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Choosing the Right Winter Clothing for Dogs

Winter Clothing For Dogs

Even Though They Have Furs Dogs Need Winter Clothes Too

As the cliché goes, dogs are man’s best friends. Obviously, with their playful nature, they are fantastic to have around as pets. These days, almost every homestead owns a dog or two. And from an expert’s point of view, having a dog at home has several health benefits.

But all these benefits can only exist if you keep your dog healthy and active all year round. So keeping them cool or warm according to the seasons is one of the best treatment your canine friend deserves.

And depending on the breed, you probably won’t need to worry much about keeping them warm during summer or maybe even spring. But when winter falls, it may not be an option to provide winter clothing for dogs that are too weak to withstand the chilling cold.

This could be your first attempt at buying some winter gears for your beloved pet. So let’s explore how you can choose the right winter clothing for your dog.

Do Dogs Need Winter Clothing?

Many pet owners go to the point of buying the dog the best treats and sleeping mats. However, they tend to neglect the importance of keeping their pet warm. Maybe because dogs have furs and they believe it is a natural body function for regulating its body temperature, unlike us humans.

So invariably, the question, “Do dogs need a coat and socks during the winter season?”

The truth is that some dog breeds can easily stay warm during the winter season, while others need some clothing or covering to ward off the chill. So how do you know if your dog needed the additional layer to have them stay warm?

Does Your Dog Even Need Clothing In The First Place?

Although it’s recommended that you should invest in a dog’s closet to keep it warm during the winter months, not all dogs need clothing. A young adult hound dog will be able to cope better than a weak old fluffy poodle.

It definitely helps to know your dog before deciding to part with your hard-earned money, either for appearance or a real need for protection.

So here are the 8 steps to choosing the best winter attire for your dog.

1. Dog Breeds & Health Condition Matters

If you happen to own a short-haired breed, there is no need to contemplate. Such kinds usually have less coverage, and they might not be able to keep up with the winter cold. So expect the duration of outdoor play to be short. For some, they might not even want to step outside.

A Toy Terrier in Winter Coat

Also, if you just acquired a puppy, the best way to keep it warm during the cold seasons is by putting some clothing on it. Puppies have a weak system and require clothing to preserve the body warmth even when they have thick fur.

And, if the dog has a weak immune system, whatever breed it is, you can boost its health by keeping it warm during those cold seasons. Failure to add some clothing may cause the dog’s health to deteriorate quickly. You might end up spending a fortune on visits to the vet.

If you have an old dog, you should seriously consider buying it some winter clothes when the cold season arrives. Old dogs tend to have a weak immune system and may succumb to the cold.

So instead of providing additional blankets or beddings, warm clothes will allow them to move around the house and not cuddle in a corner to keep warm. And movement can help with their blood circulation as well.

Skinny dogs, too, become shaky during the winter season. The problem is they lack sufficient fat that the body requires to keep warm in low temperatures. If you love to snow play with your Greyhound or Saluki, or just to walk them after dinner, give them the layers.

As you can see, it’s pretty much depending on the health condition of your dog, regardless of breed. So make sure you have a good grasp of your dog’s health and make that buying decision on the type of winter clothes your dog needs accordingly.

And remember, winter clothing for dogs doesn’t come cheap. So, the last thing you would expect is to spend money on an item that isn’t necessary or doesn’t provide adequate warmth.

2. Get the Right Size First time and Every Time

Dogs come in different sizes based on the breed they belong to. They are either categorized as small, medium, large, or giant. When shopping for their winter clothing, you have to consider its anatomy.

Most new or young dogs aren’t used to clothing, more so if they come from the warm regions. It can pose quite a challenge to introduce any sort of extra cover in the beginning. So a little getting-used-to training is needed. But usually after a couple of minutes in the snow, for example, it will start to get comfy with the extra layers it’s wearing.

So don’t be too quick to say the size is too tight, which led it to feel uncomfortable. And if it’s too loose, it might not provide adequate protection against the winter cold.

Over-Sized Coat

When it comes to choosing comfortable clothing for your dog, you can utilize a pet shop if there’s one in the vicinity. That’s when you can bring the dog with you to the shop and have the sellers take the measurements while suggesting the right size for your dog.

This works best for new pet owners as they can also learn how to take measurements and what to look out for when choosing the right size clothing. Also, the store owners can advise about the various attires to suit the occasions or weather.

What if the store doesn’t have the jacket type or style you are looking for?

That’s a common problem. Whenever you find yourself in such a fix, it doesn’t mean that you give up on the pet’s clothing. Thanks to the world wide web, you will be spoiled for choices.

Virtual stores such as Amazon offer a wide selection of dog’s clothing. You only need a connection to the internet, and you are all set to get overwhelmed by the vast range and variety.

Particularly when doing online shopping, you have to be sure about the dog’s body size. Don’t rely on the sizes indicated as small, medium, or large. These fit-all measurements can vary according to manufacturers. Instead, you should look at the measurement provided by the makers for the respective size group.

Some manufacturers will have information on how to take measurements of your dog and provide the respective recommendation. Usually, it begins with the shoulder blade to the tail base. These measurements include the narrowest and the widest part of the body. You should also include the neck region.

Taking your pet’s measurements before shopping for the right winter clothing will reduce mistakes in picking the wrong size. If you can do it right the first time, why waste time and money on trials and errors.

And you can shop more confidently for brands that design clothes specifically for your breed. Shopping based on the kind also helps to reduce the chances of making errors.

3. Go For A Pocket-Friendly Deal

As mentioned earlier, winter clothing for dogs can be quite expensive. If you have not done your due diligence, you may end up spending more than what’s necessary.

Although you cherish your dog much, the last thing you can expect is landing on the worst deal in town. So, how should you go about finding the best offer? For first-timers, this trick may sound tedious, but it’s worth the effort and attention.

It is always a great idea to shop around on various pet stores to compare prices. Most people will start with the pet shop near them. And new pet shops are another must-visit as they tend to have lower prices as a way to attract new customers. You can make use of such deals while they last.

Also, you can take advantage of the offers available at various stores. Regardless of how little the discount may sound, it can end up saving your hard-earned money in the long-run.

However, you should not allow yourself to be attracted by low prices and buy into inferior products. Remember, you are shopping for your dog, and the best thing you can do is get a piece of clothing that even you find it comfortable.

If you just had your first pet, don’t shy away from asking friends and family for ideas on the best shops in town or online. They may be able to suggest that one shop that offers the best deals. You never know, and it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Also, when it comes to buying winter attires for your lovely dog, be prudent. Only buy the exact quantity you need. Like it’s with doing the regular shopping for your home, you may be tempted to pick up more than you need. By doing so, you are likely to overspend than you had planned.

For starters, you can start with two attires to cover the season. Remember, the dog doesn’t require any covering during those warm seasons.

4. Consider The Material Used For The Winter Clothes

So you are starting out to get the first coat for your dog. And you are sorting out the things you need to look out for as you move along. The first question you should ask yourself is, is it for indoor or outdoor use?

If it’s indoor and you have an excellent heating system in place, you may not even need to buy any clothing for your dog. Otherwise, any cotton-based clothing is sufficient. It also depends on the breed. For short-haired dogs, a slightly thicker layer will be good.

For outdoor, the jacket bought, for instance, has to be water-proofed and well insulated. Such features will allow your dog or puppy to stay warm and dry when playing in the snow.

Choose the Right Material

Unless you are trying to make a fashion statement with your dog, as long as the coat satisfies your requirement and serves the purpose, you shouldn’t hesitate to select it. Of course, that also depends if the price is well within your budget. Dog’s winter clothes aren’t cheap, especially for well-known brands.

When making your selections, also remember to consider the thickness of the material. It would be best if the attire is thick, which is an assurance for your dog to keep its body warm.

Clothes with several lining work very well to provide warmth under extreme cold weather. At the same time, you should ensure the coat is not too heavy for your canine buddy. Especially for small dogs, they will feel burdened with the heavy clothing which may restrain their movement, and they won’t be as lively and happy you want it to be.

5. Plan Your Shopping Early

When is the best time to buy winter clothing for your dog? Most people will begin to look into warm clothes for their pets when the weather starts to change. But really, there is never a dictated time on when you should get them. They are available all year round these days on the internet.

You can go ahead with the shopping anytime you need to add warmth to your dear pet. However, it would be best if you acquired the clothing in advance, or at least before the snow starts to fall.

During those off-winter periods, you may capitalize on the lower price as demand falls. Especially during the summer months, stores will want to get rid of the old stocks before replenishing for the new season.

But if you want the latest designs and features, around mid to end of Autumn is the best time to get that spanking new winter wear for your canine friends.

Don’t wait until it starts snowing to rush to the nearest pet shop to get the winter gears for your dog. You might stand to lose out on options, stock availability, and usually, the prices are at the highest. So while you have all the time in your hands, plan ahead before the first sign of snow.

And if it’s a new dog, you can let it accustomed to the thick clothing in an airconditioned room. So that when cold weather arrived, it will not reject the winter coat you have bought for it.

6. The Design is Vital

A quick search on the internet, you can easily find various jackets and coats available in stores. There is no lack of unique designs to match your dog’s state of health, breed, and size.

So if your dog is old and can’t handle some weight on its body well, then choose a design that is light and easy to put on. At the same time, do make sure it has full-body coverage, such as sleeves for the legs and neck. And there should be some room inside the jacket for comfort and ease of movement.

Coverage for Warmth

For young and active dogs, designs that provide warmth and protection to the trunk of the body is good enough. And there are plenty of options for you to choose from. But it all depends on the breed and body size.

Slim breeds such as Greyhound, Saluki, or the beautiful Pharaoh Hound may require a little extra insulation due to their short-haired body. For long-haired breeds, avoid getting those body-hugging wear. It will make them very uneasy. Loose clothing is more appropriate and comfortable for breeds like Pomeranian, Collie, or the elegant Afghan Hound.

7. Machine Washable

Like with all the clothes you bought for yourself, look out for the washing instructions that come with the dog’s winter wear. Preferably it should be washable by machine unless you wouldn’t mind a little work to wash the clothes by hand.

Dogs are no humans, they wouldn’t have the consciousness of keeping their clothes clean. You can be sure a 5-minutes of outdoor play will mess up the new clothing you have put on it.

And it’s not hygienic to let your dog continue to wear dirty clothes for an extended period. So it’s inevitable to wash if it gets unbearably dirty. If you find handwashing too tedious to cope, consider investing in a separate washing machine. Or at least get a pet laundry bag to keep your washing machine clean and free from pet hair.

8. The Importance of Return Policy

It is not uncommon to receive the wrong or damaged item of your order. Be it color, size, design, quality, or a totally different item. This is why you should pay attention to the return policy of the company that sells you the winter clothes for your dog.

If possible, avoid those without a well-defined return policy like the plague. Or the least you should do is check with the company to confirm what their policy entails and make sure to get a written confirmation. Don’t just accept over the phone commitment, they can deny later. Or the person you spoke to may have left the company afterward.

Winter clothes for pets are not cheap. When buying winter clothing for your pet, always ensure that it is returnable if you are not satisfied with the item. Which is why you should buy from reputable online stores for peace of mind.

So before hitting the Buy button, always read and fully understand the return policy first. Failing which you risk losing your hard-earned money when things go wrong. Especially when this is your first time buying your dog’s winter clothes. You are bound to make mistakes.

Upkeeping of Winter Wear

How you will maintain your own winter clothes, you will do the same for your dog’s. And that’s assuming you do take the effort to clean the warm clothing, cover it with a protector, and store them in a proper place.

Usually, people will just hang them back in their closet with a cover after the coats are cleaned. That’s fine. But you probably won’t keep your dog’s winter wear in your closet along with your own.

So clean it like how you will clean yours. After that, use a vacuum bag to seal the winter clothing and store them away in a cool, dry place. This will help prolong the life of the coats or jackets, and it will smell like new when the next cold season arrived.

When you maintain it well, it’ll continue to serve your dog from one season to another. And since you have spent a small fortune acquiring those gears, it’s worth the little effort to make them last.

Wrapping up…

You may have just relocated to a snow state for the first time, or you have just gotten yourself your first doggy, then this simple guide will be useful for you.

These are just some pretty common sense to apply when shopping for winter gear for your dog. Seriously, there is hardly any difference between buying a winter coat for yourself or your dog. The process is the same, that is, to look out for your preferred design, color, size, the material, and of course, a money-saving deal.

In this day and age, you should have the experience of buying stuff online, more or less. And you will have your favorite stores that you frequent and trust. Like Amazon, Petsmart, Petco, or even eBay, just to name some.

You should also have your own process that you will habitually adopt when shopping online. Some folks will like to read what other users have to say, as in user reviews, before they finally hit the Buy button. Or a little chat on social media to find out what is the best or latest pet winter gears that everybody is talking about.

So what is your buying process? Or what would you suggest and recommend to the first-time dog owners when it comes to choosing the right winter clothing for dogs?

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