Category Archives: coats

How to Select the Right Dog Coat or Sweater

dog coat funkblastBy Laurie Darroch

When your dog needs extra warmth to cope with cold weather, you want to pick the right coat or sweater to do the job correctly. Not all dogs are suited to extremely cold temperatures. The added layer of clothing can be a real help for dogs that are sensitive to cold weather.

A dog that is cold will cuddle against you, burrow under blankets, and may even shiver. Some dogs have plenty of thick over coat and undercoat, but others may have very thin fur and no real undercoat to help keep them warm. Adding a manmade coat may seem silly, but your cold dog will appreciate the extra warmth and be much more comfortable. Here are some tips for choosing the best coat for your dog.

Take Measurements

Dogs obviously vary greatly in size and shape. Getting a coat or sweater that fits correctly and does not cause discomfort is important. Measure your dog around the chest, neck and distance from their neck to their waist, and know their weight before you go shopping.

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5 Reasons to Get a Coat for Your Dog

dog coat luluBy Laurie Darroch

Some people may think dog coats are silly, but there are reasons a dog can benefit from wearing one in cold weather. Dog coats are not just a dress up item; they are a necessity for some dogs and weather conditions.

Encouragement

Some dogs are hesitant to step outside in the cold. It may take some encouragement to get them out the door to face a walk in the frigid snow. The added warmth of a coat designed for those conditions can help motivate your dog to go out into the chilly weather. If your dog is comfortable, he is more likely to cooperate and go out for the exercise he needs or to answer nature’s call.
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Dog Potty Training Tips for Bad Weather

potty tips martinaBy Laurie Darroch

Some dogs resist going outside in rainy or snowy weather to go to the bathroom. They do not like the changes in temperature or the feel of the snow or the rain. With training and encouragement they will go outside, but you can help your dog by making the experience more tolerable.

Snow

Keep an area in your yard clear of snow for the potty area, and be consistent. Make sure the space is large enough for your dog to sniff and turn around on. Clear it as close to the ground as possible. With repetition and encouragement, your dog will get used to going to that one spot in inclement weather.

If you do not have a yard and are walking your dog for bathroom breaks, bring along a small hand shovel if they are resistant to relieving themselves on the snow. There are small, reasonably priced folding shovels available as well, which are easier to carry on an outing in the cold.
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Do Pets Really Like to Wear Clothes?

By Linda Cole

People have a variety of reasons why they dress their pet up in clothes. Some put a coat or sweater on their dog in the winter because he gets too cold without one. Others just think their pet looks cute in a costume. Some pets seem to enjoy all the attention they get when wearing clothes; there’s even a National Dress Up Your Pet Day. But from your pet’s point of view, is he really that excited about wearing clothes? There are things to consider when choosing clothing for dogs and cats, and signals your pet sends that will tell you if he’s comfortable or stressed out in his new getup. Dressing your pet in clothes can change his behavior.

I have a windproof/waterproof coat for each of my dogs to wear during heavy, wet snowfalls and when the temperature is below zero. Winter winds can be wicked where I live, and my dogs appreciate their coats. All except Keikei, my Border Collie mix. She is more of a hat and sunglasses kind of gal, and doesn’t like wearing a coat no matter how cold or snowy it is outside. Keikei is a high energy canine and can’t wait to get outside, but with her coat on she has trouble moving around and prefers to act like a statue. Her personality changes, and I know she feels uncomfortable and confined wearing a coat, so I don’t put it on her.

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Easy-to-Make Warm Winter Coat for Your Dog

By Linda Cole

Not all dogs need a winter coat. Their natural one does a fine job, as long as it’s clean and free of mats and tangles. However, some canines don’t have an adequate coat that will keep them warm, and they may need a winter coat. If you notice your dog shivering during the winter months, it’s a sign he is cold and could use a coat. You can find a large selection of dog coats at pet stores, but it’s easy to make your own.

You will need:

● Quilted material (100% cotton face and back and polyester fill) for outer shell, and fleece material for inner shell. It’s recommended to wash the quilted material before using because it will shrink a little. Bast around the edges before washing, to keep it from unraveling. You could also cut the quilted material about an inch wider than the fleece to adjust for any shrinkage and not prewash the material.

Quilted material will cost around $12.50 per yard depending on pattern, and fleece will run from $3.00-$12.00 per yard depending on where you buy your material. For small dogs like Yorkshire Terriers and toy breeds, half a yard of each material is all you need. For most sizes of dogs, one yard of each material should be more than enough, unless your pet is really big. You need enough material to make the body of the coat, a collar, and a belly strap.
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Why Some Dogs Need Winter Coats to Stay Warm

By Linda Cole

My first dog, Jack, was an American Eskimo. He had a thick undercoat that kept him toasty warm through even the coldest winter blast. Most of my dogs have been large with warm coats, and I never thought much about winter coats for dogs until my two Jack Russell Terrier mixed siblings, Sophie and Kelly, got older. Our Midwest winters can be harsh, with snow and subzero temperatures. Both Sophie and Kelly took the cold in stride when they were young, but as they aged I discovered they got cold when we were outside. Some dogs do need winter coats to help keep them warm!

Winter coats, sweaters or booties are to some people nothing more than an owner pampering their pet. I’ve had people stop me and actually complain because I had a winter coat on my dogs. Some people think dogs don’t need anything on because they already have a perfectly good, natural winter coat. Sometimes, however, a dog’s natural coat isn’t enough to protect them from winter weather. There are reasons why you may need to put warm clothes on your dog.

Older Dogs

I had an older dog, Rex, who would get so cold his teeth chattered. He loved playing outside with the other dogs, and putting both a sweater and coat on him helped to keep him warm and made it possible for him to enjoy being outside – without shivering so hard his teeth chattered. Older dogs can have a harder time generating and holding body heat. Putting a sweater and/or coat on your dog when he’s outside is a practical way of dealing with colder weather. It’s important to keep an eye on an older pet to make sure the cold isn’t bothering him.

Another consideration to keep in mind is even inside the house, an older dog can become chilled. If you need a sweater because your thermostat is turned down to conserve energy or there’s a chill in the house just before the furnace comes on, your older dog may also need a sweater.

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