British clothing retailer Joules has partnered with veterinarian Dr Paola Cuevas to reveal the benefits of keeping your furry friend wrapped up warm this winter, as well as safety advice for when it is not recommended.
It shouldn’t be overlooked that just like us dogs feel the cold, Dr Paola explains:
“When the environmental temperature is too cold dogs are at risk of developing hypothermia, so like humans, it is important that we use coats to preserve heat in their bodies during winter.
“A dog’s natural coat serves much more than just their looks and there are many reasons to keep it in top shape.” And one way to do this is by putting them in a winter coat.
Dr Paola explains that there are certain temperatures to look out for when your dog will require an extra layer.
“As a general rule, when the temperature drops below 7°C, you should keep an eye on your dog and consider a jacket if you go outside, especially if your dog is small or has a thin coat.
“At 0°C and below, most dogs will need a jacket.
“And at -7°C every dog runs the risk of hypothermia and should definitely be provided an insulating winter jacket and booties if they need to go outside.”
Dr Paola says factors like size and coat quality should be used to decide when dogs should wear a physical coat.
“Smaller dogs who have a larger surface-to-total body volume ratio will lose body temperature easily and need some insulation to avoid suffering from hypothermia.
“A dog’s coat length, quality, and thickness will also be a consideration when deciding if they need a jacket.”
“No matter the body size or coat, what is a fact is that when temperatures get too cold a dog’s health is at risk. They are just like us, able to thermoregulate up to a certain degree and you want to avoid exposing them to unnecessary risk or suffering.”
Some dog owners have stated that one benefit of putting their furry friend in a coat is that it keeps them clean and saves them from having to wash their dog after every walk.
“It might be easier to wash a dog coat/jacket rather than to bathe a dog. However, the frequency of a dog’s bathing should depend on their specific coat (fur/hair) needs.
“Each dog is different, depending on its environment, kind of fur, or activity level it will need more or fewer baths. The average dog should be bathed once a month, but some can go up to six weeks.
“A coat/jacket on the other hand can be cleaned more frequently so depending on a dog’s specific behaviour and the environment they spend time in this could definitely be a clever strategy, for some but not all dogs.”
It’s equally as important to ensure that dogs don’t wear coats in certain conditions too.
“Dogs shouldn’t wear coats when it is too hot, and the coat makes it worse for them as dogs are also susceptible to overheating.
Many dogs also enjoy swimming on their walks but at this time of year when they are likely to be wrapped up Dr Paola says,
“Dogs shouldn’t wear winter coats to go swimming but there are dog life jackets that can help certain dogs feel more confident in the water.”