Shopping at Petco the other day, I noticed they had a sale on a bunch of dog vests. Atlas killed her super cute vest last year. The white one that’s often in her pictures posted on my site died unfortunately with the last wear. It was a zip-up vest, and I admit, it was a humans vest. I bought it at a thrift store.
Seeing the sale on their vests, I decided to go ahead and buy her another one for this year. I’m so happy I did. See, I pair sweaters with vests often, when running or playing in the snow isn’t involved. I’m sure you recall my post on different coats for dogs. In this post, I specifically stated that sweater style coats do not do well in the snow.
Just like with our clothing, snow sticks to fabric. Hence why most warm weather coats aren’t sweater material. I pair vests with sweaters though if we’re going on car rides. Yes, I do this even when the car is warm. Why? Because anything can happen! Be prepared!
Why I Like Dog Vests.
I actually like vests for Atlas because they’re providing warmth in areas it’s most necessary. The main body. Vests are meant to keep the main part of your dogs body warm when in cool conditions. I like that the vest doesn’t cover their legs and paws. It’s easy to put on and go.
I find a sweater/vest combination is one of my go-to’s for Atlas over the small dogs because I can add layers or remove layers. I don’t have to worry about her being too cold or too hot. If it’s super warm in the truck, I take the vest off.
I don’t recommend vests for taking them for walks in the snow unless the vest is the right material. The material should be appropriate for outside weather conditions, especially snowy conditions.
Dog Vests I Like Best.
Now that I’ve learned my lesson to choose non-zipping vests, I now know which ones I like the best. First, let me say, I don’t love Velcro on any dog clothing. Velcro has a tendency to come apart with movement, and wear with age.
Like the dog diapers that I use every heat cycle, the Velcro is falling apart. It just doesn’t last long when it comes to dog clothes.
Unfortunately, zippers don’t either. When a zipper is pulled constantly, it starts to come apart. The plastic starts to slowly break and eventually, it doesn’t zip up anymore. If the zipper is metal, it’s a better quality and will last longer. Over time though, with your dog, they might start to bend and the zipper once again will break.
While the Velcro just stops sticking after so many uses, it still allows your dog to move more freely than with a zipper. That too though, is usually short-lived I’m afraid.
After going through so many dog clothes, I’ve found that very large buttons are my favorite. That said, the buttons need to be placed correctly, otherwise, Atlas tries to eat them. She chews at them, breaks them off and eats them. Ugh.
If I designed a vest, the vest would be button up, and it would button up her back. The material would need to overlap of course to keep the dog warm. If the material doesn’t, then air would get through the cracks on their back and the whole point would be useless.
Large buttons up the spine, overlapping material and padded for warmth. Buttons on the back would allow a few things for me and Atlas. First, it’s easier to put your dog in a vest when they simply step into it. Laying it over their back and then getting under their chest and belly to fasten it is kind a pain in the arse.
Having them step into the clothing first would make dressing them a snap. Then bringing it up to their withers, and buttoning the first large button and so on would make things much easier. The buttons on the back are also at an awkward angle for dogs to get to them. This would alleviate the ability to chew.
This last vest I bought her is great and looks warm. While it’s Velcro (and now you know I’m not a fan), I plan on putting buttons on it. I want it more secure for her, and I know that the Velcro will eventually fail.
Crafting an Item to be Better.
Just because we buy the clothing as is, doesn’t mean we can’t make it better. I know not everyone has time for this, trust me. However, I plan on doing this to make this vest last this time. I’ll leave the Velcro, but I’ll sew buttons between to make it more secure and last longer.
Any piece of clothing that you buy, IF you buy the less than quality brands, can be changed to be better. Even if your craft skills aren’t up to par, take the item to an alterations place. Show them what you want or need and it shouldn’t cost too much. I go to a gal down the street that’s only $5 to sew on buttons.
Start with an item on sale, like what I did, and simply make it quality with a few adjustments. I did this for her diapers too, now they stay much better!
Just like with our clothing that just isn’t right, we can change pets clothing to make it better. Getting pet vests for warmth in the cold climate is just the start. If it’s a quality item, no changes are really needed. But, if you’re like me, and you know it’s going to eventually fail, change it up a bit.
It’s not the end all be all with Velcro or plastic zippers. If your dog is super clever though and can eat buttons from anywhere, than you might want to stay away from those. Stick with the Velcro in that case.
But, if you’re like me and LOVE vests for warmth, then check these out. Many are on sale for the winter collection this time of year.
Click this link to see more cool vests for dogs!