Winter is nearly here, and now that we’ve had the first snowfall of the season, you need to ask yourself, is your dog warm enough? Your kids have a coat when they go outside, but does your dog need one too?

To answer this question, first consider your dog’s breed, and thus, their built-in coat. Some dogs, like Huskies for example, were built for colder winter temperatures. These dogs are double coated and can handle colder temperatures than humans can. In addition to coat length, dogs with a bit extra fat are able to withstand lower temperatures than super skinny dogs, such as Whippets, for example. 

As a result, dogs with shorter coats or slimmer figures may need extra protection during the harsh temperatures. Greyhounds, for example, should always wear coats during the winter due to their thin fur and very low body fat. Luckily, dog coats and sweaters come in all shapes and sizes, so there is bound to be one that works perfectly for your pup. 

Something we may not think about as much is that height matters too. Corgis and Basset hounds with tiny legs may get colder faster because their bodies are so much closer to the ground than a dog with longer legs. 

Health and age matter as well when considering just how much extra insulation a dog needs on their body. Just as humans, both very young and very old dogs will have a harder time regulating their body temperatures and will need coats in the cold temperatures. 

Since dogs can’t talk, it’s important to monitor them for signs of being cold while out on your wintery walks. If a dog is cold, they will shiver, slow down on a walk, tuck their tail between their legs, or even hold their paws up in a refusal to continue walking. 

Make sure your pup stays warm this winter with appropriate coats and boots! Never put a still damp coat back onto a dog before sending them outside, as this makes them prone to hypothermia even faster. (Tip: to warm them up quick when you get home, they love being wrapped in warm towels fresh out of the dryer!)

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.