Now that spring is coming upon many of us, the weather is turning wet and dogs are prone to get cold if they get too wet. A big thing that I use when I take them on walks during this season are raincoats for dogs. I want to be sure that my pets are safe and warm when I walk them on a rainy day like it’s been lately. There are many options for all sizes of dogs when it comes to buying the right raincoat.
In order to know what your dog needs, be sure you already know your dog’s size for clothing. Since raincoats aren’t stretch fabric (generally speaking), you want to get the sizing right. Having a little lee-way is important as well. Think about how you size yourself for coats with no stretch; same principal.
How To Determine What Size Your Dog Needs.
A few articles ago, I went over sizing for your pets and how to measure them appropriately. In case you missed that article, there are some simple guidelines to follow in order to know the right size.
- Have a fabric measuring tape ready, or use a piece of string and use a standard measuring tape available.
- Measure from the tip of their tail to where their collar sits for the length.
- To measure around the widest part of their rib cage for their chest size.
- Measure around their neck where their collar sits for the neck size.
Being sure to have their accurate measurements will ensure that you order the right sized raincoat so you can alleviate the possibility of having to return an item because it’s too small or too big and sags to the puddles while walking them. Having to return items can cause a lot of headache as well as a loss of money.
Once you have their proper sizing, you can then determine what style of raincoat you might want for them.
Different Styles Of Raincoats.
One of the websites that I use on a regular basis to shop for my dogs personally, is Bitch New York, there are a lot of styles of coats to choose from. For myself, because I have 2 short haired dogs, I like coats that cover their stomachs. Sometimes, that’s difficult to find with coats, so you may need a sweater if it’s an especially chilly day you’re taking your pets for a walk. Be sure you know the temperature to determine your pet’s needs first.
So what are the different styles of raincoats out there? Some coats will only provide coverage on their backs and have a strap that wraps around their chest/waist. Other coats will have very short sleeves and some longer sleeves. If the coat has long sleeves, then you’ll want to know how long their legs are. To measure that, you measure from the top of their paw (where the dewclaw is if you’re pet still has theirs) to their chest. If the coat measures the height of your dog, then from the floor to the highest point of their shoulder (not the head).
Some raincoats will go all the way around their chest and waist and button up or zip up, so give just a little extra when measuring the size of their chest. Remember, the widest part is what you want to measure.
How To Know If You Need A Raincoat.
If you live in a warm climate, and you really don’t care whether your dog gets wet or maybe your dog just loves playing in the water, you may not even be reading this article, because frankly, you don’t care. But, if your dog hates water, or maybe it’s a little chilly where you live and you don’t want your dog getting a cold, then rain gear and sweaters may be necessary – read here for cold climate needs. It all depends on where you live and situation you live in.
I live in the cold and if my dog gets wet when it’s cold out, then my dogs get sick. You can tell a dog gets sick when they start coughing, sneezing, having an extra runny nose, etc. Dogs get colds like we do, and I always know when I can see my breath when it’s raining that my dogs will get sick if I don’t put them in a raincoat and sometimes even a sweater underneath.
Generally speaking, if you get cold without protection and your dog has short hair, then they will also need something, even just a thin coat.
Is Just A Raincoat Enough?
As mentioned above, if you get cold, they’ll get cold. I don’t have dogs with long fur except my small Chihuahua and she gets very cold, very fast, so she always needs sweaters/coats. If I had a husky, then they wouldn’t need any protection except for booties in the extreme temperatures because that’s what they’re bred for. They’re used to very cold weather, so they would actually get too hot if I dressed them up. It all comes down to the breed of dog you have and the temperature where you live. Dogs fur is a natural coat for long haired dogs, so beware dressing them up too much, they can overheat and start to pant excessively.
Just the raincoat itself is very thin and not meant for warmth like some humans. Long-furred dogs are able to wear these even slightly warmer temperatures if all you’re doing is trying to keep them dry during their walks. Let’s face it, a wet dog smells like a wet dog.
Undecided on what your dog needs? You can either contact your vet, or, put on a sweater that’s about as thick as your dogs fur, go outside, and wait to see if you get cold. If you get cold, then your furry friend may need protection. Fine? Then they should be too.
Enjoy Your Walk With Your Friend.
In the end, if your furry friend is comfortable then the walk will be enjoyable for the both of you, or all of you if you have more then one. You know when your dog isn’t having fun on their walk if you have to always pull them around while you’re walking them. I can usually determine how much my dog is not having fun by the amount of pulling I have to do from behind me. If my dog is wagging their tail, sniffing everyone, ears perked, then they’re having fun. If their ears are droopy, laid bag, tail isn’t wagging; all these sign’s means your dog is miserable. Dogs give away their feeling through body language, so paying attention to what they’re telling you is important.
This is also how you can determine if they’re cold as well. If they’re picking up their paws, then they have cold feet. Shivering when it’s raining out, they’re not protected enough and you’ll want to get them warm as quickly as possible. Basically, they exhibit the same sign’s we do when we’re cold. Just be mindful of your pets and you’ll know what they need.
Hopefully you enjoyed this article and now you know whether your dog needs a raincoat! Place your questions or comments below on what works best for your friends!