I’m Just Curious – Random PoP Query


I know the above photo is not, uh, the most delicate but those dogs were flying around so it was tough to snap a photo. Anyway, I’ve been curious about dogs wearing coats. This may be a stupid question but does it just depend on the breed? Obviously this dog seemed to be in heaven:


So how do you decide if your dog needs a coat?

28 Comment

  • I decided to get my dog a sweater when I saw her shivering every time we were out in weather colder than 30 degrees

  • I got my dog a coat/sweater because he was a small/medium size dog that gets shaved every few months to reduce the shedding. He never looked cold but I like to play it safe.

  • Yes, it depends on the breed. A handful of breeds absolutely need it, and a handful of breeds should not have one. Most dogs are in between. … and most owners seem to wing it and decide based on aesthetics more than anything.

  • My dog has hair rather than fur, so when she gets wet, it goes right to her skin and she gets really cold. That said, she does not own a coat. I did however wrap her in pink trashbags and packing tape to go out on Saturday to keep her dry. (you can see her picture on PoP’s post yesterday about pets “enjoying” the snow)

    I’m not opposed to a coat or sweater, but I’ve never bought her one.

  • My short hair Chihuahua female hates to dress in clothes (and I don’t force it) but she does seem to appreciate this one very practical wool sweater in the winter time (I think she is a Lesbian and we embrace that). It’s the one sweater that she actually looks excited about when I drag it out. I’d say yes though, to pretty much all short hair breeds during the winter season.

  • Large dogs with thick undercoats — huskies, newfoundlands, samoyed, curly coated retrievers, keeshonden, elkhounds, sheepdogs, great pyrenees, irish wolfhounds, for example–don’t need coats. They naturally have all the insulation they need to keep them warm and outer coats that repel moisture.

    Short-hair dogs like labradors, greyhounds, dalmatians, weimeraners don’t have insulating coats to keep them warm, and the owner should consider buying winter outerwear for them.

    Small breeds that have smaller body mass can loose heat quickly, and should be protected regardless of their coat–miniature pinschers, miniature poodles, chihuahuas, italian greyhounds, etc.

  • I don;t know about the rest of those, but labs do have insulating coats, and don;t need a winter coat. They were bred to spend the entire winter running around outdoors soaking wet and swimming in near-freezing water.

    • Near freezing and freezing are two different things.

      As is the difference between water-repellant and insulating. Labradors’ coats repel water, they do not retain heat.

      • I’m aware of the difference between near freezing and freezing, thanks. The Lab’s outer coat is water repellent. The undercoat is insulating. Are you by any chance a pet garment salesman? Labs don’t need them.

    • Near freezing and freezing are two different things.

      And there is a difference between water-repellant and insulating. Labradors’ coats repel water, they do not retain heat.

  • If I put a coat on my dog she would chew her own leg off to escape.

  • Only urban dwellers would ever think a coat for a dog is necessary.

  • Vonstallin

    what about the new snuggies for dogs…so they can chill on the couch with you….

  • Dogs descend entirely from gray wolves, and they’re not that far removed — they’re still close enough to their common ancestor that they can all breed with one another. Due to this common genetic quality in dogs, they are almost invariably happy in ice cold conditions.

    There are exceptions. Smaller breeds have much less fat and I can excuse — reluctantly — their owners for putting sweaters on them. But most dogs you see in sweaters are the result of anthropomorphism on the part of their owners. It’s a rare dog that requires a sweater.

    Doggy dress-up is a direct result of our society’s new-found affluence. Buying a sweater for your dog — even 20 years ago — would have been wildly absurd. I imagine that there are many readers who will disagree, but they’re simply wrong. Odds are your dog not only doesn’t need a sweater, it doesn’t want a sweater.

  • here’s what the AKC says:


    The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand. The Labrador should have a soft, weather-resistant undercoat that provides protection from water, cold and all types of ground cover. A slight wave down the back is permissible. Woolly coats, soft silky coats, and sparse slick coats are not typical of the breed, and should be severely penalized.

  • We have a Greyhound. Coats are essential when it gets too cold (near freezing). Although he seems to be liking the snow, which is surprising for a breed that doesn’t handle cold well and was raised in Florida.

  • Ogden, You better not be putting your soft silky or sparse slick coated Labs in any dog shows. They will be severely penalized! 🙂

  • Martha Stewart just covered this. Since dogs have become so domesticated, they could really use the protection. Also, shoes for dogs can help! Anti-freeze and salt in their paws can be harmful, so if you don’t put shoes on them, wipe their paws off when you come inside.

  • Are you by any chance a pet garment salesman?


  • My plott hound looks like he just got defiled everytime I put a sweater, t-shirt, costume on him. He kind of walks around like a cat with hose around its head. Not that I ever did that of course.

    • if you would like the opportunity to laugh at your puppy, put just one baby sock on just one foot. they’ll limp around like they can’t possibly put that foot down.

  • I’ve got a hound too (thin coat- can see her skin through it, plus, she’s old, so she doesn’t move fast anymore to keep warm). After about 10 years, I finally found a coat that looks more practical that “cute” (which is the only thing that looks passable on this dog). It from a company that makes horse blankets, so they’ve got that look and function. The brand is “Weathabeeta” and they’re sold though a variety of online retailers. The best part is that they’re only about $35, which is SO much more tolerable then the ones I’ve seen for twice that price. They’re insulated and water repellent. Yay!

  • we have a sweater for our french bulldog – got it at a bargain bin at tuesday morning. she is short-haired and her body doesn’t do too well regulating temperature. she gets excited when we get it out because it means “OUTSIDE!”

    love watching her in this weather. the snow is blowing her mind.

    and i second the comment on washing off your dog’s paws when you come inside. good for the dog, good for your floors/furniture.

Comments are closed.