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How to Dress Your Dog for Winter Weather Based on Their Breed
By Canada Pooch on Nov 21, 2022
If you’ve ever wondered how to dress your dog for winter, this comprehensive guide is for you. Almost any dog can benefit from outwear during the winter months. While warmth is the most apparent benefit of winter dog apparel, it is only one of many perks that outerwear offers.
A winter coat or snowsuit also helps to keep your dog clean when out and about in the mud, slush, or snow this season. Outerwear prevents snow, mud, and debris from becoming matted into a dog’s fur and, in turn, keeps your car seats and furniture clean after an outdoor romp!
While there are some obvious dog breeds that need winter coats, cold weather, even dogs with long hair or thick coats can be vulnerable to chills, frostbite, or hypothermia. Generally, if the temperature is at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius), your dog could benefit from cold weather gear. Tinier pups especially are more sensitive to the cold, so you want to make sure you have the proper winter clothes for small dogs at these temperatures.
We’ve created this guide to help you select the best outerwear for your dog this winter. At Canada Pooch, we use a Warm, Warmer, and Warmest scale to highlight how much insulation each of our winter coats and onesies offers. You can use these designations to determine which items make the most sense for your dog based on their breed, size, and coat type.
Single-coated dogs, like Greyhounds, French Bulldogs, and Poodles, are very sensitive to cold temperatures, particularly when their fur is short or cropped. Because these dogs don’t have an undercoat, they often struggle to retain body heat, and this is especially true for small dogs and those with minimal body fat.
If your pup fits this description, large or small dog winter clothes are essential for keeping them nice and toasty during winter walks. Canada Pooch clothing rated “Warmer” or “Warmest” will be your best bet.
The adorable Waterproof Puffer is a stylish winter dog parka that will ensure your pup stays warm and dry on days with precipitation. It has a waterproof shell with heat-sealed quilted fabric and faux-down insulation designed to retain heat. The puffer covers your dog’s belly and has a hood to help keep your pup’s head and neck warm. The dual-velcro closure and toggles along the hem help the parka fit snugly around your dog and prevent cold air from flowing inside. As a bonus, this puffer looks very similar to Aritzia’s Superpuff jacket– if you have one, you and your dog can match! It’s available in three colors, black, violet, and taupe, and comes in sizes 10 through 28.
Another super cozy jacket ideal for single-coated dogs is the True North Parka. This coat has a “warmest” rating and features a water-resistant quilted exterior and a fleece lining. Heavyweight insulation makes this parka robust against cold temperatures, and a dual-velcro closure on the chest helps seal this jacket against wind chill. The True North Parka features a stylish color block design and faux fur trim around the hood. It’s available in four highly-visible colors: reflective, pink, red, and yellow. The parka comes in sizes 8 through 28 and is available in sizes 14+ and 20+ to accommodate barrel-chested breeds like French Bulldogs and Boxers.
Check out other French Bulldog winter clothes in our full French Bulldog Clothes collection.
Short-haired dogs with a single coat, like the breeds mentioned above, will be most sensitive to cold, while short-haired dogs with a double coat, like a Labrador, have the benefit of extra insulation. But even double-coated breeds with short hair will benefit from outerwear during cold weather.
Precipitation, frigid temperatures, and wind can make winter walks punishing even for hardy dogs like Labs. Looking for Labrador winter clothes and don’t know where to start?
The Snow Suit has a “warmer” rating, making it an excellent Labrador winter clothing option for protecting your dog from snow and slush on cold winter days. Really, the Snow Suit is a perfect option for any short-haired pup, featuring a thermal foil lining to help your dog stay warm and a water-resistant exterior to keep them dry. The suit offers full-body coverage and comes in three classic colors: black, red, and pink! It’s available in sizes 8 through 32 and will fit most dogs.
Winter clothes for small dogs with short hair may be especially important since they have less body fat. For dogs like this that are particularly sensitive to cold, such as Pugs, small dog winter clothes like the Alaskan Army Parka offers robust insulation. With a water-resistant exterior, a sherpa lining, and faux-down insulation, this chic parka is ideal for frigid winter days. It comes in Army Green and Salt & Pepper and is available in sizes 8 through 28.
Short-haired dogs are not the only dog breeds that need winter coats. Double-coated dogs, such as Australian Shepherds, Shiba Inus, and Siberian Huskies, benefit from a fine undercoat of fur that provides extra insulation during cold weather. These dogs are generally quite resilient to the cold but could still benefit from extra warmth on particularly cold days.
For active families, dressing your pup in cozy outerwear will extend their playtime on cold winter days. But be mindful not to make your dog too warm, as you don’t want them to overheat!
The Slush Suit is an excellent option for double-coated breeds. The water-resistant exterior will help your dog stay warm and dry during winter play. This onesie is unlined, so while it will help your dog retain warmth, it won’t overwhelm dogs who already have thick coats (such as Huskies). The Slush Suit comes in sizes 8 through 32 and is available in Black, Pink, and Green Camo. On super cold days, layer the Slush Suit over the Thermal Tech Fleece for extra warmth!
The Expedition Coat 2.0 offers additional warmth and is great for double-coated breeds that are smaller and more sensitive to cold weather. Its thermal lining and water-resistant shell give it a “warmest” rating. The Expedition Coat is available in an expanded size range (sizes 8 through 36), so it will fit barrel-chested and giant breeds like Rottweilers or Saint Bernards. It’s available in Reflective Camo, Red Plaid, or Pink Reflective Camo.
Winter poses extra challenges for long-haired dogs. Not only are some long-haired breeds sensitive to cold weather, but playing in snow and mud can create grooming nightmares for these dogs. Dirt, debris, and even snow can become matted in their luxurious coats, requiring tedious grooming sessions once they come back inside. So, outfitting your long-haired dog in the right winter apparel will keep them comfortable both during and after playing outdoors in the cold!
If you’re unsure of how to dress your dog for winter, the Snow Suit is an excellent option for protecting long-haired dogs. It is engineered to retain body heat and keep your dog dry. Plus, the full-coverage design will prevent snow and debris from becoming matted in your pup’s fur. There’s no painful post-play grooming session required! Breeds like Poodles, Spaniels, and Havanese dogs are a few examples of who would most benefit from this cozy onesie!
Keeping Your Dog Comfortable in Winter Weather
Having the right protective gear for winter weather will ensure you and your dog can still enjoy time outdoors together this holiday season. As you shop, consider your dog’s size, age, and coat type to ensure you select the appropriate level of insulation. Remember, small and older dogs are typically most sensitive to cold weather, and your pup’s lifestyle also plays a part in your selection. Think about the excursions you usually take: are you just popping outdoors for potty breaks, or will you be hiking, skiing, or visiting the dog park? Whatever the case, Canada Pooch has all kinds of stylish small and large dog winter clothes to suit your needs!