Choosing coats for your dog.

How to Choose a Coat for a Dog



Dogs with thick undercoats stay warm during the cold months of winter, but dogs with short or thin coats feel the cold, even when venturing outdoors for just a few minutes. My dog is a shih-tzu, and he wears a puppy cut all year long. I tried growing his fur out to a longer length, but with the dry indoor air he began scratching his sides and legs, and the fur became matted. After he needed a trim, I looked into buying a warm winter coat and a sweater for my dog, and besides looking exceptionally cute, they keep him warm indoors and out. When deciding on ways to choose a coat for a dog, consider the following information. It is important to buy the right size for comfort, fit, and ease of use.

How to Measure Your Dog

A dog’s anatomy requires careful consideration when buying clothing of any type. It must be the right length, especially for a male dog. The first coat I decided to choose for my male dog was too loose and too long, and it would have interfered with his use of the local fire hydrant. I returned the coat, and I made sure to measure the dog for a proper fit before I attempted to choose another one.

Measure the size of the dog from the shoulder blades to the base of the tail. My dog is thirteen inches from the base of his neck to where his tail begins, and he usually wears a size medium. However, brands and styles can be sized differently, and it is important to choose a dog coat according to inches or centimeters rather than a broad definition of size such as small, medium, or large.

Check the Thickness of the Material

Thickness of material over color and style.When considering which coat to choose for a dog, feel the thickness of the material rather than going by color and style alone. A dog coat might look cute, but will it be warm? I liked the color and style of the first coat I picked up, but when feeling the thickness I realized it would not be very warm. Other people were likely to choose that coat on looks alone, and I decided to choose a dog coat with more than one layer. It has a soft and warm fleece lining as well as an outer shell, and it looks great on my doggie.

Is the Coat Machine Washable?

People can get away with buying coats that cannot be machine washed, but clothing for a dog must be machine washable to be practical. Choose a coat only after reading the labels, and select something that can be easily washed in a washing machine. My dog accidentally initiated his sweater after it somehow slipped down around his legs, and I had to wash it before he could wear it again. Accidents happen, and it is important to choose wisely.

How Does the Coat Stay On?

Choose coat with secure closures.Manufacturers of canine coats without Velcro closures claim that hook and loop fasteners will get stuck to the dog’s fur and become matted in time. I decided to choose a coat that fastens with Velcro because it is very easy to put on and take off. I could not imagine fumbling with adjustable straps when my dog is desperate to go outside. Also, the only way his fur would get caught in the Velcro is if it happened to be too long, and in that case he would not really need the additional coat. Loose fur can easily be removed from Velcro with a soft bristle brush, or it can be quickly picked out by hand. I do not see this as an issue when deciding how to choose the best coat for a canine.