Dog apparel serves various purposes: They can keep your pet warm when he’s too cold, protect him from heat, and provide other benefits. Dog jackets come in all colors, sizes, weights, and patterns.
While some dogs don’t like wearing them, many dogs do so without throwing tantrums. Some pet owners call these jackets dog coats, but many people refer to the hair on the domestic dog’s body as its coat. Below, we’ll explain the different types of dog coats, how to know whether your dog needs to wear a jacket or not, and factors that determine the best dog jackets.
Types Of Dog Coats
One of the most distinguishing features of your dog is its coat type. Dog coat ‘type,’ which is a term that describes the differences in length and texture of the fur, can be a single or double coat. The particular grooming methods to use depends on your dog coat type.
A double coat is the two layers (or kinds) of fur on a dog. For instance, Australian Shepherds have a silky, soft medium length outer coat that sheds water and dirt. In Aussies, there’s a shorter, fuzzy coat underneath that outer coat. The undercoat protects your dog from briars & brambles or in bad weather.
You may find undercoats in many different breeds of dogs that have varying types and lengths of coats. All dogs with double coats require regular brushing, which has to go through the undercoat to their skin.
Apart from the breeds above, Labrador Retrievers, Shiba Inu, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Pomeranians, and Shetland Sheepdogs are all double coats.
This coat type has a harsh and wiry outer layer of rough hair. If you check the feel of these coats, you’ll see that it’s different from the soft silkiness of a medium or smooth coat. Common breeds include Kerry Blue Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, and West Highland White Terrier.
In addition to regular brushing, wire-coated dogs require a bit more maintenance. Since the coats don’t shed, you’ll need to pluck out the old, dead hairs to keep them healthy and in good shape.
Long, Medium, & Short Coated
Long coated dogs, as you might have noticed, often have the most dramatic coifs. Common examples of long-coated breeds are Old English Sheepdogs, Afghan Hounds, and Bearded Collies. They require regular grooming to ensure they stay neat and free of mats.
Short coated dogs are smooth-coated in general. Their fur is usually glossy and naturally short. It also lays close to the body. Examples are Doberman Pinschers, Pointers, and Boxers. Does your dog have a combo short/single coat? He’ll surely need a dog jacket for winter.
Lying between both extremes is the fur of medium-coated dogs. If you notice an undercoat, you may discover that the topcoat stands away from the body, making the appearance a bit puffed. A dog that has a medium coat needs regular brushing. Breeds with medium-length coats are Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Belgian Tervurens.
These breeds have hair that ranges from soft waves to tight curls, and since the curl type varies, there’s no single method for grooming them. Examples of such dogs are Curly-Coated Retriever, Bichon Frise, and Poodle.
On the other hand, a dog coat (apparel) or dog jacket can come in various types and styles. You can choose a waterproof dog jacket, all-in-one dog trouser suit, dog sweater, warm raincoat, and others. Things to keep in mind include your dog’s age, breed, and activity level.
How Can I Know My Dog Needs A Jacket?
Some dogs are better equipped naturally with protective means against cold weather. Dogs have different sizes and shapes, with a variety of hefts and different fur types. All of these factors influence the impact of the cold on them.
In some dog breeds, you’ll find more insulating body fat than others. Factors that determine whether your dog can stay warm outside in the winter season include his age, breed, and size.
However, the most effective way to know whether your pet needs a jacket is to check for signs showing he needs help and protection from the bitter cold. You may also lookout for signs of discomfort or uneasiness in other situations where you feel wearing a jacket is imperative for your pet’s health and well-being.
When shopping for the best dog jacket, choose an option that isn’t difficult to clean.
When To Avoid A Dog Jacket
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), it’s advisable to wear a jacket or sweater in the cold for any dog that weighs ten pounds or less. If your dog shivers, regardless of his size, it’s a clue showing that he needs extra protection.
But in some cases, putting him in a coat can be risky for his health. If your dog’s coat is too thick and heavy, he may experience overheating. Consider paying attention to your furry companion, looking out for signs of overheating such as scratching at the jacket, excessive panting.
Also, when he shows a general lack of enthusiasm about putting it on, he is probably scared of overheating.
Other factors — such as the sun intensity and hair color — can help you decide whether your dog needs extra protection. Several people opt for blended fabrics when dressing up their dogs. If that idea resonates with you, consider going for the best blend.
Ensure your pet is comfortable in what he wears. For this reason, choose clothes made of fabrics that don’t pull out the fur or cause any irritations.
There are various types of dog coats, and they show the differences in length and texture of a dog’s fur. Knowing when to wear a dog jacket for your pet is mainly about listening to what your companion says. Other crucial factors determining whether to dress him up or not include how cold or hot the weather is, his age, his breed, and his hair color.
If you feel a jacket simply makes sense for your dog, you can use it. However, check for signs of overheating, which can be risky for your pet’s health. In some cases, dressing the dog up in a coat that’s too thick and heavy could lead to overheating.