Just like humans, dogs can be susceptible to extreme weather conditions and the cold can really have a negative effect on our four-legged friends. And despite a common misconception, dogs do need a little extra help staying nice and cozy during the colder months.
So, if you’re in the business of staying one step ahead of Woman Winter herself, then you’ll love this article. We are going to talk all about how the cold can affect your dog and which types of jackets are best for keeping your fur kid warm and cozy when the temperature drops.
But just how cold is too cold for a dog? We’re about to find out.
How Cold Is Too Cold For A Dog?
Despite a common misconception, a dog’s fur doesn’t always keep him warm enough.
All dogs (or most dogs, we should say) have natural fur jackets, but that’s not always enough to keep them warm when the weather turns cold. How cold is too cold for your dog?
Most experts agree that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for Fido. Many of us used to think that a dog’s paws and fur were enough to protect them from the elements, but now we know that’s not the case.
While dogs are a bit tougher than we are when it comes to certain weather conditions, the truth is that their little paws can suffer from frostbite and their fur is not always thick enough to keep them warm when the temperatures drop.
With that being said, not all dogs are as susceptible to cold weather and there are some dogs who quite enjoy it. On the flip side, there are some dogs who need much more help staying warm in the winter than others.
Which type of dog is your dog? Keep reading.
Which Types Of Dogs Need To Wear Jackets?
Small dogs are especially prone to suffering from extreme weather conditions.
My neighbor’s Alaskan Malamute loves to play in the snow. He could stay out there for hours on end and even falls asleep in snowdrifts. Then there is my Maltipoo, who hardly steps two paws off the front porch to go potty and is shivering.
What makes them so different?
For starters, my Maltipoo is six pounds and our Malamute neighbor is at least 80 pounds. So there’s that. Not to mention a Malamute is bred for cold weather.
Your dog’s size, breed, and even age will play a role in their overall ability to handle certain weather conditions.
With that being said, dogs who were bred to withstand colder climates over generations like Siberian Huskies or Malamutes have a much higher tolerance for the cold. Not only do these types of dogs have double layered coats that are made to withstand super frigid conditions, they also have fur between their paw pads to keep them protected.
Not all dogs are as equipped for cold weather. Dogs with short coats like Pitbulls and small dogs like Chihuahuas or Maltese dogs need a bit more help to keep their body temperatures up. Their fur coats are usually thin and their paws are not made to stand on the cold or icy ground for extended periods of time.
Still, even a weather-worthy dog can benefit from a dog coat when the weather is extreme. So, if you plan on having lots of outdoor time with your pup and you find that the temperature requires you to wear a big winter coat, it’s probably not a bad idea to toss a jacket on your dog as well.
That said, we do want to note that many dogs actually hate wearing clothes and putting your dog in a jacket when he doesn’t really need to wear one could cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for him.
This is why it’s so important to make sure the jacket you purchase for your dog is comfortable and made for his body type and size and allows for natural movement. This way, when your dog does need to wear his jacket, he can be as cozy and comfortable as possible.
And this, my friends, brings us to tips on picking out the best winter jacket for your dog.
Choosing Your Dog’s Jackets – Fashion Vs. Function
Dog jackets can be cute, but most importantly they should be functional and keep your dog cozy.
Look, we get it. Part of the fun of picking out a good dog jacket is choosing one that’s cute. However, when you are choosing a jacket for the primary function of it being warm, it’s super important to make sure you get a jacket that performs.
Here is what we recommend you look for in quality winter dog jackets for winter:
- Look for jackets that are weatherproof or at least wind and water resistant
- Look for dog jackets that are easy to clean and reversible
- Dog jackets should have a warm, soft inner lining for comfort
- Your dog’s winter coat should be easy to get on and off
- Make sure your dog’s jacket is the right size and fits snuggly
Now, let’s go over some of our favorite dog jackets for winter weather.
Kurgo Reversible Winter Dog Jacket
First on our list is an adorable, diverse dog jacket by Kurgo. This jacket comes in nine sizes starting at extra small to offer the best fit for your unique dog. Not only that, but the jacket comes in twelve colors and is even reversible.
For those who live in extra cold climates, the dog jacket can be ordered in a vest or in a full-body design.
The makers also honor safety with reflective lining and water resistant materials. This is a wonderful dog jacket for cold-weather hiking adventures with your pooch and offers easy movement and allows you easy access to your dog’s leash and harness, which he can wear underneath.
Gooby Padded Dog Jacket
This dog jacket by Goodby is padded and comes in several different sizes, making it great for very small dogs all the way up to very large dogs. It is also water resistant and weather resistant, protecting from wind, snow, and sleete.
The lightweight material means your dog will have an easy range of motion. You can put this jacket on over your dog’s harness, but the jacket also comes complete with a leash attachment for your convenience. The jacket is also machine washable, which is always a plus for adventurous dogs and dog owners.
SCIROKKO Dog Winter Coat
Another waterproof, weatherproof jacket we love is the Scirokko Dog coat. It’s great for night walks in the cold as it comes with sewn-in reflective lining and a removable hood to help keep your pup’s cute little ears cozy as well.
However, unlike some of the other options on this list, this jacket only comes in four sizes and may not fit all unique dog body types, so we recommend you do your measurements before purchasing.
You can order the jacket in black or pink and it is easy to get on and off with a velcro flaps. Best of all, this jacket is made with warmth retention technology, which means it holds your dog’s natural body heat in and helps keep him extra warm.
Carhartt Chore Coat
This heavy duty dog jacket comes in four colors and is incredibly durable. It’s a duck vest, and is water resistant and made with hand-spun cotton. It comes with functionable pockets for extra storage and an adjustable hook for keeping your dog on leash.
This is a good dog jacket for dog owners who enjoy taking their dogs hunting, however we do not recommend it for lots of outdoor activity in wet, snowy weather as it is not entirely waterproof.
MIGOHI Reflective Dog Coat
The MIGOHI dog jacket is not only waterproof and weatherproof, it is also reversable and fits most small, medium, and large sized dogs. (But still do your measurements).
It comes in five super cute colors and is made of durable terylene material to help keep your dog dry and warm no matter what the weather is.
This is a great dog jacket for very cold weather or those of you who plan on going outdoors with your dog in the snow or rain.
The back opens with a zipper for easy access to your dog’s leash and collar and it is easy to get on and off, and easy to keep clean.
PETCEE Waterproof Dog Jacket
This is another waterproof dog jacket we love for cold weather. It comes in nine sizes from extra small all the way up to 5XL, so get your Great Dane ready for the ski lodge, folks!
The jacket also comes in three colors and has a soft fleece lining to keep you dog cold in the snow. It’s outside is polyester and the jacket is all weatherproof for extra safety and warmth.
We love this dog jacket for anyone who plans on doing lots of outdoor activities with their pups in the cold as it’s wonderful for protecting against snow and wind.
A back zipper and high collar make for easy harness access and extra warmth.
SCENEREAL Reversible Dog Jacket
Another great dog jacket is the Scenereal reversible winter jacket for dogs. It has a cute, fashionable plaid design on the inside, which is also made of soft fleece. The outside is waterproof and windproof, so it’s great for cold weather adventures.
It comes in five sizes and two colors including beige, black, and red. The fabric is polyester, terylene, and cotton, so it’s weatherproof, waterproof, cozy and warm.
Comes in two colors including beige or black and red
Kuoser Cozy Reversible Dog Vest
This is another waterproof and reversible dog jacket we love. It has all our favorite factors, including fashion and function. It comes in seven adorable colors and eight sizes, so it is fabulous for dogs of all different sizes.
The jacket comes with a hook loop for your dog’s harness access and is easy to put on and off. It also leaves an open belly for easy movement and so your dog can use the bathroom easily.
PAWCHIE Winter Dog Coat For Dogs
We love down jackets, so why wouldn’t our dogs? This is a down jacket just for your pooch so it’s extra warm and snuggly. It comes in black, blue, and red and is available in sizes from extra small to extra large.
It’s windproof with a soft fleece lining and comes complete with an opening in the back for easy leash access.
PetBoBo Dog Down Jacket with Hood
The PetBoBo dog jacket is another down jacket with hood for those extra cold winter adventures with Fido. It comes in extra small to extra large and is available in four different colors like beige, red, grey, and black.
However, while this product does come in a variety of sizes, it is especially important that you do your measurements as it covers your dog’s front legs and could be uncomfortable if it isn’t the correct size.
Queenmore Cold Weather Dog Coat
We love the Queenmore dog jacket for it’s wide variety of sizes and colors. It is available in eight sizes from extra small to 4XL and is offered in four bright colors like blue, orange, pink, and red.
This product is weatherproof and waterproof and is made with a strong velcro belt for an extra snug fit. And as if that wasn’t enough, this dog jacket is also reversible and made with reflective lining four nighttime safety.
Didog cold Weather Dog Vest
The Didog product is another dog jacket vest available in eight sizes and four colors. The material is super dog friendly, lightweight, waterproof and cozy.
It is said to fit dogs from super small to large, but, as we’ve been saying, certainly do your measurements for best fitting results.
The built-in ring on the back of the best makes for easy leash attachment and the jacket comes with a cute, fashionable two-tone design you’re sure to love.
Kurgo Waterproof Dog Jacket
We especially like it when dog jackets vary in size and this product is one such jacket. You can get it in nine sizes, so measure your pooch so you know you’re getting exactly his fit.
It only comes in three colors including black, blue, and red, but we love that it has reflective lining for nighttime safety and is both waterproof and weatherproof.
The high collar can be left up or folded down for extra warmth and protection as your dog needs it.
ASENKU Thick Fleece Dog Hoodie
This product is for those of you who may do a lot of walks in chilly weather but don’t see a lot of snow and rain. This is a thick, fleece dog sweater jacket and it is not waterproof or weatherproof, but it will still keep your dog warm during cold walks.
It varies in sizes and is available from small to 5XL. It also comes in four colors including blue, red, white and green. The back opening provides easy access to your dog’s harness and is machine washable.
MeiLiMiYu Winter Dog Jacket
Last on our list is another reversible dog jacket by MeiLiMiYu. It includes a high collar for extra weather protection and half quilted and half plaid, depending on which way you reverse it.
This cute dog jacket is available in three different colors including beige, green or red and it comes in sizes small all the way up to 2XL.
The MeiLiMiYu dog jacket is especially made for winter in mind, meaning it’s waterproof, windproof, and weatherproof. Even so, it is breathable and comfortable and includes reflective strips for night time precautions.
Other Ways You Can Help Keep Your Dog Safe And Warm This Winter
Keeping your dog warm and safe is an important part of being a dog owner.
Our dogs rely on us for everything from food and water to shelter to love. Dogs are susceptible to severe weather and need our help to stay safe during colder weather. Luckily, there are a number of ways to keep your dog warm, safe, and happy during the colder months.
Just as our dogs can wear sweaters or jackets on very cold days to protect them from the elements, they can also wear weather-proof booties to help protect their sensitive paws when walking in snow or on ice.
Be careful with dog booties, though, as dogs sweat through their paws and this is one of the primary ways they regulate their body temperatures. Dog booties should only be worn temporarily and during outings or walks when the weather is extreme. It’s also best to remove your dog’s booties frequently to allow your pooch time to cool off if need be.
Along with keeping your dog cozy in dog winter gear, it’s also imperative you keep your dog inside during extreme weather. The truth is, no dog is truly meant to be a full-time, outdoor dog. All dogs enjoy companionship and being with their people, and dogs are not designed to spend their lives outdoors in the elements.
If it’s very cold and your dog does spend quite a bit of time outside, we suggest investing in a good, outdoor dog house where he can go to warm up safely.
So, what do you think about providing your dog with a cozy dog jacket for winter? Which jacket above would you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.