Our canine companions still like to spend time outside during the colder months, but should they be wearing protective clothing such as coats and jumpers? In most cases, the answer is no. Most dogs have enough fur to keep them warm outside when the temperature drops.
When deciding on whether or not to put protective clothing on your pup, you should consider the following; your dog's size, breed and outside temperature.
Dogs get cold just like people do. But some dogs, like Labradors, Huskies and German Shepherds have thick coats that do a great job of protecting them against colder weather. However smaller and short hair breeds, like Greyhounds, Whippets and Chihuahuas find it harder to retain body heat and would benefit from extra protection when in colder climates.
The temperature outside and the duration your dog spends outdoors should also be considered when deciding whether or not your pooch needs a jacket or jumper. In temperatures below minus, or if there's lots of snow, dogs will benefit from an extra layer of warmth if they're not used to the cold weather.
If your dog will be outdoors for 10 minutes or less, then they will not need a jacket unless it's extremely cold and they are displaying signs of discomfort.
Another factor that will begin to affect all dogs' ability to stay warm after time is old age. Older dogs will naturally struggle to regulate their body temperature, so protecting them with an extra layer of insulation, such as a quilted jacket or a sweater can help to encourage warm blood flow around their body.
Cold weather is a nightmare for dogs who suffer from stiff joints, as the low temperatures can cause muscles to tighten up, increasing pressure and pain in inflamed joints. This can cause your dog to experience pain while moving and they may even want to stop walking altogether.
If your dog is ever feeling under the weather, three of the things that will help them get back to full health are fresh air, exercise and being kept warm. Therefore, it is a good idea to pop a protective layer on your poorly pooch and take them out for a stroll to help them get back to full health.
It's important to monitor your dog's body language to determine if they need a coat. Some dogs will lift their paws when they get cold, refuse to walk or shiver. Once wrapped up, other dogs may feel a bit hot and bothered and no longer require a jacket.