Tips for Buying A Dog Coat
The winter months are looming ahead, and your dog needs to stay cosy. Here are our tips on what to look for when you buy a dog coat:
- Why buy a coat?
Coats are not just a fashion statement; they can benefit you and your dog. Breeds with thin body types such as greyhounds and whippets, small, short-haired, or hairless dogs and elderly or ill dogs are all likely to lose body heat quickly when exposed to cold, wintry weather. Some dogs will benefit from a warm fleecy coat even if they are indoors, such as the Chinese Crested. A coat will keep most of the dog dry and clean, as well as healthy. Some include nano-technology that reduces the spread of bacteria, meaning that the coat will keep clean and fresh smelling for longer.
- Which measurements should I take?
You will need one measurement for the back, from the base of the neck where the collar lays, to the base of the tail. Most manufacturers will use this to size their garments and will go up in 2 inch increments. If your dog falls on an odd number, go to the next highest size. Measure the neck in inches so that you will be able to tell how tight it will be on the dog if it is a non-adjustable style. You may also want to measure the around and down the front of their chest to ensure a snug fit to the front of the garment.
- Which material should I choose?
The UK is prone to wet weather, so it is likely you will want a waterproof coat. An area that generally gets light rain may only need a shower-proof coat. If you live near the coast, in a flat area or high above sea level, you will find that a wind-resistant coat will be very valuable. To keep your dog extra-warm, you may want to consider coats that are lined with fleece, quilted or padded to give an extra layer of protection against the wet and the wind. A coat like the Country Insulated Dog Coat would be ideal. Many coats have a detachable fleece inner which can be removed on warmer days.
Think about what you will be using the coat for; long walks in the forest will need strong, durable materials while going to a day-long outdoor event may require weather-proofing and insulation. If you live near busy roads or often go out at night, consider a high visibility coat for safety. Of course, you can cover all bases with a coat that is both wind and water resistant, with a removable thermal layer and reflective strips, like the Danish Design Luxury Dog Coat. Also think about how your dog will feel in the coat; if they do not generally like bulky items you may want to invest in a lightweight coat that that can get used to easily. Dogs tend to find soft fabrics more comfortable to move in, but wool may cause them to itch. If the fur is thin, short or non-existent, try a coat lined with a soft material to prevent this. Silky or nylon fabrics may also cause skin irritation. If you are buying a fabric coat instead of a polyester version, check that the coat is machine-washable for frequent washing, this will help to control pet odour.
- Which style is best?
There are many styles of dog coat, some more practical than others. The classic shape coat is generally considered best as it is well tried-and-tested and is both functional and practical. The ‘fashion’ styles may look cute but seriously consider how they affect your dog and his comfort. If he is active a coat that doesn’t constrict his legs is preferable. If you have a less active pet, the hoods and legging styles maybe suitable. Just check the materials used if your pet chews as some synthetic fur trims and beads may be harmful. Many short haired breeds like to wear the long-legged pj style fleece, especially indoors. Ensure they are loose fitting enough to be comfortable and do not leave dogs unattended incase they get hooked on something and cause strangulation.
If your dog tends to pull, some coats have built-in harnesses like the 1Z dog coat, while others may have a hook sewn in for a lead or a hole for the lead to be pulled through. If your coat has hind leg loops to keep the coat in place, ensure these are well fitted. If they are too tight they can cause rubbing and discomfort.
How is it fastened? Have a look at the quality of materials used. Loose parts are not suitable for puppies, and poor quality velcro will continuously come undone after a few uses.
- How much should I budget?
Dog coat prices tend to vary according to the size of your dog, the quality of materials and the added features, they can cost anything between £7 and £90. Here is a table of the coat type and what you can expect to pay from most retailers:
|Coat Type||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
|All-Weather, with lining||£25||£55|
Visit the Groomers Dog Coat range here.