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With the ever-growing trend of dog fashion all around the world, it's hard not to consider clothing your dog in cute outfits. Some dogs love wearing clothes & accessories (e.g. dog bowties and bandana/scarf) and seem to be totally comfortable, while some resist putting anything on their bodies. It's important to respect your dog's choice and to not force them into wearing pet apparels if they are not into it!
But what about the colder months of the year?
As the temperatures drop, dog parents may wonder if their dogs require winter clothes to stay secure and warm during the colder months. Dogs have a thick fur coat to keep them toasty. Your dog’s ability to keep warm is determined by its breed, size, and age. Small dogs and dogs with short fur will require additional warmth to stay warm in the winter.
Dogs have been domesticated to live alongside humans. Pets who are accustomed to living indoors have grown accustomed to a comfortable and catered-to environment and may feel the cold weather troubling.
Dogs have transformed as a species with necessities similar to ours over time, becoming increasingly reliant on their humans.
Sometimes the decision to dress a dog in a winter coat is purely emotional. Walking your dog in cold weather can be emotionally draining due to your concern for your dog. Because most dogs require time outside to relieve themselves and burn off excess energy, it’s understandable that dog parents would prefer to be safe than sorry. Clothing can be useful in cold weather, especially if your dog is hesitant to go outside to relieve himself.
If the weather is extremely cold, well below normal winter temperatures, you should consider keeping your dog inside, irrespective of their breed or age, unless you are taking them for a short walk. Finally, the best way to tell if it’s too cold for your dog is to keep a close eye on him. It’s time to go inside if they start to feel uneasy, shiver, have trouble breathing, or appear weak.
Smaller dogs may need a winter coat or a dog sweater while outdoors and sometimes even indoors, since they have a harder time retaining body heat. Your puppy will require extra clothing for protection if they are a short-haired breed or if they are from a warm climate such as, Greyhounds.
Small-breed dogs and puppies could benefit from wearing a sweater when playing outside or taking a stroll. Unlike large dogs, they might not be able to produce adequate body heat.
Senior dogs, dogs with health issues and joint problems will also need to be protected as the temperatures start to drop.
Cold climate dog breeds such as, Huskies, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have long hair and a double coat. They may not need extra protection in the winter months (unless it's required due to their age or health issues). They can stay warm and cosy with their long, thick fur, which serves as both insulation and heat source. Large dogs with long or thick hair and their own thick double coats, on the other hand, rarely require a winter coat. In fact, the weight of the dog’s fur can reduce its natural insulating properties.
In addition, dark fur absorbs more heat from the sun than light fur. Heat is produced by activity. Since activity generates a lot of heat, any dog will be warmer when running/playing/ spending time outdoors. Thus, ensure your dog gets enough winter sun and activity during the day.
Not all dogs can get used to wearing clothes in general, let alone winter clothes. Because of their size and long or dense fur, the following dog breeds do not require a winter coat to stay warm: Huskies, Chow Chows, Pomeranians, Komondors, and so on.
How can I tell if my pet is cold? Is a popular query among pet parents.
Watch out for these signs to determine whether your dog is feeling cold.
Dog winter clothes come in multiple sizes, colours, designs and material options. Always consider choosing the material that's best fitted for your climate and should not be too warm or too light for your dog.
Dogs’ seasonal footwear protects the foot and ankle, the boot is secured by a flexible strap around the ankle. Better traction is provided by rubber grips or tread on the bottom, and there are differences in the height of dog boots, booties, and socks. To keep paws comfortably dry throughout the winter, several different kinds of dog boots are also waterproof. Most dogs take time to get used to wearing shoes as it's not natural to them.
Purchasing a dog raincoat for the winter is a wise decision, especially for morning and night walks due to dew formation. It keeps their coat dry and protected. For extra chilly winters, raincoats for dogs can also be used on top of their sweater/jacket to give an extra layer of protection outdoor.
Investing in a cosy bed for your dog can go a long way as dogs spend majority of their time sleeping, resting and lounging around. Not all dogs require dog clothes but all pet dogs must have a comfortable bed to stay warm. You could also consider buying a dog mat or a dog blanket to keep them extra cosy in colder months.
Comfort: The dog clothes/accessories should always be comfortable for your dog i.e. made of breathable fabric, lightweight and should not restrict their movements in anyway. They should also be free of any hanging or protruding adornments.
Simple to manage: Dog coats, sweaters and jackets that are machine washable are easy to maintain and care for. Dog clothes will get dirtier faster compared to human clothes and thus need to be cleaned more frequently. Lana Paws dog clothes are machine washable. Our winter jackets come with fur-proof lining making them easy to clean and dust off!
Correct fit: It's important to purchase the right fit for your dog. Since dogs differ in size even within the same breed due to their weight and built, it's always recommended to measure your dog before choosing the best/closest size as per the size chart. Always measure your dog's back length, neck and chest girth with a double finger gap to choose the best fit. The correct fit will also minimise the risk of an accident.
Easy to wear: Additionally, you want a product to be easily put on and taken off and to have particular design elements, such as Velcro closures or openings on jackets or leashes that allow access to dog collars.
Water-Resistant: One of the finest things you can do to stay warm is to keep dry. In mountainous places, melted snow or rainfall will be better protected by a dog coat that is water-resistant.
In India, many well-meaning dog lovers clothe street or community dogs in winter months to keep them warm and protected against harsh winters. It's crucial to keep the following points in mind:
If you do decide to put a winter coat for your street buddy, especially if they are old or sick, always remember to keep a daily watch to ensure they don't develop any infections or end up in unfortunate accidents.
Also Read: What to feed your dog in Winters?
Also Read: Winter care tips for dogs