parka style coat that is breathable thanks to the Houndtex coating.

Flexible and lightweight with a number of drawstring cinches that ensure a perfect fit and lessen wind seepage beneath the coat.

Ideal for adventures in the snow, rain and cold.

The Bad

There really isn’t much negative to say about this jacket but the price might put some people off.

Pros

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    Available in a wide selection of sizes
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    High-visibility 3M reflectors
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    Harness opening
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    Machine washable
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    Good coverage
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    Pleasant range of colors available

Cons

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    It is a little expensive however, as mentioned above, this is a quality jacket that, if well cared for, should last your pooch for many seasons

RUFFWEAR Powder Hound Insulated, Water Resistant Jacket

RUFFWEAR is another company which reflects the active and adventures spirit of its founders and their four legged friends that they want to enjoy those adventures with.

Product Highlights

There’s been a lot of care and attention put into the design of this jacket and it shows. You can tell this jacket has been designed by people that really understand dogs and love taking them on their hiking adventures

The Good

The designers have thought about the way a dog moves and the areas that it’s important to protect for maximum warmth. This is evident in the small front sleeves which help maintain warmth.

Stretch fabric has been used to ensure that your dog retains a full range of movement and is comfortable while out whether running around or walking by your side.

A full body length zipper makes getting into and out of this jacket easy for you, and your dog.

The Bad

Your dog does have to step into the sleeves which for some dogs might be difficult. But you can overcome this with a little patience, some yummy treats and praise.

Pros

  • Available in a wide-range of sizes from xx-small to x-large
  • Some lovely colors in this range including orange, blue and a stunning red
  • Reflective strips for added visibility in darker or low-light situations
  • Well insulated with 250g of high loft polyester
  • Weather resistant 75D shell

Cons

  • A little more expensive but no more than other high-quality jackets in this sector. Look after this and it should last for many happy seasons
  • No leash opening but the jacket sits below the leash ring anyway so this shouldn’t be an issue

Weatherbeeta Reflective Parka 300D - Best Parka Dog Coat 

A company that anyone who does equestarian is instantly going to recognize, Weatherbeeta have been creating exceptional equestrian products, notably their blankets, for over 35 years. Their focus has always been to provide horse owners with the best quality and most innovative products available and they’ve carried this drive and vision through to their dog coats.

Their dog coats are available in a range of designs from waterproof to showerproof, lightweight to reflective. Including a rather dapper tweed coat.

Product Highlights

A well made and thought out coat suitable for a wide-range of dogs. This jacket features a highly visible reflective strip down the full length of the coat making it ideal for winter walks when the sun has yet to rise or has set.

The Good

Featuring a thick 300D construction, this coat will keep your pooch warm on long walks or short nips to the bathroom.

A belly strap ensures that the underside of your dog is also partially covered providing additional warmth and protection from the cold.

The Bad

Again this is one coat that doesn’t have a whole lot of faults.

Pros

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    Available in slightly smaller range of sizes but still caters from a size 12” to 32”
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    Ideal for winter walks
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    Good value
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    Leash opening
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    Collar for added neck protection

Cons

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    Doesn’t cater for the smaller breeds or the larger end of the spectrum but should cater for the popular ones in between such as Labs etc.
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    Limited colors available - orange or yellow, but this is due to its hi-viz.
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    Hand wash recommended

PETCEE Waterproof Dog Jacket - Best Waterproof Dog Jacket for Winter

Thanks to its polyester waterproof material, this coat will keep your dog both dry and warm when out for walks whether long adventures or short nips out for a call of nature

Product Highlights

This is another dog coat with a dual identity giving you two looks for the price of one. It’s been well made with attention and focus on the details that will ensure it keeps your pet warm and dry as well as being comfortable for him to wear.

The Good

A well covered belly is important during the cold and wet weather. A dog’s belly is often less hairy or furry (depending on the breed) so covering it will keep him warmer and more comfortable.

There’s good use of velcro here which means your dog won’t have to play the hopping game to get in and out of the jacket. Ideal if you have a fussy dog who doesn’t like their legs lifted in and out of leg holes. It also means that you can adjust the fit for snugness and comfort.

The Bad

There have been some issues with the sizing of this jacket with some customers having to order up a size then they typically would. As each company has their own sizing it’s important that you measure your dog for each coat in the way the company has suggested.

Pros

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    Reflective strip along the back for visibility and increased safety
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    A collar helps to take the wind off your dog’s neck, it can be folded back when not needed
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    Very well priced
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    Available in a wide-range of sizes from xs - 5x-large

Cons

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    Some people have commented on the thinness of the outer material with fears that it might tear

Kuoser Cozy Waterproof Windproof Reversible British Style Plaid Dog Vest - Best Waterproof Vest Style Coat

Kuoser

‘Aiming to give every pet a warm, comfortable and fine experience.’

Product Highlights

This is a British style of dog coat which is often referred to as a vest. It offers a snug feel with it’s cotton soft side or a waterproof side perfect for those days when it’s raining or you’re out in the snow.

The Good

Lovely quilted detailing in this reversible dog coat that offers a plaid and a solid color so you can switch and change as the mood, or your outfit, takes you.

For extra warmth this has a decent sized belly wrap which protects your dog’s vulnerable belly (which often doesn’t have as much fur or hair) keeping him warm and dry.

The Bad

It’s not clear whether this is being sold as a waterproof or a water resistant coat as it’s described as both which is confusing. But it should be fine for light showers but perhaps not for heavy rain or snow.

Pros

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    Available in a good range of sizes to cater for xs to xxx-large
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    All sizings are clearly detailed to ensure you get the perfect fit for your pooch
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    Lovely range of colors available 
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    Easy to put on with the Velcro flaps which don’t require your dog to lift a leg into the leg holes which some dogs are reluctant to do

Cons

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    Sizing does run a little small

Gooby Stretch Fleece Vest - Best Fleece Vest Dog Jacket

This product is ideal for dogs who feel the cold as it could provide an extra layer beneath another jacket (if you plan on doing this then remember to order the outer jacket in a size larger to accommodate the jacket). It’s also perfect for those dogs who need a jacket on inside the home.

Product Highlights

This simple fleece vest is ideal for those pooches who feel the cold.

The Good

Easy stretchable fabric that simply pulls over the dog’s head and sits over their back and chest.

It’s comfortable enough to wear all day and once on most dogs will forget that it’s on an curl up for a snooze!

The Bad

Having just said it’s easy to pull over the dog’s head it’s important to understand that your dog’s legs will have to put into leg holes. And while the fabric is stretchy some dogs do not like this and so you might be better suited to a different style of coat for them.

Pros

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    Available in an array of colors from lilac to brown, lime green to red - something to suit everyone’s taste
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    Sizing is broad starting at x-small to 6x-large!
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    Machine washable

Cons

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    There’s been mixed reviews with regard to the sizing so measure your dog to ensure you get the best fit

Blueberry Pet Classic Cable Knit Dog Sweater - Best Knitted Dog Sweater

This is a company that produces some of the prettiest dog and cat clothes and accessories. They only sell things that they’d want to buy and if pretty, delicate yet practical is your idea of the perfect doggie accessory - this is the company for you!

A delightful sweater that’s available in a lovely range of colors to suit all your dog’s tastes and other accessories. If you are a Blueberry Pet fan, or just want a cute sweater to warm up your pooch, this is the one for you.

Product Highlights

This is a simple design that’s ideal for those dogs that feel the cold, perfect for fall or early spring when it’s still not quite warm enough yet but they don’t need their heavy coats.

Would suit short haired breeds such as Greyhounds or Italian greyhounds who will always welcome another layer of warmth! Or for hairless breeds such as the American Hairless Terrier or the more exotic Xoloitzcuintli both of which need the added warmth of sweaters given their baldness!

The Good

A pretty, soft wool/acrylic blend sweater that looks just like a miniature cable sweater that you might have in your closet. In fact we almost wish they’d do adult sized matching sweaters!

Available in an array of yummy colors including delicate pinks to smokey grey and midnight blue.

The Bad

This is a pullover style of sweater which requires you to lift your dog’s legs into two front leg holes. Now this might not be an issue for some dogs and in that case, it’s not a bad thing. But, there are dogs who do not like this, that’s not to say that you can’t overcome it but it may take a little bit of patience, some yummy treats and plenty of praise.

Pros

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    Well priced
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    Machine washable on a gentle cycle

Cons

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    No leash hole. But this has a low neck so it’s easy to clip a leash on while your dog is wearing it

Zack & Zoey Polyester Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat - Best Blanket Dog Coat

Cute and versatile blanket available in a range of colors in a reversible style for 2-in-1 fashion fun.

Product Highlights

This hugely popular blanket style coat will give your pooch a long, snuggly warmth with it’s fleece lining and waterproof construction.

The Good

A reversible coat, this one gives you the choice of either a fleece or a waterproof coat. A great 2-in-1 coat that will suit for milder days.

The Bad

Some users have reported that the coat can slip to the side in wear so it is suggested that you ensure the straps are tightened and secure and check while you are out walking to ensure they are still secure.

Pros

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    Good range of sizes available from xx-small to xx-large
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    Great colors available from blues and pinks to bright orange
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    Reflective strip
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    Machine washable on a gentle cycle

Cons

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    Double check the measurements - those given are for the actual product and don’t relate to the length of your dog

This little chap is all wrapped for a winter walk and rocking the bright red!

If after reading the reviews you still need a bit of help deciding what’s the best style of how you should measure your dog, then read our in-depth buyers guide.

There’s also some must read information on how to care for your dog at winter to ensure you both get the most out of your winter walks, stay warm and healthy.

Buyer’s Guide

There are many breeds which don’t need a separate coat during the winter, unless you live in extreme environments such as Alaska where the temperatures drop dramatically. Check with your vet to see what they recommend for your dog breed and if they think a dog coat is necessary. 

For example: you might expect that dogs such as Huskies would be ideally suited to life in the snow and colder climates and you’d be correct on that, but if you are planning to be out for an extended period or have lived in a warmer state and are visiting a colder one, they may still need a winter coat.

There are many breeds which most definitely require a coat. The smaller breeds, especially in the toy group - Yorkshire terriers, King Charles Spaniels, and Papillons, for example, will need a little extra help in keeping their tiny bodies warm when out for a winters walk.

Other breeds such as the hounds – Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, and Greyhounds, for example, have very little hair (yes it’s called hair) and so most definitely will require the addition of a good quality dog coat to help them remain warm.

TIP - A good rule of thumb with these breeds is if you wouldn’t go out without a coat, then neither should they.

Why your dog needs a coat

Whether your dog requires a coat will depend on a few factors:

  • The climate where you live (or are visiting).

  • How severe the winters are*.

  • How far you walk your dog.

  • Where you walk your dog.

  • If your dog goes on the slopes or comes hiking with you.

  • The size and weight of your dog - tiny dogs such as Chihuahuas, that have a small body mass and weigh very little will feel the cold a lot quicker than a larger dog such as a Doberman Pinscher.

  • The type of fur or hair (yes, some dogs have hair and not fur - think Yorkshire Terrier) they have and how long it is.

  • The color of your dog’s fur or hair - dogs with darker fur such as black or dark brown will absorb the sun’s rays which will, in turn, make them warmer than a blonde or pale coated dog.

  • Whether they have a double coat – breeds such as Labrador Retrievers have a double coat which protects them from the rain, snow and the cold, however, in extreme weather it may be necessary for them to wear a coat.

  • The age of your dog – like humans, dogs will feel the cold more as they age and this is also true of puppies and sick dogs all of which need to be handled carefully so they remain warm and comfortable while outside.

  • Whether your dog will tolerate a coat - dogs aren’t keen on having things on their backs so it might take a while for your dog to adjust or accept a coat. If your dog is distressed by wearing a coat, you shouldn’t force the issue, take it slowly and be guided by your dog.

A dog coats function

There are a lot of dog coats out there, some undeniably cute and fun but a winter dog coat is there to provide warmth and protection from the elements and this should be the main criteria when deciding which is the best option–not what it looks like. 

But having said that, there is plenty of coats out there which are both functional and fashionable.

How to choose the best winter dog coat

When choosing a new coat for your dog there is much to consider to ensure you get the right coat for your dog, think about:

  • The size of your dog.

  • Your budget - you’ll find dog coats from inexpensive to hundreds of dollars! A high price tag though doesn’t necessarily equate to a better coat but it might have more features and last longer than one that only cost a few bucks.

  • Your dog’s breed - if you haven’t done so already, research more into your dog's needs during the winter. Chat to your vet and they should be able to help you decide whether your dog needs a winter coat.

  • Coat style - we’ve listed the most popular styles below and each has their plus and minus points. You’ll know what your climate is like and the severity of weather which occurs during the winter so be guided by that when you decide which style is right for your dog.

Dog coat styles

There are a few different styles of dog coat available such as:

  • Waterproof coats - this can be either insulated or not.

  • Puffer style coats.

  • Poncho style coats.

  • Blanket coats.

  • Parka style coats - maybe they should rename them Barka coats!

  • Raincoat or mac style coats.

  • Vest style coats.

  • Knitted coats - this style is great for warmth but typically they aren’t waterproof or resistant so not as practical in the rain or wet snow.

  • Hoodies - like the knitted coats, these aren’t waterproof or resistant but they can be very warm and cozy for smaller dogs, just as they are for us!

  • Onesies - though they are practical and cover more of your furry friend's body, they are probably best kept for indoors if only to spare your dog’s blushes at the dog park!

This pooch is rocking a sharp knitted jumper.

Dog coat construction

As you can see from the list above, there are a few different styles. Think of your own winter jackets and you’ll know how they construct similar dog coats such as the puffer and parka styles. Typically, they’ll have:

  • An outer shell constructed with a water-resistant fabric such as nylon or polyester.
  • Some form of insulation (but not always) the same as a jacket for a human. You might see a number and weight with regard to insulation, for example, 150g, this refers to the amount of insulation in the coat. The more insulation the warmer it will be.
  • The layer that sits directly on the dog’s skin is typically a fleece type fabric, this is soft and prevents sores on the skin caused by fabric chaffing. It also provides another level of warmth.
  • Knitted coats usually have only one layer though some have an added fleece liner for additional warmth and comfort.
  • Rain mac style coats typically only have one layer, though some may have a fleece lining for comfort.

Coverage

There is a great deal of difference in the coverage between the various styles of coats available. Here are things to consider:

  • Does the coat cover the whole back area? Often coats will end just before the tail leaving exposed skin. If your dog is sensitive to the cold look for a longer style which hangs over the tail.
  • Does it offer belly coverage? Again, if your dog is sensitive to the cold, choose a coat which covers their undercarriage too.
  • Does it cover their legs? Some dogs need more protection than others if your dog has delicate skin, little hair, or the weather is bitterly cold, look for a coat with sleeves. It will cover either all four legs or just the front legs. Getting a dog to step into or have you put their legs through holes, can be tricky but ultimately it is achievable if you take things slowly and allow them to get used to the idea without forcing them. Yummy treats and patience will go a long way to achieving this and you may find that your previously fussy dog will be happier to go outside if they have less exposed skin.
  • Is there an integrated snood to protect the neck? Snoods are especially good for greyhounds who don’t like drafts and because of their short single coat hair feel the cold extremely quickly. Or try putting on a separate knitted snood which covers the neck, head, and ears leaving them snug and warm.

Thickness

Dog coats are available in a range of densities which allows you to choose the best option for the expected weather. Thinner coats are perfect for the fall and moving into the spring when the weather is still cold and your dog needs a coat just not a thick, winter weight version. This is when knitted coats are a good choice as long as heavy rain isn't forecasted.

You will sometimes see the word Denier or a D beside fabrics, this refers to the density or thickness of the material with the higher the number, the thicker the cloth.

What to look for in a good dog coat

  • Protection from the elements – wind, rain, snow and the cold.

  • Good quality fabrics neatly sewn with waterproof qualities.
  • Insulation – if you live in a harsh climate this is essential to keep your dog warm.
  • Lead hole.
  • Easy to operate closures, buckles, etc.
  • Machine washable.
  • Easy toileting access - your dog still needs to be able to pee and poo without it dirtying the coat.
  • Integrated car harness.
  • Integrated walking harness.
  • Packable - some coats fold up into a storage bag for easy transportation.

Dog coat fastenings

When you are trying to get your dog into a coat you want to secure it quickly and easily. Typically, a coat will have a strap around their chest and back and at the neck, these will be:

  • Velcro.
  • Buttons.
  • Press studs or poppers.
  • Zippers.
  • Buckles.
  • Leg loops - these elasticated straps are placed around the dog’s hind legs preventing the back of the dog coat from flapping up in the wind. These are a great idea but your dog has to be comfortable stepping into and out of the straps. But don’t worry, you don’t have to use the straps as they shouldn’t get in your dog’s way if not worn.

The easier you can put on and take off your dog’s coat the better it will be for both of you. So, any straps need to be easy to fasten, preferably with one hand so you can still hold his lead on the other hand.

Which closure options are best for my dog?

Think about your dog, is he a wriggler or does he stand patiently while you put on his coat? A wriggler might be easier to dress in a coat with Velcro rather than a zipper. 

Buckles allow for easy opening and closing and are highly adjustable.

If your dog doesn’t mind putting his head through something, then a simple pullover style will work well for warmer weather when it‘s unlikely to rain as this style is typically seen in knitted or hoodie style coats which won’t offer much protection in the rain.

Trying to put a dog’s leg through holes or sleeves will at first, be a new experience for your dog but with patience and many rewards you should get to a stage where he will accept the situation.

Never force a dog to get into a coat if he doesn’t want to, it’s unfair and it won’t accomplish anything other than producing a fear reaction in your pooch. Take things slowly and again, treats along with praise should work well.

Colors

You can get a great selection of dog coats in an array of patterns and colors. And if you really want to turn heads, try matching the colors of your jacket with that of your pooch!

For even more choice pick a reversible coat and get two looks for the price of one!

Price

This varies wildly depending on the size of your dog, the style of coat you want and the fabrics and features you are looking for.

At the end of the day buy the coat that best meets your dogs' needs so it protects him, keeps him warm and dry and allows him to continue going for walks and enjoying the doggie life to the fullest.   

Size and fit

It wasn’t so long ago that dog coats where only available in a limited range of sizes which meant that a lot of concerned dog owners couldn’t buy a suitable coat for their pooch. But, thankfully, manufacturers have realized that there needs to be a wider range of sizes to cater to the many breeds seen in every park and dog park across the country.

A good fit is essential especially if your dog will have to go outside in extreme temperatures.

You want your dog to feel comfortable in the coat and not feel restricted, he must be able to have a full range of movement to all his legs and most importantly – still be able to cock his leg for a pee and squat for the other.

Look for designs with buckles and Velcro which enable you to get the best fit. Cinch cords or drawstrings at the neck will limit wind seepage which could make him cold.

Be guided by the sizing given by the manufacturer which is typically available on the product listing. But, it’s important to measure your dog to ensure that the coat you choose will fit properly. Because although the sizing is useful, buying a coat for a Whippet that’s on the small size for his breed may mean that the coat you receive is too big leaving gaps where wind, snow or rain could enter and make him cold.  

A better way is to take three or four simple measurements, this will give you a much better idea of his size and will help you select the right sized coat. See below on how to measure your dog.

How to measure your dog

Different manufacturers will have different ways of sizing their coats so it's important that you read their sizing guides for information on how to measure your dog for their fit of coat.

Start with these basic measurements to help get the right size:

  • Your dog’s weight.
  • His chest measurement.
  • His neck to tail measurement.
  • His shoulder to shoulder measurement.

Having these measurements should ensure that you’ll be able to get a perfect size and fit for your dog. 

Cleaning and care

It’s likely to get dirty so chose a coat which is machine washable for quick freshen-ups between uses. If you are out all the time it might be sensible to purchase two coats, so you’ve always got one to use while the other is in the wash or drying.

Always read the label and follow the washing instructions to ensure no damage occurs during the washing cycle.

Help! My Dog Doesn’t Like Wearing a Coat

Dogs often don’t enjoy having anything on their backs and so don’t be surprised if they shy away from wearing a dog coat when it’s first introduced.

But don’t despair there are things you can do to make the transition into wearing a dog coat, a bit easier for your pooch. If you are starting with a puppy it will be easier but it’s possible to train an older dog to accept wearing a coat too.

Here are a few helpful tips.

  • Take it slow, don’t rush the process and your dog is far more likely to accept and cope with wearing his jacket.
  • If your dog is nervous, don’t force the issue, you want wearing the coat to be a safe, non-stressful thing for your dog.
  • Let your dog sniff the material - a dog’s sense of smell is approximately 40 times greater than ours so, smell and how things smell is very important to dogs.
  • If the coat is supple and you can bunch up the fabric then pull the fabric of the neck into your hands so there is just a tube of fabric to place over the dogs head and not lots of fabric flapping on their back.
  • With a treat in one hand and the coat in the other, place a treat in your hand just to the other side of the neck so the dog has to poke his nose through the hole in order to get the treat. Continue doing this little by little until the dog becomes used to putting their head through the neck or the coat. Again, don’t rush things, allow your dog to get used to the idea before moving to the next step.
  • Once they are comfortable then you can pull the dog coat over their head and smooth the fabric over their back. Again, do this by treating your dog so it becomes a good thing they want to do.
  • Build up the time that your dog wears the coat. Remember, this is a new experience and one that may take time for your dog to accept and get used to.
  • Once your dog is used to having the coat pulled over their head then consider allowing them to wear it for short periods in the house.
  • Feed your dog whilst they are wearing the coat, this enables the dog to have a good association with the coat as it is linked to him receiving either treat or a meal.
  • If the coat has Velcro straps and they are noisy try opening and closing them while the dog isn’t in the coat, so he isn’t scared of the noise before you try putting him into the coat.
  • Taking things slowly and building up the trust with food and treats should mean your dog will be happy to wear his coat and will probably quickly forget that he has it on.
  • Don’t force a dog to wear a coat if he really doesn’t want to, the last thing you want is an anxious, unhappy dog. Seek advice from your vet or a dog psychologist for more help.

Always supervise your dog when they are wearing a dog coat, sweater or jacket.

Caring for your dog in winter

One important question you should always ask before you go out with your dog is:

*Is it too cold for my dog? This great piece by the experts at Pet MD should help you.

Just because your dog wants to go out for a walk it doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate or a good idea. Some days and in some conditions, it isn’t suitable to take your dog out for a long walk.

You know your dog, it‘s breed, and it’s temperament so be guided by this and use your judgment to decide when it’s suitable or not to take him out.

If it’s too cold for your dog to go outside ensure, he gets plenty of toys and interaction inside, a bored dog may quickly turn into a destructive dog!

Hypothermia in dogs

Just as we can be susceptible to hypothermia, so can our dogs. And like in humans this can quickly become serious so take a moment to read this guide by the experts at Pet MD.

Learn the signs that your dog is getting cold and take action.

Signs your dog may be cold

  • Whining.
  • Shivering.
  • Lethargy.
  • Anxiety.
  • Seeking shelter.

If you notice any of these signs, get your dog into a sheltered area where he can rest and get warm. Obviously, if it’s serious take your dog directly to the nearest veterinary clinic and seek immediate assistance.

To be on the safe side it’s better to put your dog in a coat rather than risk health issues.

Short-haired dogs

Here’s a great video from the experts at PetMD that will help your short-haired dogs to cope in the winter. 5 Winter Essentials for Short Haired Dogs.

Paw protection

Paw protection such as Musher’s Secret Paw Pad Protection Wax is great at protecting their pads against the snow, wet, ice and other harsh conditions under his paws.

This little guy is rocking his paw boots.

Paw dog boots including Trex boots and boot liners are another way to keep your dog warm and protected when the weather is harsh and there’s snow or ice under paw.

They not only protect against the cold but also grit or sand that’s been laid on the sidewalk or roads. Often this sand or grit mix will contain harmful chemicals such as de-icers which taste sweet to dogs (and cats), this presents a serious threat to your dog's health if he licks his paws to clean them after his walk.

Sadly there have been a number of deaths related to anti-freeze poisoning in dogs (and cats). If you suspect that your dog has ingested anti-freeze take them to a veterinary surgery immediately. Learn the signs of anti-freeze poisoning on this information slideshow by the experts at PetMD.

Another reason to protect your dog’s paws is the prevention of frostbite which, again just like us, dogs are also susceptible to. And it’s not just your pooches toes it can affect, any extremity like the ears and nose can also be affected. To help prevent frostbite and learn the symptoms check out this excellent article by the experts at PetMD.

Night time safety

Keeping your dog safe at night is especially important during the winter months when the days are shorter and the sun lower in the sky. You will most likely be out with your dog while it is still dark either for a morning or evening walk.

If you live and walk in an unlit or poorly lit area or walk along unlit roads, making yourself and your dog visible to motorists and other road users is vital.

Many dog jackets now put reflective strips on for just this purpose but you can go a step further:

  • Put a flashing light on your dog’s collar.

  • Use an LED collar.

  • Use an LED leash.

  • Use a hi-viz jacket either by itself in warmer weather or over the top of your dog’s winter coat in the colder months. Note - if you are buying a hi-viz jacket to place over your dog’s existing coat, buy it a couple of sizes larger so it fits over easily without restricting your dogs' movements.

Final thoughts

Once your dog is kitted out in his new jacket they’ll be lots of fun days out in the snow and stunning beauty that only the season of winter, can bring. But, please be sensible and if it feels too cold or your dog really doesn’t want to go outside, don’t go - other than the pee and poo breaks of course (that can’t be helped unless you get an indoor dog toilet - which you can! Or try puppy training pads). 

Don’t rush your dog if they aren’t happy wearing their new jacket, you might think it looks cool and cute but if it’s new to your dog, he might have some anxiety about putting it on. Take your time and with patience and love, he’ll probably come around. This concludes our best dog jackets for winter article.

And finally, here’s a great article from PetMD full of useful advice to care for your dog this winter. 7 Tips for Caring for Your Pet This Winter.

This tiny pooch is happy in the snow wearing this stylish faux fur trimmed coat.

Enjoy your fun times in the snow with your pooch and - stay warm.

Please note - the information given in this guide is for guidance only, if you have any questions about the suitability of a dog coat for your dog or any health-related questions, please consult your vet.

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