Cold Weather for Dogs, Part 1: Coats


It’s getting chilly out and sweater weather is here.  Pet stores know it, and while we’re buying new sweatshirts and boots for ourselves, it’s time to stock up for our pets, too.  So what do dogs need for winter in NYC?  We’ll be writing a series of posts on cold weather gear and considerations for your urban pup.  Part one today discusses coats and jackets.  Next week we’ll discuss paw protectors.


Does your dog need a coat?  She’ll probably let you know — if she’s shivering on a normal walk, it is worth trying one!  If you aren’t sure, take a look at her normal fur.  If she has a thick undercoat, she is unlikely to need any manmade insulation.  If, however, she has a short coat with no undercoat, and large areas of thin fur or exposed skin, a coat is a good idea.  Many small breeds also need a little extra warmth!

A couple of our favorite coats are below:

Ruffwear brand makes a huge range of utilitarian jackets, harnesses, and packs for dogs to use year round.  This brand focuses on active dogs, and their clothes are designed to still allow pets to play and run.  They have excellent instructions on measuring for fit, and most coats include reflective strips and water resistant layers for versatile use.  Their overcoat is one good option.

Full body fleece suits are necessary for some smaller breeds, especially if they are less active when outside.  Italian greyhounds are the classic breed we think of, but some other thin-coated breeds may benefit from this option when polar vortex temperatures hit!

Horse blanket style coats are boxier, and usually have a strap under the chest to secure them.  They are easy to fit to a range of body types, and provide a lot of warmth on walks without too much fuss.  Weatherbeeta makes a wide range of options.

On a budget? carries a lot of pet supplies, and often has good deals on pet apparel (as well at crates, beds, toys, etc.).

Be mindful of how long your winter walks are, too.  During inclement or very cold weather, not all dogs do well with long walks.  Northern breeds (think Huskies, Akitas, Samoyeds) are more likely to enjoy this weather, while short coated dogs (e.g. Pitties, Dobermans, Vizslas)  may need shorter excursions.

Still not sure whether your dog needs a coat, or if the one you have is the right option?  Contact us for personalized advice for your pet.

Check back next week for information on booties, and the week after for options to keep your pet seen and safe in darker seasons.

Uptown Vets   –   295 West 112th St, New York, NY

(212) 222-1221   –

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