Today is a chilly day in Alaska, fall is in full bloom right now. Not far away, snow is covering the mountains already. Since my small dogs are already getting cold, it’s that time to start shopping for more coats for small dogs or – teacups.
Even in conversations with my readers, they often wonder where to go for small dog breeds. It can be easier to find clothing for your standard sizes of Small to Large, but going smaller than small can be difficult.
I’ve found that some retailers like Bitch New York offers up specific clothing for the teacup breeds. Yes, I know there’s no such thing as a teacup, but let’s face it, it’s what we call our smallest dogs. Buttons is only 2.5 lbs, and that’s when she’s wet. There’s no other term to call her, she’s simply referred to as a teacup.
Different Styles of Coats for Small Dogs, Teacups.
Because the cold in so many states and countries is upon us, we all wonder what coat works best at keeping our small dogs warm and safe. For those of you that live in warm climates, this article is not for you.
Coats vary for dogs as much as our coats do. We have some that are meant for wet conditions like rain, so you opt for a raincoat which is a plastic or rubber type material. Then there are coats that are meant for snow. These are the ones that have a more weather-proof exterior but are fluffy and meant to keep your dog warm in the cold weather.
Petticoats – ones that are for just cooler days, but not really meant for long walks in the frigid temperatures. There are even sweater coats. Sweater coats are meant to keep your dog warm, but may not be the best option for snowy conditions because they tend to get wet quickly.
So, which coats actually keep the dogs warm?
Coats That Actually Keep Them Warm.
Because there are so many coats to choose from, it’s best to know what kind of conditions you’re planning for in the first place. Take for example in Alaska, I know it’s going to snow most of the winter. I have coats for my dogs that are not only fluffy for warmth, but have a weather-proof exterior that keeps them dry.
If I opted for only sweater coats, I know that if it’s snowing, my dogs coat is going to get wet. Snow sticks to material and the warmth from their body will melt the snow. It would only be a matter of time before the coat feels wet to the touch and my dog gets cold.
Dogs do get sick just like people, so cold, wet conditions are not appropriate for your dog. My small dogs also are so low to the ground, that I need to be sure that their coat is definitely water resistant. Typically, their little legs don’t get them above the snow, but rather through it. Yes, my small dogs often make a path through the snow. I mean, it does snow more than 4 feet up here in winter. So unless they have legs similar to a human, they’re making paths.
Next, you might wonder where I find these tiny coats?
Different Places to Shop.
I will admit, not many retailers offer the size that Buttons is. She’s an XX Small dog, so anything bigger than that and she’s swimming in it. I look for retailers that specifically cater to very small dogs, often referred to as teacup size.
For you breeders out there, I know that the term teacup isn’t official, but for us that have this size of dog, we refer to them as teacups. The term was coined for dogs so small, they fit inside a cup. That’s Buttons. She’s tiny.
I often look for this as a size guesstimate since those are the XX Small sizes. I get lucky with Petco sometimes when I shop there, but more often than not, I’m ordering online. It’s really the only place to get the sizes I need for her because pet stores just don’t carry this size very often. If inventory just came in, then I can get lucky from time to time and usually just with sweaters.
Which brings me to my next question – sweater or coats for my small dogs?
Coat Vs Sweaters
There are different circumstances where sweaters are necessary and a coat is necessary. Let’s think about temperatures.
If you live in a climate where it gets as low as 50 degrees F, then sweaters are fine for your dogs. I even wrote an article once where I compared the climate to how a human feels. You can read more about that here.
Maybe your temperatures drops to less than 50, than a coat might be necessary. Somewhere where it rains all the time like Seattle, a raincoat is needed. I believe this style of coat would do since I’ve heard it rains more often than the sun comes out.
Think about your wardrobe for a moment. What do you have that’s necessary to keep you warm, cool, safe? Do you think your dog deserves less than you have? Where I’m from, it gets downright cold, so ALL of my dogs have coats for any weather conditions we face. Regardless of whether they go out often or not, they still have a coat.
Let’s think about circumstances for a brief moment. Depending on where you live, will depend on what you should have for your dog. Most people will say, I don’t put my dog in clothes, but if you live where it snows, you should.
Scenario For Thought.
Your dog gets ill and requires a trip to the vet. They need updated shots. Whatever the reason they’re in the vehicle with you, they’re with you. You’re driving along and next thing you know, your vehicle breaks down. Maybe you get into a collision. Anything can happen between your home and that vet clinic.
In fact, statistics claim that most vehicle accidents happen within 1 mile of where you live. That means, even if the vet is around the corner, anything can happen.
Now, your vehicle is broken down, you have no heat available because it won’t start. As you wait for help, you’re bundled up in your coat and warm as the temperature inside the vehicle drops. Your dog on the other hand, maybe sitting beside you, maybe in the back seat, or for some, in the very back of the vehicle. The very back by the way is much colder than up front. Sit back there one day, you’ll see.
Your dog starts to shiver as the cold sets in. The tow truck claims they’ll be an hour since there’s a lot of accidents that day, possibly from ice, possibly just a bad day for many.
How are you caring for your dog if they have no protection against those elements? Emergency responder’s claim, that for any climate that gets cold, you should always have an emergency kit in the vehicle. The kit will contain a blanket of some sort to keep those in the vehicle warm.
Many people forget about their dogs as if they’re not part of the family. However, it would be like not bringing a coat for your kid, just because the vehicle is warm already. Anything can happen, at any given time.
Be prepared for the worst, even with your dogs.
Final Thoughts on Coats for Small Dogs, The Teacup Sizes.
Hopefully by reading this, you can see that there are a lot of different reasons to have coats for your small dogs. Whether you have one just for that trip to the vet. Small dogs get very cold, very quickly. To me, not having protection for my small dogs would seem like abuse in a way. Expecting them to stay warm in circumstances they can’t possibly, or for events that can’t be controlled.
If I lived where it was warm all the time, of course I wouldn’t worry about it. I would still have shoes for them, to protect their feet from the scorching pavement. Coats though? Absolutely not.
I lived in Hawaii for a time, and only booties were necessary to keep their feet from burning. A coat would have made them overheat, so it’s not needed down there. But even in Oregon it snowed where I lived, so I still had coats for my dogs.
Hopefully, this article has helped some of you on where to shop or what to shop for. Also, as a reminder that even a short trip can turn disastrous, and you should be prepared for everyone in the family.
Post pictures of your dogs in their coats! Where did you shop for them?