Question: How do I know if my dog requires a sweater or coat this winter?
Answer: I feel safe in saying that if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who’s adapted to the cold and has the remarkable coat typical in the Northern breeds, you likely will not need to invest in canine clothing for strolls in the snow.
Does Your Dog Need Sweaters or Coats?
In general, there are three kinds of dogs who benefit from the insulation offered by a sweatshirt or coat, as well as the protection paid for by life as a pampered house family pet:
- Small dogs
- Dogs who are elderly, chronically ill or both
- Greyhounds, Whippets and dogs of a comparable thin body type, particularly those with short fur
What these dogs have in common is that they have a more difficult time producing and retaining sufficient body heat on their own. For these dogs, a little help keeping dry and warm is constantly a good idea. Though security from the components is the greatest need to put clothing on dogs headed outside, it does not hurt to leave a sweater on these dogs inside if you’re keeping the heat to conserve energy and loan.
At our home, our two little Heinz 57s, Quixote and Quora, get coats when they go out in the snow, as do our two thin-coated grand Pugs, Bruce and Willy. Our huge dogs, Labrador Retriever-Pit Bull mix and Golden Retriever, do just great without sweatshirts or coats. In fact, they like the snow.
If you have a dog with arthritis, protective clothes is just something you can do to make winters more comfy. Pet-safe heated orthopedic beds are an excellent concept; you can likewise talk with your veterinarian about nutraceuticals, such as glucosamine and omega-3 oils that are clinically shown to ease joint pain. Other dogs may benefit furthermore from the use of pain-control medication, generally nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Even if your dog does not require a coat, having one definitely won’t hurt him. I understand lots of people who put slickers on their animals before walking in the rain or snow because it conserves them the trouble of cleaning up a wet dog at the door before coming inside, for instance. Boots help keep things neater, too, and where de-icing options are used, they can protect your pet from licking toxic chemicals off his paws.