For dog owners who live in a colder climate and where winter brings heavy snowfall, it is important that you protect your dog by bundling them up. While dog breeds like Siberian huskies have thick coats to shield them from the cold, other dogs will greatly benefit from an extra layer of warmth.
Just like you have winter jackets to keep you warm as you venture outside with your pup, dog jackets for winter let your four legged friend explore the snow in comfort and style. Whether you’re going winter hiking or camping with your dog, the best dog jackets will have a snug fit, be flexible, easy to put on, and waterproof. Warm winter dog coats should also be durable, functional, and reliable.
But with the popularity of winter dog coats rising, there are a lot of different designs to choose from, which can make your shopping experience more stressful. We want to make it easy on owners, so we’ve made a list of the ten best dog coats and included our comprehensive guide. With our help, you can review top rated dog jackets and decide which would best suit your pups needs for a wintertime adventure.
How To Choose A Dog Coat – Buying Guide
One of the most important features and the first consideration that needs to be reviewed is the material used in dog coats for cold weather. When the temperatures drop, your dog needs more than warmth – they also need to have a water-resistant or waterproof protection to keep them dry in the snow.
The best dog jackets will use materials which are durable, but also comfortable and fully waterproof. Most top rated dog jackets will use a combination of synthetic and natural fibers to protect your dog. Synthetic materials are best at repelling water, but a natural fiber makes the lining or insulation more comfortable to wear.
Nylon and polyester are excellent synthetic materials, which are waterproof and will help protect your pup from the rain and snow. The two materials are also lightweight, which is important for dog coats for small dogs so that they don’t hinder your dog’s movement. Nylon and polyester are also durable, so your dog can run and play without worrying about tearing their warm dog jackets.
While most waterproof dog coats for winter will feature both an exterior shell and lining material, not all pet coats for winter are extra thick. A few dog coats for cold weather will be made with a single, waterproof layer. If you are looking to stop the rain and aren’t planning to venture out in the snow, a synthetic material can help keep your dog dry but prevent them from overheating if the temperature outside is only mildly cold.
But it is also important that you look for the best dog coats, which will feature high quality materials. Dog coat reviews can help you determine whether the exterior shell features a quality material or if it will keep your dog dry.
For a lining or insulation, cotton and fleece are natural fibers that can help keep your short haired dogs warm. Natural materials are softer than most synthetic fibers and have a fluffier appearance.
While dog do not sweat like people, the breathability of natural fibers can still help prevent your dog from overheating as they exercise in the snow. Cotton and fleece have excellent breathability, which works to keep your dog warm and comfortable.
You may also find that winter dog coats are reversible and are made of two different fabrics. Reversible dog coats for small dogs will likely have a waterproof side and a cozier side, which you can interchange based on the weather conditions.
But similar to the exterior material, you want to be certain that the lining material is also high quality. Again, dog coat reviews can help you find the best dog jackets and determine whether the lining material is suitable for your pup.
Dog jackets for winter need to be thick to keep your dog warm, but sometimes too much thickness can make moving difficult or make the coat too hot for your dog to wear. In general, the thickness of the coat will depend on the breed of dog and their size.
Dog coats for small dogs tend to be thicker because little dogs have a hard time regulating their heat. Their small bodies tend to shiver quickly when exposed to the cold temperature and they need a thicker down dog coat to protect them from the snow.
Medium and larger sized dogs will be okay with less thickness because it takes longer for them to feel cold and start to shiver. Most dogs over 20 pounds will be fine with a standard thickness down dog coat that isn’t too fluffy.
As we mentioned, a few pet coats for winter are reversible. Reversibility is a useful feature because it is more versatile for different weather conditions, which means that you can use your warm dog jackets during fall, winter, and spring.
The best dog coats will have one side of a reversible jacket that is made with a waterproof material, while the other side provides a soft insulation. The waterproof side can keep your dog protected from the rain and snow, while the fuzzy side will keep them warm.
Reversible warm winter dog coats also provide more style options. More often than not, a reversible coat will have one solid color side and then a printed or patterned side, which can let owners style their dogs for their walks outside.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, which means that alpine dog coats need to be available to fit a variety of dog breeds. The best dog coats will be made by reputable manufacturers who provide their own size chart and offer their products in a wide range of sizes. Most sizing options are on a X-Small to XXX-Large scale, but some may use only the dog’s measurements.
Most of the products on our list will suit toy and extra-large dog breeds and have a size chart available. The size chart is the best way to find the correct size, but you may need to take a few measurements of your dog first. The most important measurement will be the girth of the chest, so the underbelly strap can keep the coat secure.
But dog coats with legs for winter may also have special sizing to ensure that the leg openings are suitable size for your dog. Again, measurements can be taken and compared with the provided size chart to ensure you have found the best size for your dog.
Once you have found the correct size for your dog, you will have to try the coat on your pup and ensure that it fits properly. Fit is not the same as size, so it is important to understand the difference. While the size is estimated to provide your dog with the best fit, the true fit can differ between alpine dog coats and brands.
Top rated dog jackets should fit your dog snuggly, but not be so tight that they have difficulty walking, running, or moving. It should also never cut the circulation off to your dog’s legs and the neck opening shouldn’t restrict their breathing.
Many warm winter dog coats now come with an adjustable belly strap, which can be tightened or loosed to better fit your dog. Ultimately, you want the jacket to be snug so that it doesn’t fall off while the dog is moving, but you don’t want it to be so tight that seams are tearing, or your dog looks uncomfortable.
A good way to determine if you’ve found the proper fit is test the arm and neck openings with your finger, much like you would with a traditional dog collar. Your fingers should be able to easily slide underneath and feel snug. If you are having trouble sliding your fingers under, the fit is probably too tight. On the other hand, if you can see large gaps of space around the arms or neck, the fit is too loose.
Dog winter coats with a harness hole or leash hole are more convenient to use because they keep the leash secure without forcing it to wrap awkwardly around your dog’s neck or chest. A leash hole or harness zipper should be located on the back of the jacket, so you can easily attach the leash and go.
The design of the leash hole will differ between alpine dog coats. Some feature a small buttonhole, which is constantly open but easy to find and use. Other dog winter coats with a harness hole will have a full zipper that can be opened and closed for leash attachment.
It should be indicated in the product specifications of a leash hole is included, but you can also check dog coat reviews for clarification too.
If you are going to head out in drastically cold temperatures, you may want to look at pet coats for winter that feature a hood. While it may seem odd for a dog to wear a hood, but it can actually help keep them warmer and protect their sensitive ears from the wind and snow.
The only downside to a hood is that it can obstruct your dog’s view. But to prevent the hood from slipping over the eyes, look for alpine dog coats that have an elastic trimmed hood, so it can fit snuggly on the top of the dog’s head and stay in place as they run or walk.
A big concern for most dog owners is walking dogs in snow where visibility may be poor or when you have to go out at night. Usually, snowstorms and nighttime are when your dog is less visible to others and more at risk of injury. Reflective strips will catch the light of any car headlights as you cross the street or can even reflect off the neighborhood street lights to keep your dog visible as you walk on the sidewalk or cross the road. The best dog jackets will have reflective strips along the edge or spine of the coat, which will help keep your dog visible.
Zipper vs. Velcro
Top rated dog jackets need to have an easy to use, reliable, and secure closure system that will keep the jacket snug on your dog’s body. A zipper or Velcro is the most common way a dog jacket secures, and you will have to decide which is best for you and your pup.
A zipper is a fast and secure, but it may not be the most convenient way. A zippered down dog coat will likely have a full zipper along the back, which can be tricky to close with a wiggly pup. But the zipper would be less likely to come undone with rigorous play, which could be the best choice for active dogs.
Velcro is the easiest system to use because you can simply wrap, stick, and go. For puppies or high energy dogs, getting the coat on as quickly as possible can make the process less stressful. Velcro is also secure, but it may come undone if your dog is highly active. But the best dog coats will use a strong Velcro that will stay firmly in place even as your dog runs through the snow.
Finally, for some dog owners the color is important. Dog coats for cold weather come in a variety of styles and colors that you can match to your dog’s gender or personality. Even your preferences may determine what color you want your dog to wear or you could even match colors to your jacket.
However, if you are camping with your dog or trail running with your dog, you may want to choose a bold or bright color that makes your dog more visible. But beyond the benefit of visibility for your dog’s safety, the color of the jacket won’t affect well the jacket insulates or protects from the cold.
Q: Does My Dog Need A Coat?
Yes, some dogs do need a coat to stay warm. Usually, the dogs who have trouble regulating their body temperature in winter will be smaller sized or have short fur. Small dogs get cold quickly, no matter the amount of fur they have. Larger dogs stay warmer for longer, but if they have short hair or fur, even 15 minutes out in the snow will cause them to shiver.
Dog owners will often go above and beyond for their best friend, so you should look at buying a coat for any dogs with short fur. The only breeds of dogs that do not need a coat in the winter are Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernards, or other cold weather breeds.
Q: How Do I Know The Right Size I Need To Buy?
The best dog jackets will have a size chart available, which will help you determine the size of coat you need for your dog. Most sizes are on a letter scale, like X-Small to X-Large. You can take your dog’s measurements, as instructed, and use the chart to find the best size.
Dog coat reviews can also be a helpful resource to find out what size may best fit a specific breed of dog.
Q: How Cold Is Too Cold For A Dog?
Even though dogs are covered in a layer of fur, they can still get cold in winter. In general, if you are bundling up to take your dog outside, you should probably bundle up your pup too. But as we mentioned earlier, it will depend on the breed of dog. Any dog that starts to shiver when outside or wants to be let back in before finishing their business will benefit from a coat.
Q: How To Train My Dog To Wear A Coat?
Some dogs will immediately settle into a coat with no problems and other dogs may struggle to get used to wearing a jacket. If your dog tries to take off the jacket or isn’t too happy with it on, you will have to train them to wear it.
Positive reinforcement with treats and love are the best way to encourage your dog to wear a coat. You can start by putting the coat on for short periods of time, like one minute, before giving praise and taking the coat off. Gradually, you should be able to increase the time until your dog is carefree and happy to wear their coat in the snow.
Globo Surf Overview
Owners will do anything to keep their dogs safe, so when the temperatures drop, having your dog wear a coat becomes top priority. The best dog coats will stop your dog from shivering, so you can spend more time playing in the snow. We hope that our guide has helped you in your search and provided all the information you need to find a quality dog coat for your furry friend.
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Do you own one of the dog coats that made it onto our list? Let us know which one is your dog’s favorite to wear in the comments section below.