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It’s freezing out! You bundle up before heading out, but your four-legged best friend is hopping at the door, ready to go. Should you bundle him up too? He has all that fur, does he really need a coat?

The answer depends on what type of dog you have and how long they will be exposed to the freezing air. Some dogs, such as German Shepherds, retrievers, Pomeranians, and Huskies, have a warm, soft undercoat that serves as an added protection layer. But others such as Poodles and terriers and Chihuahuas do not. 

It’s hard to believe, but just like humans, dogs can get hypothermia. 

The cold weather can be particularly tricky for smaller breed dogs. However, any dog that’s outside for extended periods in the extreme weather should be watched carefully for signs of hypothermia.

Signs of hypothermia include shivering, cold ears and feet, rapid breathing, increase in urination and hair standing on ends. If your dog shows these symptoms, bring them inside and dry off their paws and bundle them up. Let them get warmed up. ‍

If your dog isn’t getting better, call your vet immediately.‍

So even though you may laugh at those people who put their dogs in froo-froo frilly sweaters in the winter, they may actually be onto something. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Your Dog a Coat

Yorkie in coat playing in the snow

Before we share our favorite cold weather picks for Fido, let’s cover off a few things to take into consideration before buying any coat for your dog.

Hair Length

Some dogs like golden retrievers, Huskies and Akitas have a double coat. It’s a layer of shorter hair that you can feel underneath their top coat. In other words, they have an extra layer of protection against the cold.

A super warm coat may actually mean that these dogs could overheat more easily. If you’re considering a jacket for one of these breeds, you may want to look for something waterproof but not overly padded. That way your pet will stay dry in wet conditions but won’t get overly warm.

If you have a short or medium-haired dog, they’ll probably benefit from some extra insulation when the temperature dips down. 

Your Dog’s Weight

Miniature dogs don’t usually have a lot of extra fat on them. So if you’re going to be out in freezing weather for any length of time, a winter jacket will help to protect them from the elements.

Even if your dog is large but still very thin (like Whippets and Greyhounds), they will also suffer from the cold when it gets intense. Best to bundle them up. 

The Weather

Of course, the climate you live in is a major factor when buying a coat for your dog. 

If it’s very cold with either snow or rain, you’ll want something that’s both insulated and waterproof. And if you have a very active dog, be sure the coat is waterproof both inside and out. Otherwise, any small leaks that get underneath the jacket will soak the inner shell.

For weather that’s only slightly cool and rainy, you’ll want something lighter but waterproof. Otherwise, you could risk your dog overheating.

If your climate is cold but dry, you can get away with a coat that’s insulated and water-resistant but not necessarily waterproof. 

A good temperature for deciding when to dress your dog is about 45F. But if they’re exhibiting any signs of hypothermia at even higher temperatures, it’s time to break out the doggie weather gear. 

Your Dog’s Age

Young pups don’t have the same resistance as mature dogs, so you will want to dress them if the weather dips down significantly. 

The same can be said for senior dogs. An extra layer to keep their joints warm never hurts and could ease be comforting if they already suffer from arthritis. 

Related: 8 Comfiest Dog Beds For Large Breeds

7 Great Dog Coats for Cold Weather

Now that you know some of the basics about canine winter wear, here are our 7 great coats to protect your best friend from the elements. 

Hurtta Summit Parka (Good for Snow and Freezing Weather)

Hurtta Summit Parka

If your dog likes nothing better than a snow day, this well-insulated coat will keep him toasty and dry during those winter frolics. Originally designed for the Finnish Army’s canine unit, it’s one of the warmest coats on the market and comes in 13 different sizes to fit a wide variety of dogs.

The size can be further adjusted with elastic loops at the neck, shoulders and rear. And there’s another adjustable buckle that goes around the abdomen.

One thing to keep in mind about this coat is that it could be a little too warm for temperatures above 40 degrees. But if you take your pooch out in the freezing weather, it will definitely keep her warm and dry! As with any jacket, do watch your dog for signs of overheating when they’re playing in it.

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Extremely well insulated and warm
  • Waterproof outer shell
  • Wide variety of sizes
  • Easily adjustable
  • Doesn’t stain easily
  • Fully washable

Drawback: At around $80, this is one of the more expensive models on the market. Some dogs also seem to like to chew on the elastic loops. 

Summary: Although a bit pricey for people that like to get out and about with their dogs in the freezing weather, the Hurtta Summit Parka is worth it!

Weatherbeeta Reflective Parka 300D Deluxe Lite Dog Coat (Good for Cold Rainy Weather)

Weatherbeeta Reflective Parka 300D Deluxe Lite Dog Coat

Maybe you’re not planning a day-long hunting expedition but still need a coat that can stand up to cold, rainy weather. In that case, you may want to check out the Weatherbeeta. More affordable than the Hurtta, this well-insulated coat will keep your buddy just as warm and dry as many more expensive models on the market. 

One important feature of the WeatherBeeta is its nylon inner lining. Unlike the fleece linings of many dog jackets that tend to absorb water, this inner shell repels water to help keep your pet dry. 

The WeatherBeeta fits dogs that measure from 12 to 32 inches long and goes over the head of your dog. You can then adjust the fit with a t-shaped connector that stays in place with velcro.

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Lightweight and warm
  • Waterproof inside and out
  • Wide ranges of sizes
  • Adjustable T-strap
  • Rear leg loops, keeping coat in place
  • Nylon inner and outer shell to repel water
  • Comes in reflective orange for low visibility
  • Can be cleaned in washer and dryer
  • Good value for the money

Drawback:

Although it seems to be made with high-quality velcro, it may be less effective over time than snaps and buckles. 

Summary:

This water repellent coat will stand up to long walks in cold, rainy weather and can even be used for shorter walks in freezing weather. It covers so much of their body, it is almost like a dog blanket coat. An excellent value for the money! 

Ruffwear Sun Shower (Good for Cool, Rainy Weather)

Ruffwear Sun Shower

Dogs can easily overheat if they’re wearing a jacket that’s too warm for the weather. If you live in rainy but not overly cold places (like the Pacific Northwest), you’ll appreciate this lightweight raincoat from Ruffwear.

The sun shower comes in 6 different sizes and will fit dogs with chest sizes from 13 to 42 inches, making it great for small or large dogs. An especially good feature of this jacket is that it can be adjusted with buckles that are hidden on the side of the coat - which means your dog can’t chew on them!

And because it has no inner padding, it won’t absorb any water that sneaks underneath the coat.

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof inside and out
  • Easily adjustable, hidden buckles
  • Washable 
  • Flexible enough to put another coat under

Drawback: This coat is not great for freezing weather. 

Summary: If you live in a cool (but not freezing) climate and don’t want a little water to stop you from taking a walk with your best friend, this jacket is a great pick. 

Related: The 9 Best Grain-Free Dog Foods

Dog Joints and Ligaments Care

Hurtta Torrent Dog Coat (Good for Cold, Heavy Rain)

Hurtta Torrent Dog Coat

If you like to hunt, hike or go on any other kind of adventures with your dog, you’ll want something that can stand up to anything that mother nature can throw at you. This lightweight coat is waterproof both inside and out. It also comes in 13 sizes from 8 inches up to 35 inches from neck to tail.

In addition to coming in a wide range of sizes, the jacket has adjustable drawstrings around the collar, shoulder and butt area. There’s also an adjustable buckle that fits around your dog’s abdomen. 

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Lightweight and waterproof
  • Fits a wide range of dogs
  • Rear leg loops to keep the coat in place
  • A snap around the tail to keep your pet’s rump from getting wet
  • Stays on well
  • Doesn’t stain easily
  • Fully washable
  • Comes in 4 colors, including reflective orange for low visibility

Drawback: Some dogs like to chew on the coat’s elastic loops

Summary: Though this isn’t a coat for below-freezing weather, for temperatures around or above freezing this durable coat will keep your best friend dry and warm enough to spend hours in the great outdoors. It also offers windproof protection, which is great for particularly crummy weather days. 

If a little rain doesn’t stop you, why should it stop your dog, right?

Hurtta Casual Quilted Overall Dog Coat (Good Cold Weather Coat for Slim Breeds)

Hurtta Casual Quilted Overall Dog Coat

Because they don’t have a lot of body fat, breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets need extra protection from the cold. Specially designed for slim dogs, this coat from Hurtta offers full-body coverage and comes in 9 different sizes for your skinny-minnie.

Well insulated and warm, this comfy coat is also highly adjustable and is water and dirt repellent. 

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Great for slim breeds
  • Offers full-body coverage
  • Highly adjustable
  • Made from comfortable materials
  • Water and dirt repellent
  • Reflective strips for visibility

Drawbacks: Though this coat is water repellent, it is not fully waterproof (so will not stand up to heavy rain). 

Summary: If you like to take your slim breed out in cold (but not very wet) weather, this adjustable coat will keep them snug and warm when the weather dips down.

Ruffwear Vert Jacket (Good Snow Jacket for Active Breeds)

Ruffwear Vert Jacket

If you have a rough and ready dog that likes to bounce around in the snow, you’ll need something warm and waterproof that doesn't restrict movement, which is why the Ruffwear Vert is a great pick. 

With a breathable but waterproof nylon shell, it will protect your pup against the wind and snow without overheating him. It also has a fold-up storm collar for those, especially cold days. 

The fleece inner lining of the coat is water-resistant, and it also comes with leg loops for a snug fit. 

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Warm but breathable
  • Wind and waterproof outer shell
  • Water-resistant fleece inner lining
  • Fold-up storm collar
  • Doesn’t restrict movement
  • Adjustable buckles
  • Leg loops for a snug fit

Drawback:

This coat is slightly pricier than some models on the market, and the fleece inner lining is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof.

Summary: If you have an active pooch on your hands, this coat will definitely stand up to his adventures in windy, cold weather. Reviewers also say the click latches stay on much better than velcro closures, so you don't have to worry about your dog slipping this coat off. 

Gooby Padded Dog Vest(Good Cold Weather Coat for Small Dogs)

Gooby Padded Dog Vest

If your best friend is on the petite side, they’ll definitely need extra protection in the snow and cold weather.  And because small breeds can be hard to fit, you may want to check out this Gooby jacket that’s specially designed for dogs that are 25 pounds or under.

Although comfy and warm, its lightweight design won’t overwhelm your pet’s small frame. It also features an easy to use top zipper and is cut to let your little guy do his business without getting the coat dirty.

What You’ll Like About This Coat:

  • Specially designed for small dogs
  • Comfy and warm
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient top zipper makes it easy to get on and off
  • Water-resistant
  • Machine washable
  • Available in solid or contrasting colors

Drawback: This coat is water-resistant but not waterproof, so may not be suitable in very wet weather. 

Summary: This lightweight but well-insulated coat will keep your dainty dog warm without overwhelming her. 

Winter is Coming

The brisk fall weather is already here, and in many places, snow could be on the way before you know it. And while your pup will look smart in any of these coats, these weatherproof models are a lot more than fashionable. In fact, it could be crucial when the weather really dips!

Dog sweaters, dog hoodies and other dog apparel are definitely cute, but they will not protect your pup when it gets really cold. You will probably want to pick up some dog boots for your pup if you plan on going on longer walks this winter. 

Some dog breeds can get by with a smaller dog vest, while others need a full dog parka. Weather conditions also play a huge role in what cold weather dog coat you need to purchase. That is on the dog owner to decide what outer layer is best for their pooch. 

So don’t let the inclement weather get you down this winter. Bundle up with your pup and you can continue to enjoy your walks, hikes and other adventures come rain or come snow!

You might also be interested in: 7 of the Best No-Pull Dog Harnesses

The 7 Best Winter Dog Coats: 

1. Hurtta Summit Parka

2. Weatherbeeta Reflective Parka 300D Deluxe Lite Dog Coat

3. Ruffwear Sun Shower 

4. Hurtta Torrent Dog Coat

5. Hurtta Casual Quilted Overall Dog Coat

6. Ruffwear Vert Jacket

7. Gooby Padded Dog Vest

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Posted 
Nov 3, 2020
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