The bitter cold blast we experienced over the Christmas Holiday got us to thinking – Do our dogs need coats? Coats sure are cute and make for great photos, but is the fashion truly functional? Experts say, yep, some dogs should be wearing coats.
The official start to winter was just two weeks ago. Christmas Eve brought the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced in North Georgia since January 2014. And that made for some rather uncomfortable potty walks for many of us – and our dogs. If you were shivering, chances are your dog was, too.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dogs of certain breeds and types should be wearing a coat when temperatures dip below 32 degrees.
- Small, toy, and miniature shorthaired breeds, like Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs. These small pups can’t easily generate and retain enough body heat to keep themselves warm.
- Dogs that sit low to the ground. Although breeds like Pembroke Welsh Corgis, for example, have thick coats, their bellies sit low enough to the ground to brush against snow and ice.
- Breeds that typically have long hair but are clipped, like Poodles. Grooming may alter the natural protection of their coats.
- Lean-bodied breeds with short hair, like Greyhounds and Whippets, should also be protected from the cold.
- Senior dogs are prone to conditions that may require a winter coat, such as arthritis or a weakened immune system. Heat regulation may decline with age, making even a thick-coated dog uncomfortable in the cold.
The AKC says dogs with thick, dense coats are well protected from the cold and likely don’t require a coat. These include Northern breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, with fur coats genetically designed to keep them warm.
At Lucky & Lady, all overnight stays for dogs in our Beyond Boarding program are customized for each dog and may include outdoor walks. If you determine your dog should wear a coat in certain weather conditions, let a concierge or reservation specialist know and we’ll be sure your pup is warm and, of course, happy.
Read more about what the AKC says about dogs and coats here.