Does My Dog Really Need A Sweater or Coat In Winter? Our Carmel Vets Answer


It’s cold out there this winter in Carmel.  I always put on a coat before I go outside, but does my dog need to wear a coat or sweater too?  While most dogs have a furry coat and will do fine in the cold weather for short periods of time, their are few types of dogs that should be covered up in a dog coat, jacket, or sweater to help them stay warm before they go outside or to see their Carmel vets.

1.  Puppies and very small dogs.  The smaller body size means more of their body is exposed to the outside elements.  So a 4 pound Yorkie would benefit much more from a dog jacket than a 80 lb Labrador Retriever.

2.  Short-coated breeds.  Dogs that have very short fur are more susceptible to the freezing conditions than longer coated dogs for obvious reasons.  Whippets, Greyhounds, Boxers, Bostons, Dachshunds, and short-hair Chihuahuas are just a few short-coated breeds that may enjoy some winter gear to help them stay warm.

3.  Dogs with arthritis.  The cold weather can make old joints hurt even more, so these arthritic dogs can benefit from staying a little warmer.  If you notice your dog’s gait significantly change in the wintertime, call our Carmel vets.

There are few dogs that should NEVER need a winter coat because they are wearing one already.  The Nordic sled-dog breeds Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies will do fine in the extreme cold and probably would prefer it to the summer heat.

If you have a small, old, short-coated dog, you may consider adding a layer of protection from the cold winter night.  For most dogs, however, putting clothing on them is more for our benefit than theirs (because lets face it….they are very cute all dressed up and no place to go!)

For more information on our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts, click on this link to our Carmel Vets!

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