Winter is rolling in, and it’s starting to get nippy. If you’re anything like us, that means warm fires and fuzzy blankets…plus dog jackets and cosy beds for them too.
(If they need it, of course. Not all do – read more about the debate around pet clothes here, in a piece we wrote for ‘Dress Up Your Pet Day‘.)
Or, you know, they could just share your bed and blanket…? Turns out that sleeping with your dog in your bed could be beneficial for both of you!
If your pup is feeling the cold, here are some of our favourite winter buys to keep them snug as a bug when the temperature plummets.
When should dogs wear dog jackets?
At what point does some extra winter gear become necessary? Well, it depends on a few factors. These include your dog’s breed, age, health, what they’re used to, and where they sleep.
A Husky designed for sub-zero temperatures will need less (if anything) in way of dog jackets and other winter warmers than a Beagle with a thin coat. Also, light-coloured dogs tend to get colder quickly. Yes, really! So do smaller dogs, which isn’t so surprising.
As a general rule, once temperatures start to get to around seven degrees or lower, your dog will begin to feel the cold. Just like with humans, cold temperatures are more obvious to dogs if it’s cloudy, windy, or rainy as well.
Also – if the temperature suddenly drops after lots of warm days, they’ll feel the cold more readily than if they’re accustomed to cold weather.
Dog jackets might be needed at around five degrees or under, if your dog is small, underweight, young, old, sick, or generally feels the cold more than other dogs. And other than dogs designed for cold climates, almost all of them could very well require some extra protection when the temperatures hit freezing.
How to tell if your dog is cold
Of course, the real test of whether to break out the dog jackets is if you know your dog is cold. How do you tell? Here are some signs that your dog’s feeling the chill:
- Curling up
- Cold ears or paws
- Walking stiffly or gingerly. This could be a sign their paws are cold or their joints hurt
- Searching for warmth. If your dog is trying to nuzzle under blankets or lie next to a heater, they’re likely feeling cold.
And then there’s always the common sense rule. If you’re shivering without a warm coat on, have a good think about whether your dog now needs one too.
Dog jackets and other winter buys
So, if you want to invest in some practical and cute winter gear for your dog, where do you start? Luckily, our winter best buys guide has you covered.
Any excuse to spoil pooch, right?
Best dog jackets
A dog jacket is probably the first line of defence against the cold, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outside. They’re available in multiple styles, but here are a few of our favourites:
- Further Faster. They have a huge range of dog jackets to suit dogs who go on all sorts of adventures with their owners. Stretchy pullovers with reflective strips are great for evening walks, and they even have dog windbreakers.
- Jones Dog Coat. Made from performance fleece, this is a quick-dry option which is easy to get on and off. Plus it comes in some pretty fun colours!
- Swanndri Coat. Made with a 100% New Zealand wool outer and soft fleecy inner, this is a dog jacket for the discerning dog owner.
- Canine Calm Coat. Made in New Zealand from merino wool, this patented design aims to keep your dog warm as well as calm by applying even pressure to the chest. If you have a dog who gets nervous or stressed, this might just be the best of both worlds in the colder months.
- Dog PJ’s. If your main aim is to keep your dog warm and toasty in the house, full body dog PJ’s are practical…and cuuuuute. They do also have dog t-shirts for the milder days.
Now that your dog jackets are sorted, what else can you do?
Other winter warmers for dogs
Some dogs need extra protection from the cold, and some dogs really don’t like dog jackets.
If you want to make sure your dog stays cosy and content all winter, here are some more of our favourite chill-busters to invest in:
- Dog heat pads. Because if you get a hot water bottle or electric blanket, why shouldn’t pup? We love the idea of the microwaveable pet heat pads filled with a non-toxic warming gel.
- A warm fuzzy dog blanket. There’s little more comforting than burrowing down under a warm blanket for the day. Your pup may feel the same. That’s why we love this carefully stitched New Zealand lambswool blanket. Just don’t be tempted to steal it from your own dog!
- Self-warming dog bed. A good bed is key to winter comfort. Partly for warmth, and partly to keep those joints and muscles relaxed. This dog bed is made from a thermal, insulating material that reflects your dog’s body heat to keep them warm. The suede material makes it soft and warm to the touch too.
Pet insurance, another winter warmer
Maybe the best thing about all these winter fires, blankets, and cosying up to your loved ones is that you feel safe and protected?
The best dog jackets and winter buys – over to you
What are the best winter investments you’ve made for your dogs? Whether it’s a dog jacket that withstands snow and ice or a sturdy kennel, let us know by sharing a picture or link on Facebook.