Comfortably clothing is very important when it comes to dogs. In addition to being waterproof and windchill-proof, dog coats need to provide the necessary warmth canines need during the cooler winter days without restricting their movement or visibility. Winter coats for dogs come with many features but choosing a winter jacket based on your canine’s specific measurements is crucial for keeping your pup warm, safe and dry.
Popular dog coat styles include parkas, bomber dog vests, reflective hoodies, jumpers, dog-blanket coats (particularly common for larger breeds) and fleece-lined rain-jackets. And while dog winter coats can cost up to $100, budget-minded shoppers can typically find a great coat for $50 or less.
This guide will discuss how to get your dog measured correctly for a coat, what to look out for in a dog's coat, and also share our picks for cold-weather specific dog winter coats. Our picks are based on pet owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Ruffwear Climate Changer
Best coat for all-year round wear
Kurgo Loft Reversible Jacket
Best coat for Outdoor/Athletic Dogs
Hurtta Extreme Warmer Dog Winter Jacket
Best jacket for extreme weather conditions
Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat
Best winter coat for larger dogs
PetRageous Kodiak Dog Coat
Best winter coat for smaller dogs
Ruffwear's Climate changing dog coat is ideal for breezy, windy or drizzling days due to its smart sleeved design. Ruffwear has designed a dog coat that is flexible and nice on your pooches’ body. It's made from recycled fleece, it's quick-drying and not overly thick. There is a soft nylon zipper along the side of coat that moves without poking or being cold against your dog's side or neck. The reason this little coat is super is because your dog can wear it alone or as an extra layer under a warmer coat for snowy winter struts or wet days. It even has a spot to clip on a chemical light or tiny flashlight that sits high and centered on top, which doesn't displace weight unevenly to either side of your dog. It has a reflective trim for added safety. Before ordering check out their size chart that ranges from XX small to large. Available in 3 bright and fun colors and 7 sizes to choose from.
A lifetime warranty on a dog jacket, unheard of! But, it's true, the Kurgo Loft Reversible Jacket has such a warranty. This is a jacket that is reversible with two different colors, and both sides have the same padded or quilted look. We love all 8 bright colors the Kurgo dog jacket comes in. There's a short zipper on top back and reflective piping for safety, as well as being water resistant. The material is softer on your dog because of the quilted sewing stitches and stays on by slipping your dog's front legs into the holes. It’s adorable! Just like a miniature scale of a vest that people wear. There isn't a high collar or extra material that would extend beyond your dog's tail, but it’s appropriate for breezy, damp walks in the woods making it the best winter dog coat for active dogs that like to hike, run, climb or trek. Available in 5 sizes ranging from XS to XL.
What a unique winter jacket for a dog because it has a built-in scarf! The Hurtta Extreme Warmer Dog Winter Jacket offers some unique features that are cool and makes it particularly suitable for extreme weather conditions. For example, it has a built-in scarf or neck warmer and full neck coverage up to your dog's ears. It has a simple thin fastener that sits on top, rather than under your dog's belly. There is coverage over and beyond the tail or rear end, like horse jackets. There is a flap on the top of neck area where you can clip the leash on but yet its covered by material. Importantly what makes this jacket good for winter is because it has foil lining which deflects body heat and keeps your pet warmer, and it's water resistant! It's pricier than most other dog coats in our list, but it's one to consider for providing your dog with the best insulation during harsh winters and snowy conditions. This is a tough, durable and long lasting dog coat that doesn't rip - made with athletic and outdoor dogs in mind!
The Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat by Zack & Zoey gives a lot of body coverage and has built-in safety reflector running down the back. The outer coat is a lightweight water-resistant nylon material but keeps your pooch warm because the underside lining is a cozy plaid fleece. Your dog will be anxiously waiting to go outside in wet weather once it realizes it has a snuggly coat against the rain. This coat is secured with Velcro in two places, under the belly and on the underside of the chest or neck. That's good because the coat is larger than most, as well as their size options range from XXS to XXL so making it the best winter dog coat option for larger dogs. This is a great budget buy and paw parents have a choice of 8 bright and cheery colors to choose from in this waterproof, windproof and breathable outer coat.
If you like English plaid this cute dog coat from PetRageous is a fashionable favorite with many pet parents! This coat shields your dog from wind and rain well through its material. The inside lining is a poly-cotton blend, and the outside has a special high-denier nylon (durable, sturdy and thicker) protector. The stitching on the seam offers some reflection for safety, but its not wide. The coat is fastened with Velcro and sits above the back for fast release, rather than under the belly. You can also slip your dogs' back legs into the thin nylon straps for a better secure fit and to keep the jacket in place over the back. Your dog will also have a warmer chest as the material is wider over the chest than most. The Kodiak dog coat comes in sizes from small to XX large and in four plaid colors to chose from for your girl or boy pet(s). Also available in a selection of great colors!
The Weatherbeeta Reflective Parker looks robust, like parkas should look! Your dog will really be snug because it has a full wrap or belly coverage, not just a one to two-inch-wide strap. This parka also the has a special nylon lining (210T). This 210T rating refers to thread counts weaved in every square inch, meaning that it's really good in keeping water away from your dogs' fur. The collar is larger and sort of stands up around the neck; area like one of Elvis's old costumes. But it provides a cool look as well more upper neck protection. The collar also has a leash hole, making it faster to leash/unleash without irritating your dog's neck. The reflective tape down the back and around the belly strap is wider than others, making your dog's moves easier to see by others, especially in the evening.
The name itself, Hurrta Summit Dog Parka indicates its wearability in snow and rain. This five star rating dog coat is fully weatherproof yet and consists of three breathable layers of material (outer lining, Houndtex, inner lining). Dogs can overheat during physical exercise, regardless of weather conditions when they have too much protective wear on, like humans. With this in mind, this parka does not have a lot of material but is made intelligently because there are three areas you can adjust. One over your dog’s tail area and two on the neck area. You simply need to loosen or tighten the rip cord with a stopper to where you want it. If needed you can release the parka with ease because it has only one plastic buckle around the stomach that sits over the back, and not under the stomach. It has high visibility with thick reflector designs on the shoulder area for added night safety. Another great winter coat for active lifestyle dogs. Available in 13 sizes and 4 colors to choose from.
Hello cuddly fleece Gooby! Your dog will love the Gooby stretch fleece because it so soft. It can fit dogs anywhere from 4 to 80lbs of pooch! However, they make it clear that it’s probably a better fit for dogs that are under 30lbs. It’s very simply designed to be held in place like a pair of jeans, just put your dog’s two front legs in the holes to keep it on. There's no Velcro, or plastic buckle to fasten/unfasten, so getting your dog´s measurement right is important. It also doesn't have any built-in reflective tape, but you can always buy that separately. This is can worn under other protection in sever cold weather or rain, but is fine alone for every day breezy walks. Available in 13 colors and 5 sizes to choose from. Another high quality winter coat that's great small dogs.
The Derby Originals, dog coat, was designed using some concepts from horse training blankets from winter Derby racehorses. Now that says something about what it can offer for your dog´s walk and struts in rainy, cold weather. The 610D nylon indicates a high thread count of weaved nylon, making it very water resistant, rip resistant and yet breathable. Though the material over the shoulder is short, it still offers easy movement for your dog because of that little extra flap. Comfort and warmth will come from the poly-fill layering closest to your dog’s overall covered body parts. Be aware that this coat needs to be hand washed and hung out to dry, but it’s no hassle. It’s just like your wife´s blouse and not whole basket of laundry! You are able to fasten the coat at the lower neck with a metal belt buckle, and the belly strap is fastened with Velcro. This provides two areas to get that overall snug fit, especially in wet weather. The design of this coat makes this a great all-rounder – perfect for all dogs this winter!
Who doesn´t like a cuddly hoodie? Well, not only you, but cats and dogs can enjoy them now with the Zack & Zoey Basic Dog & Cat Hoodie. It´s not meant for extreme weather or rain or snow, but certainly fine for chilly days in the neighborhood or just for dogs to wear around the house. It offers functional simplicity. There´s a pocket, just like on a regular hoodie to hold treats or poop bags, and hole so you can attach a leash from the back of neck area. This is washable and does not have any straps or buckles, it´s just like human hoodies, made of a poly-cotton blend. It stays nicely snug on the belly and doesn't drag on the ground because of the tighter cut of the material under the stomach area, and the short-ribbed sleeves at the shoulders keep it in place. Its very cute and cozy and can be worn with heavier weather dog coats if needed.
Dog coats are a great addition to your dog's comfort, safety and warmth. They offer extra warmth during the fall and winter, as well, which can be especially beneficial for short-haired breeds that get cold easily. Like people, pets are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and in extreme weather conditions, they should be kept inside.
Vets from Texas’ VetMed University point out that sweaters can help to keep pets warm during the winter months; but to be careful about measuring your dog correctly for a good fit without it being too tight or loose.
Dr. Charles D. Worthington, DVM from the Witworth Animal Clinic, wrote about why it’s essential to pay close attention to shivering dogs and ensure they keep warm with protective clothing.
When choosing winter clothing for your dog, it’s important to take several factors into account, such as the dog’s fur thickness and length, body mass and their attitude to wearing apparel.
This guide will look at some of the most popular winter dog apparel today, buying considerations, and our top picks’ for doggy jackets this winter for both large and small canines.
Common features to look out for in a winter coat for your dog include:
Finally make sure the coat and size you choose doesn't interfere with his "bodily functions", something we can easily overlook when buying.
General dog coat sizes are as follows; please note that some coats come in sizes that fall outside these ranges:
Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranian,Maltese, Pappillons
Jack Russell, Doxies, Boston Terrier, Bichons Frises, French Bulldog
Beagles, Mini Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles
Boxer, Bulldog, Basset Hound, Springer Spaniel, Labs, Collies, Dalmation
Goldens, Standard Poodles, Boxers, German Shepherd, Rottweiler
Before you even think about buying a heavy winter coat for your pet, take some time to consider their needs. Such as, does your Siberian Husky or Chow Chow really need a heavy winter coat? Not likely, since they are more tolerant of cold weather than other dog breeds.
So, take their breed into account. DNA or characteristics are also important, take for example a collie that herds sheep; they have an extremely high heart rate instinctively because they herd sheep so they constantly move.
For breeds with substantial fur, a winter coat may be overkill, but a light parka to keep him dry during those wet days is more appropriate.
For dogs that prefer to sleep outdoors, a winter coat is ideal for them to keep warm during the frosty nights.
Another case of a trimmer dog with long hair but, not necessarily thick hair; however, their constant movement may overheat them with a coat. There was a case of a little Jack Russel terrier that just simply refused to move when any type of jacket or material was placed on him; he wouldn't move an inch, even in winter snow.
The owner in that story, no longer dressed his canine buddy in the winter since he found out they love to hunt rabbits in the snow, and that chase kept him worked out and warm enough! It's important to be aware of how your dog will react to clothing - some dogs don't mind the extra layers while others do.
There are exceptions where a doggy jacket is a must such as in the case of older dogs, puppies and arthritic dogs - these dogs get colder quicker and need an extra layer of warmth.
Hairless and short-coated breeds are also more susceptible to cold and will definitely benefit from a coat or jumper in the frostier months.
Finally, smaller lightweight breeds such as a Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier and Bichon Frise also can't handle the cold weather very well and so can benefit from winter clothing.
If you have never measured your dog for a winter coat, don't fret. You just need to measure three areas on your pet.
Dog treats may help to keep your dog still during the measurement process.
Here's a quick and helpful video from Hurtta on how to measure for a dog coat.
There will be some variables depending on the details of the winter coat you buy. For example, some offer an extended piece of material that goes over the base of their tail, or some have high collars, many have plastic or Velcro fasteners. These may need some extra measurement considerations based on your dogs’ size, weight, height or fur.
Your dog´s temperament may be a factor too, as they may not like metal buckles jingling on their back or their weight and movement may cause a plastic clip to break in a short time.
A high collared coat would not be good for a short-necked dog as that would rub the side of the face perhaps.
Those little extra measurements or details should be thought of as well.
Now, grab a lead and get out walking in the fresh air with your pooch by your side!