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Chihuahua sitting outdoors in the snow in a pink winter coat.

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In winter, daily dog walks may require humans and canines to don warmer gear. Even if you’ve never used a coat for your dog before, as you bundle yourself up to go outside, consider whether your dog needs some protection from the cold, as well.

As a general rule of thumb, large dogs with thick, dense coats are well protected from the cold. This includes Northern breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, with fur coats genetically designed to keep them warm. But there are dogs that need to be protected from extreme weather.

  • 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 or shorn, 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.

Once you’ve determined that your dog needs a winter coat, look for a coat that protects their neck and belly. It should extend from the base of the neck to the tail, without being so long that it would make pit stops to pee problematic. You’ll want a coat that fits snugly without being tight. Clothing should never restrict your dog’s movement.

Pomeranian wearing a coat walking outdoors on leash.
©Alex -

Here are some coats in different styles and materials that are sure to keep your canine BFF warm and comfortable when temperatures drop.

Best Dog Winter Coat: Hurtta Extreme Warmer Dog Winter Jacket

Thanks to its dense insulation, this is a perfect dog winter coat for extremely cold temperatures and snowy or icy conditions. It’s designed to keep the most important muscle groups for heat production warm, and the lining reflects body heat back at your dog. Its polyester material is durable, and the surface material is laminated with a waterproof and breathable film.

You can choose from varied colors and sizes. It has an impressive rating of 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon from more than 800 reviewers.

Best Budget Winter Coat: ThinkPet Warm Reversible Dog Coat

If you’re on a budget, but you need a warm winter coat for your dog, this is an ideal option. It’s made from polyester with polyfill padding inside. While it isn’t waterproof, it is water-resistant, so it will stand up to light mist or snowfall. It has a good amount of belly coverage and extends up the neck to keep your dog even warmer.

Since this is a reversible coat, you get two looks in one. Sizes run from XS to 4-XL, so most dogs are covered. This coat has an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars from more than 7,000 reviewers.

Most Durable Winter Coat: Kurgo Dog Jacket

This rugged dog winter coat should keep your dog toasty for many winters to come. It has a water-resistant outer shell and polyfill padding inside for warmth. However, it isn’t suitable for extremely cold temperatures unless you layer an extra sweater underneath.

Sizes range from XS to XL, although it’s best to refer to the size chart for exact measurements. With over 350 reviews on Chewy, it has an overall rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Related article: How to Keep Your Dog Warm Without Power
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