After growing up in NC with golden retrievers, I never thought I'd own a dog who needed any kind of jacket or sweater...but I've ended up with a boxer-mix with zero-tolerance for cold or wet. We have a covered porch...and on rainy mornings, she will sit on the porch and glare at you until you put on her raincoat or drag her off for a potty trip. Cold mornings, you open the door, she sticks her head out, then turns right around and sits on the heating vent rather than go outside. As a result, she's ended up with an assortment of raincoats, sweaters, and coats. She was not a big fan of coats at first...but now would rather keep her coat on when she comes in than let you take it off.
I will admit that the horse and the dog now have matching winter "coats"...
My pit-type mix (54lb of solid muscle) has the thermo manager coat from smartpak, and I'm looking into getting a raincoat. The past few days it was in the teens with windchills around 0, so I thought she could use an extra layer, especially considering she has pretty much no fat anywhere.
She doesn't seem to mind the coat, and I'm actually looking into getting something waterproof so that we don't have to skip walks on cold rainy days (she NEEDS to be walked haha).
Here's a picture from our walk today: Fergie
We have a collection of dog blankets and sweaters but rarely use them. Granted our climate is hardly ever below freezing...
We don't put the heat on in our house unless we're seriously cold. Only two of the dogs seem to appreciate clothing- one of the schnoodles whose coat is very fine and thin, and the weimaraner. The schnoodle will shiver in the cold, but the weim just acts particularly obnoxious- climbing on top of the other dogs on the dog beds, sitting on them, or shoving his nose under their stomachs... or trying to sit on my knees. The extra layer lets him cuddle up and stay asleep, which everyone else also appreciates.
The dogs don't wear them while exercising, though I would probably put one on them if they went for walks in the early morning.
I'll admit I bought a dog snood for the Weimy as well. It's a neck warmer/ear cover... And totally unnecessary but way too goofy looking to pass up! Can't wait to get it in the mail!
Oh I'll add that we do use the jackets on our adoptable dogs at adoption events in cold weather. Many of the small dogs and pitties shiver without them, even on dog beds. The ex pens aren't big enough for them to move around and warm up, so the jackets are necessary!
After poking around at some dog/pet stores locally, shockingly enough it turns out some of the horse manufacturer dog blankets are much less expensive! She's got a rain sheet from Schneider's on the way (if it's good enough for the horse!...), and I'm debating tossing one of the newmarket fleeces from Smartpak in our order, since it's inexpensive. But being out for walks doesn't seem to bother her, and the kind of cold we're experiencing in NoVA right now isn't something we see regularly.
She did really enjoy her trip to the dog store, though! They made a huge fuss over her, and she got some fancy treats and an elk antler that she's just gone crazy for, in addition to the food we went in for :) She's such a wonderful addition to the family!
Thanks, all, for the advice as I try not to go overboard with the stuff for her!
Here a couple of pics of my spoiled girl. Two when I first got her and one when she was a little older.
Oh yeah...Schneiders and Smartpak are the only places I buy my dog coats :) Though I did have a custom coat made for my blue girl as she needs double thickness!!
I used to have a bald blue dobe that literally lived in a coat. She wanted it on all the time. Unless it was 90 out and sunny.
All of my dogs coats have come from here. Their prices are the best I have seen. Currently we have the Amigo (show) and a Rambo (barn). Mine goes out in the yard without coat when I know she can come back in and get warm easily. Barn/show or errands gets a coat for sitting in the car.
I have also had the a newmarket fleece one for a previous dog, but the hair was always stuck in the coat and I actually think it was too warm (mini aussie with thin coat) for her. It was a great coat though and held up well.
Once you really get into the dog clothes thing, look for one of these:
(revoltingly expensive, but we found ours on sale!). They're the only thing I've ever found that actually keeps the underside of the dog clean at the barn. Zipper takes a little getting used to, and my old lady has trouble getting her front paws into the sleeves at age 15 -- but if she could still wear it, she'd be in it all the time.
Ms Yorkie prefers her (hand knit) sweater layered underneath a midweight horse-style dog coat in hot pink. If I could, I'd post a picture, she's way too cute.
This is where I got my custom coat made (for less than the one in the link!).
Had to bump this up with a few pictures of said weimaraner in doggy snood. I think he looks quite dapper (snort)
And the reverse side, ears covered
As an FYI, Smartpak as their Newmarket fleece dog coat on sale for $9.99! It looks like there are only mediums left today; I ordered one yesterday, because at that price, I couldn't say no! With the barn buddies system, it's getting embroidered with her name and shipped to the barn, all for under $10 total :D
I guess cheap shopping made my dog coat/blanket decisions for me! Both a rain coat from Schneiders and a fleece from Smartpak, for less than the local big box petstores are charging for one of those! And I just got an email that her new leather collar and nametag is on its way from Quillens :)
I'm with Wendy in that I don't think that there are many dogs that NEED a blanket. (although I acknowledge that there are some thin coated low body fat dogs that do need them) Most people just like to dress up their dogs. If I were to have my schnauzers coats stripped out completely in the winter then I would get them a coat....as with horses if I were to clip/strip the winter coat away and leave them with nothing I'd blanket them when outside.
I'm also of the opinion that you'll see if the dog needs a coat. Our bichon(!) would only shiver on the coldest days of winter, otherwise she'd be out exploring the yard, not a care in the world. My sister's Dobie, however, shivered even inside the house. She spent pretty much all winter in a fleece coat and got literally tucked under her comforter at night.
It depends on how long you will be outside and how cold. My two (old lab, bc/hound) are warm and happy on their daily off leash runs through the woods (45-60 mins) even when it's 0*. They're also fine spending time outside exploring the yard. But when I bring them to the barn, anything under 30* and they get cold, even though they have really dense coats. Sitting around doing nothing for hours is cold for any species!
I think keeping them dry is more important then warm. My little dog needed a rain coat to walk if it was raining. She runs lots but when her fur was wet she would shiver. I sucked it up and got the ruffwear raincoat because it covers the belly. Her whole body stays dry and she can still enjoy running around in the rain. It does cover her butt as well and she is super active and runs and jumps and it doesn't affect her movement at all. She has a cheap fleece blanket that she doesn't like nearly as much.