When I was young our schnauzer had a form fitted black and red plaid coat. The fabric was rough. It always looked a bit dirty and the under the belly buttons were difficult to access and the buttons seemed to large for the button holes. As a result we only managed to wrestle the coat on to the unwilling dog once or twice at the start of each winter and for the balance of the winter the poor dog was cold.
Times have changed and there are now a plethora of dog coat options ranging from the practical to the ridiculous, from the inexpensive to the uber-pricey. There are models that the dog can step into, models that wrap around, and models that are similar to a cape with an elastic waist band. There are water-proof models and insulated models and light weight models. There are models suitable to short haired dogs and models suitable to longer haired dogs. Some of the coats for larger dogs have pockets for owners to carry small items such as books or water.
Dog coat designs come in a wide range of colours and styles. There are so many different dog coats on the market that it can be difficult to choose the right coat for your dog. The four most important considerations in choosing a coat for your dog are outlined below.
1. Where do you live? Or what is the purpose of the dog coat? Is the coat really needed to protect your dog or is it really just to match your new umbrella? If you live in an area that rarely sees freezing weather then you needn’t worry about the warmth of the coat and, in fact, you should be wary of your dog overheating. If you live in an area that experiences severe winters then you should look for a coat that is wind proof and uses high quality fabrics such as gortex. You may also want a coat that is both breathable and water proof.
2. Can the coat be machine washed? Dog coats can get grubby very quickly and sometimes can get soiled by the dog relieving himself. Only consider dog coats that can be thrown into the washing machine. Keeping the coat clean will depend on your dog. Hopefully, during the spring thaw it will be warm enough that your dog can go coat-less. Expect to wash the coat twice per year.
3. How will you dog behave while being dressed? Is he or she a wiggler? If the coat is tricky to put on then your dog will likely have a cold winter. Look for a coat with easy to handle closures such as good quality zippers or Velcro strip fasteners
4. How big is your dog? What size dog coat should you buy? Before you start searching for the perfect dog coat you need to take a few measurements. Measure around the broadest part of his chest and add two centimeters. Measure again the circumference of the neck and add two centimeters. Lastly, measure your dog from the start of the tail to the base of the neck. Keep these measurements handy when you when shopping for a new dog coat.