A Guide To Selecting The Right Jacket For Your Dog
With the temperature dropping and the weather packing in, you might be thinking about buying a coat for your dog. A dog jacket is useful in helping to keep your dog warm, dry and protected from the elements. Here is our simple guide that will help you get the perfect coat for your pooch!
Does my dog need a coat?
Before choosing a winter coat for your dog, you'll need to decide if your dog needs one. This can be decided by a variety of factors including breed, health, coat type, weight, size and age.
Many double-coated dog breeds like German Shepherd's or Huskies were traditionally born to live in cold temperatures so generally do not need a dog coat for warmth. Whereas, coats tent to be more necessary for breeds that are lower to the ground - Corgis, tiny toy breeds like Chihuahuas and dogs with wool coats like Poodles who have been clipped.
There are many large breed dogs that may also benefit from a coat. Large breeds such as Greyhounds and Hungarian Vizslas have thin fur-coats and are prone to sensitivity in cold weather.
Older dogs and young pups may also need some assistance in regulating their body temperatures during the colder winter months. This is where a dog coat may be handy.
How do I measure for a dog coat?
When selecting a coat for your dog, you first need to take some measurements to make sure that it will fit snug!
With your dog standing, measure the circumference of their neck and chest girth (at the widest point) and back length.
If your dog is super fluffy and overdue for a haircut when the measurements are taken, consider taking a couple of cm's off the chest girth measurement to make up for this.
Tip: if your dog is still growing it is best to choose to go up a size to future proof your purchase.
How do I fit my dog coat?
A properly fitted dog jacket should cover their neck and belly. The fit should be snug but not tight. As a rule of thumb, when your dog is wearing the coat ideally you should be able to squeeze a couple of fingers between the coat and your dog's skin.
The coat should also reach to the base of their tail for optimal protection.
An easy-on, easy-off design with adjustable chest and belly straps like the Ruff 'n' Rugged Sherpa Coat is best especially for puppies or elderly pets!
Which coat is best for my dog?
When choosing a dog coat, it's important to factor in your lifestyle and budget and to think carefully about the key features that you need from this coat.
Consider whether you need a waterproof coat like the Caribu Alpine or Pet One Blizzard for walks in torrential rain, or something to keep your dog warm and cosy around the house like the DGG Warmie.
Other key features dog owners look for are night visibility, breathability and durability.
What weight should I choose?
Selecting the weight of your dog coat is best decided by the climate in which you live in. However, owners of larger breeds with a thick or double coat may be more inclined to choose a lighter weight option.
Check that it is easy to clean
When selecting a dog coat, be sure to take into consideration how easy it is to clean.
If you're looking for convenience, or you have an extra adventurous dog - choose a coat that is machine-washable for when you are on-the-go. If your dog is more inclined to stay indoors, or does not release odours, spot cleaning and hand-washing can also be considered.
To keep your jacket in a pristine condition for longer, spot clean or freshen it up between washings, while being sure to let it air out. Much like your own clothing, never store your dog coat while it is wet, damp or dirty.
Written by The Pet.co.nz
Written by The Pet.co.nz Team
A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.