When do you blanket... er, put a coat on your dog?
As it's getting cold (finally), I was curious about how everyone uses coats. My dog's shaggy, but I started putting coats on her sometimes as she's gotten older; I splurged on a more expensive heavy coat when she actually started trembling on icy morning walks.
My dog's "Yes, I'm shaggy and look very hardy, but I have arthritis and all this fur takes FOREVER to dry if it gets wet" schedule:
Raining - slicker
Chilly AM, frost - light coat
Wet & chilly - coat with slicker exterior
Winter cold - heavy coat
Snow - heavy coat with sweater underneath
My dog seems to be half bald, she has really coarse hairs that are relatively few in number, and she grows almost no hair at all on her underside. She's generally okay when we're actively walking around. But when it gets cold out then as soon as we stop for a minute, like when we're waiting for my son to come out after school, then she shivers.
As a general rule, though, I think when it's around freezing (32F) or colder, then I put her coat on.
Last edited by Wayside; Nov. 5, 2011 at 02:05 PM.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
My dog is a house dog, and a shih tzu mix that I keep groomed pretty short, so as soon as it hits freezing (0 C/32 F) she has her winter blanket on when we are outside I do have a lighter, spring blanket for her to help keep her clean in the mud and rain when it's warmer than freezing.
She also has boots for when it's really cold (if it's -30 C/-22 F I put them on her, even though at those temps it's just to run outside to pee and come back in, but her paws still get sore from even that in those temps).
Ok, almost never. I raise Springer Spaniels...LOTS of hair. These dogs beg to go swimming in almost all temps. Last winter, Bumper was 13 and arthritic. We had to keep her clipped short so she wouldn't overheat indoors, and as a result i bought her a coat to go outside in.
We had Bumper put down on Tuesday (RIP pretty girl!) and i doubt her coat will see any use until i have another old dog. Her daughter, Little Sis, is 9 1/2 so she might be the next to use it.
Below zero temps are the norm in winter. I just don't leave them out as long then.
Now, if i owned a thin skinned, short haired dog? I'd likely have a different answer. but then, living in Montana i wouldn't OWN a thin skinned, short coated dog for that very reason.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama
Good question! We have several dog coats but rarely remember to use them! We did acquire our newest doggie this summer, and now that I think about the cold weather, she really should need a coat. She's a poodle schnauzer mix with thin, fine hair. Now I wonder if, in our collection, we have a coat small enough for her... :-)
But to answer your questions, we used to blanket them if it was drizzling during our walks, with a fleece lined water repellent jacket. If we had the parents' Boston terrier, she wore a bomber style (fleece lined as well) jacket basically any time it was under 50F. She has a very obvious weather preference, which is about 80-60F. Anything outside of those temps and she's miserable!
We also have put on jackets when snow happens... Which is rare for us!
I have Jack Russells: 2 smooth coats, 2 rough coats and a 3 month old puppy who will be a rough coat when she gets bigger. All them wear the Thermatex Dog Coats from Horse Country which is great for warmth, is basically water proof and uber comfortable.
My smooth coats want to wear their blankets @ 50 deg or less, and the roughs about 45 if they're going to be outside for any length of time. If they stay over night in the car (like at our Nationals last weekend) they wear them overnight. No matter how cold it is outside, with a snuggle safe and thermatex coat they are very comfortable in the car.
Disclaimer: the puppy doesn't travel with us yet and spent last weekend snuggling in front of a fire with my cousin!
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my dog gets cold easily (lab, short coat) so anything raining she gets her rain sheet. She has a lined blanket for colder weather (30 and below). They are the miniature horse blanets (Tough 1) from Schneiders.
I have three fuzzy dogs and two blackmouth curs-the curs are single coated and short haired. They go out in all weather-as long as they keep moving they're fine. I've covered up a dog when they're wet and cold when we're camping but never a dog coat, ever. If it's close to or below 0* their feet will get cold so I don't take them out for a long time then but in temps down to say 15* they go outside just fine. I don't leave them out there, they are with us while we do chores or on a walk.