Related Articles: Dog Rain Coat

What is the Best Winter Coat for a Dog?

Vecomfy Fleece and Lining Extra Warm Dog Hoodie in Winter
  • Material: Extra Warm(Fleece Lining+ Polyester filler for warmth),keep super warm in the the cold winter/snow, Extra soft polyester fabric, soft & comfortable
  • Dog hoodie can protect dog's ear and head, avoid ear being cold in the outdoor
  • Features: lightweight, durable, breathable, Exquisite sewing, leash hole in neck.
    Fashion dog coats, easy put on and take off by snaps, elastics edges of foot & waist

Do Dogs Really Need a Coat in Winter?

It depends.

Some dog breeds like the Husky, Malamute, and Akita have a thick coat made to keep the dog warm in cold and bitter weather. Small dogs are generally more likely to require a winter coat than dogs with thicker coats or x-large dogs.

Below we go more in-depth on some points of consideration when putting your dog in a winter coat:

  • Warmth. The most obvious benefit of a winter coat is warmth. Although many dogs do not need a winter coat, certain breeds might require one. Keeping a dog warm will encourage them to stay out longer and better enjoy their time outside. Dogs like chihuahuas, French bulldogs, and dogs that hang low to the ground are more likely to need a winter coat than large dogs with thicker coats.
  • Element Protection. Water repellant winter coats and dog raincoats are an excellent option for dogs outside during snow or rain by helping keep the dog warm and dry. This can be especially helpful in times when the dog can’t get wet such as after surgery or after topical flea, and tick medication has been applied.

If it is too cold, we recommend combining the winter coat with a dog sweater and dog boots, or even better, with dog rain boots.

How Cold Should it be for a Dog to Wear a Winter Coat?

It is generally recommended to use a winter coat on your dog if the temperature is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth noting some dogs do not require a winter coat at all or only need one if it is significantly colder than 32 degrees. This depends on their breed & coat density and the dog’s overall tolerance for cold weather.

The Best Dog Winter Coats Reviewed

From fleece dog coats to rain jackets – the dog winter coat comes in different forms and designs. To help owners find the right winter apparel for their pets, we have reviewed some bestsellers that are readily available on Amazon and Chewy.

Vecomfy Fleece and Lining Extra Warm Dog Hoodie in Winter

Vecomfy Fleece and Lining Extra Warm Dog Hoodie in Winter

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Summary: This polyester dog winter coat features a button-down closure for a secure fit. Elastic leg openings and waist allow it to fit dogs snuggly while allowing full mobility. It features a fleece lining for maximum warmth in cold temperatures. It includes a hood to keep the ears and head warm. It is available in sizes from XS-3XL to provide everything your dog needs in winter clothes.

Material: Fleece & Polyester

Features: Leash hole in the neck, hood, elastic edges of foot and waist, button-down closure

Pros

  • Available in sizes up to 3XL
  • Features a leash hole in the neck
  • Elastic feet and waist edges for comfort and mobility
  • Fleece lining for warmth
  • The hood helps keep ears and head warm

Cons

  • There is no XXS size for toy breeds

Review: Consumers were largely happy with this dog winter coat, with nearly 90% of total reviews on Amazon being 4 and 5-star reviews. Dog owners of dogs of all sizes express satisfaction with the fit of this winter coat and its ability to trap body heat inside. They were also impressed with the quality of the stitching and said it’s one of the best dog coats they had ever purchased. The most common complaint is the size. These jackets tend to run small, according to critical reviews. Some had ordered a 3XL for their large breed dog but claimed it would only fit medium dogs.

Mogoko Reflective Reversible Dog Winter Coat with Harness/Leash Hole

Mogoko Reflective Reversible Dog Winter Coat with Harness-Leash Hole

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Summary: The ripstop polyester in this dog winter coat is lined with quilted material to keep dogs cozy and warm. It features reflective trim for safety in low-light conditions. The water-resistant outer layer protects your pup from snow and water during walks. It is made to fit dogs with neck girth up to 18.5” and uses a velcro closure for a secure fit.

Material: Polyester

Features: Waterproof, reflective piping, reversible, velcro closure

Pros

  • Waterproof materials
  • Reversible design
  • Reflective piping
  • Velcro closure provides a secure fit
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons

  • Sizes run a bit small

Review: Most reviews were favorable of this dog winter coat. They said it worked great for their skittish dog because it was easy to put on and take off. They were also happy this jacket is designed to be waterproof as it helps keep their dog dry and warm in the snow. There was only one negative review that stated the size was too small and claimed the XL size jacket could fit a corgi.

ThinkPet Cozy Waterproof/Windproof Reversible Winter Dog Jacket

ThinkPet Cozy Waterproof-Windproof Reversible Winter Dog Jacket

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Summary: This polyester dog winter coat is waterproof to keep your dog warm and dry. It features an oversized belly strap for greater coverage, especially with small breeds or low-riding dogs. The padded collar rides up high on the head to provide extra protection to the ears and head. It is made in several colors and sizes to fit dogs of any size.

Material: Polyester

Features: Padded collar for extra warmth, velcro closure, reflective piping, waterproof

Pros

  • Good belly coverage to keep more warmth
  • Features a padded collar for extra warmth
  • Reversible design
  • Velcro closure makes this easy to put on and take off
  • Reflective piping offers safety in low-light conditions

Cons

  • Size runs small on Amazon

Review: Reviewers of this dog winter coat said it was “exactly” what they were looking for and were impressed with the high-quality construction. Critical reviewers were disappointed in the sizing of this coat. They said the sizes were small, and one dog owner said they had to order an XL for their 34-lbs Beagle.

Kuoser Reversible British Style Plaid Dog Vest Winter Coat

Kuoser Reversible British Style Plaid Dog Vest Winter Coat

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Summary: This dog winter coat is windproof and water resistant on one side and is made of polyester. The other side is made of soft cotton for warmth and comfort. The hook and loop closure offers a secure fit without the hassle of buttons, and an extra tall collar helps to protect your dog’s ears and neck from the cold. It is sold in sizes up to 3XL to fit the needs of dogs of all breeds and sizes.

Material: Polyester

Features: Reversible, waterproof on one side, soft cotton on the other side, extra tall collar, windproof

Pros

  • Available in a large selection of sizes and colors
  • Reversible design
  • Waterproof outer shell
  • Tall collar for extra warmth
  • Velcro closure

Cons

  • Only waterproof on one side

Review: Happy reviewers stated they were satisfied with the coat’s construction. They said it was “the classic dog coat” and were pleased the belly strap was small enough to be out of the way when their tiny dog does their business outside. Critical reviews noted the dog winter coat has not held up through washes and that it is overall not well-made.

AprilWu Windproof Parka Jacket for Cold Weather

AprilWu Windproof Parka Jacket for Cold Weather

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Summary: This dog winter coat features a hood with faux fur lining around the hood for extra warmth. The ribbed elastic sleeves and waist offer a snug fit without being restrictive. It is made exclusively for small dogs with a chest girth up to 20” or dogs weighing about 20 pounds. It is available in a small selection of colors and offers warmth and functionality in a fleece-lined package.

Material: Polyester

Features: Parka style design, faux fur lining, hood, pockets, fleece lining

Pros

  • Lined with fleece for warmth
  • Functional pockets
  • Faux fur lining for extra protection
  • Ribbed elastic leg and waist openings
  • Button-down closure for a secure fit

Cons

  • Only fits dogs with a chest up to 20”

Review: Happy consumers were pleased with the price and quality of this dog winter coat. They said it was “just like a real parka,” and many others mentioned how much their dog enjoys wearing this coat. The most common complaint was that the sizes are smaller than promoted.

What Should I Look for in a Dog Winter Coat?

When shopping for a dog winter coat, you need to consider the following features:

  • Water-Resistant Material. Keeping dry is one of the best things you can do when trying to stay warm. A water-resistant dog coat will offer better protection from melted snow or raindrops. They help to keep the dog dry and warm during walks or playtime outside.
  • Temperature Rating. The temperature rating required will depend on your dog’s ability to tolerate cold weather. If your dog can handle bitter temperatures more efficiently, then a coat with a fleece lining might not be ideal for the dog’s comfort. But if cold weather bothers your dog, something like a puffer jacket or fleece-lined dog parka might be the best route.
  • Reflectivity. This is especially handy in low-light scenarios, such as when it is snowing, raining, or sunrise and sunset. Reflective strips add visibility to your dog and provide a higher level of safety in harder-to-see conditions.
  • Easy Maintenance. Machine washable coats are great because they are easy to clean. Most dog coats these days are machine washable, but it is still something to look out for when purchasing a new coat for your pup.
  • Proper Fit. Finding the right fitting winter coat can be the difference between a cold canine and a warm, comfortable one. Ensuring your dog gear is fitted appropriately to reduce the chance of an accident, you should measure your dog’s chest girth and make sure the coat fits snuggly but not tight. Consider whether your dog will do better in a vest type, dog sweater, or full-body coat. Then size the coat appropriately to provide maximum warmth and comfort.
  • Leash Connectivity. Some dog clothes are able to be used with dog harnesses, while others require dog collars to be used. Make sure your preferred method of leash connectivity aligns with the dog’s winter coat. An ill-fitted coat with an improper method of leash attachment can lead to dogs escaping and poses more of a danger than a helping hand.

Can Dogs Survive the Cold Without Winter Coats?

It depends on the breed.

Some large shedding breeds can do fine in the winter indefinitely without a coat. These dog breeds include Huskies, German shepherds, and American Eskimos.

Other breeds, however, will not fair as well in the cold and snow. Breeds like coonhounds, chihuahuas, and Pitbulls are not bred for cold climates and likely will not last long if left to their own devices in harsh and bitter conditions.

These breeds, along with young, senior, and small breed dogs, require an extra layer of protection when outdoors in cold weather.

How Long Should I Leave a Winter Coat on a Dog?

Only leave a dog’s winter coat on as long as necessary.

Dogs can quickly overheat, and if the winter coat is too thick or too good at retaining heat, your dog may begin to overheat within a few minutes of being indoors.

Especially if they have been active outdoors where it is cold, and they have long, dense fur. This, coupled with the warmer temperatures indoors, can lead to discomfort and destructive behavior as the dog tries to remove the coat itself.

Are Dog Winter Coats Worth It?

Yes, the winter dog coat is worth it.

If you live in a climate that dips below freezing for extended periods of time, experiences large amounts of snowfall, or your dog is young or aging and cannot regulate its body temperature well, then a winter dog coat can be a great asset.

It allows dogs to enjoy their time outside more in uncomfortable conditions and can encourage them to spend more time outside exercising, which makes for a happy and healthy dog.