Rockford is in the Deep Freeze–Does Your Dog Need a Winter Coat?
As I write this, Rockford's current temperature reading is -3 degrees, with a windchill or "feels like" temperature of -19 degrees. If you're feeling cold while wearing long underwear, winter clothes, a heavy jacket, hat, and boots--imagine how your dog must feel.
Our dog, Lucy, is a Weimaraner. Weimaraners, like the one pictured above, have a pretty thin coat, and although they love being outside, they also get really cold, really fast. My wife texted me this morning to tell me that Lucy set a new record time for going out, relieving herself, and then flying back into the house to jump up on the couch. Total time was around 28 seconds.
I should point out that we have not purchased any winter-weather gear for Lucy. Knowing her as we do, we're quite certain that putting a winter coat on her would result in a shredded coat, also in record time. But should we get her a coat, or boots? And, should you do the same for your dog?
Here's what PetMD has to say about the topic of dogs and winter outerwear:
A sweater or jacket can be helpful during the cold seasons, especially if your dog is reluctant to go outside in the snow to relieve himself, but also if you tend to keep your home’s internal heating system set low, depending instead on blankets and sweaters for your human occupants. How warm your dog is able to physically keep himself may depend on his breed, size and even age, but if he just doesn’t have a heavy hair coat, there is only so much curling up he can do to conserve heat. Smaller, light bodied breeds, toy breeds, and breeds that naturally have very short or thin hair coats benefit from a warm dog sweater. Also, older dogs with weaker immune systems and dogs with diseases that impair hair growth (i.e., Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism) typically need an extra source for warmth, and this can be easily provided by a sweater or jacket, even indoors. The Siberian Husky, Malamute, and Saint Bernard breeds are all excellent examples of dogs that are perfectly suited to cold temperatures, while the Chihuahua, Greyhound, and many terrier and pinscher breeds are good examples of dogs that would do well with a little extra outer insulation.
Oh, about going beyond a winter coat to perhaps some boots...dogs are mixed in their reviews: