Coats, sweaters, and scarves have also been very fashionable for dogs in recent years. They are available in all colors and shapes, and small dogs in particular like to use them as a fashion accessory – not always to the delight of the four-legged wearer. Dog coats can also bring advantages for both small and large dogs. Provided the coat fits, the dog is used to wearing it, and the coat is functional. It makes sense for dogs without a sufficient undercoat, for sick animals, or dogs with problems in the musculoskeletal system.
When is a dog coat useful?
Dogs nowadays spend a lot of time in heated rooms. As a result, they no longer form as much undercoat as they used to.
Many dog breeds originally come from areas where it cools down far less in winter than in our latitudes. As a rule, such dogs can also keep themselves sufficiently warm through exercise. “However, if they are led on a leash at a slow pace, if they are very young or very old, or if they take frequent breaks, then this can lead to dogs getting cold,” reports Johanna Stadler, chairwoman of the Pfotenhilfe association. In such cases, a coat can help.
In dogs with problems in the musculoskeletal system or when they are ill, the muscles tense up even more in the cold, which is why it can be particularly pleasant for older or sick dogs if they are protected from the cold and wet by a coat.
Dog shoes can also be useful under certain circumstances, which protect dogs with soft or cracked pads from ice and road salt that are too sharp.
Getting used to the dog coat
Initially, many dogs are unfamiliar with putting on and wearing a coat. Therefore, they should not simply be forced into the coat, but rather be lured through with treats for the first few times. “Most dogs are more comfortable if they don’t have to climb in with their paws, but the belly part can be closed on the left and right with fasteners, like a harness.” according to Stadler.
It is not important to dogs what the coat looks like, but rather that it does not restrict their movements. Therefore, the front paws should be cut far enough and the coat must be adjusted so that it does not slip when trotting and running.
The material should be breathable, water-repellent, and lined with fabric or fleece on the inside. There are also special coats that reflect the body’s heat and thus lead to faster muscle heating.
While there is no need for purely fashionable accessories such as printed T-shirts or sweaters, functional coats can be an advantage for dogs in individual cases.