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Winter Apparel for Dogs


Winter Jackets for Dogs

Some dogs adore the snow and chilly weather; a Husky is right at home playing a game of fetch in the snow. Other dogs, however, would be content to stay inside a warm cozy home until spring (if they could). If you own a pup who isn’t the biggest fan of the cold, you may be on the hunt for a winter coat for your dog. With a variety of warm clothes for dogs available, there’s something for every pooch.

Puffer Coats

Puffer coats have been popular for the past few years for humans, and the trend is popping up in dog fashions too. Puffer coats make good winter jackets for dogs because of the versatility of the coats. Often the shell of a puffer coat can help repeal rain and wind, while the coat itself is easy to put on – most attach with Velcro. The quilted sections and insulation of a puffer jacket contribute to what makes these coats so cozy.

Look for a puffer coat that is fleece-lined. The cozy fleece will feel soft against Fido’s body, and it will also add more warmth.

Puffer coats are ideal for daily walks around the block and for dogs who need to take care of business but don’t necessarily want to spend a long time actually playing in the snow.

Full Body Snow Jackets

While a puffer coat is great for a cruise down the street, full body snow jackets are great for small dogs (and dogs with thin skin) who want to spend more time outdoors. Unlike the typical vests or puffer jackets, the full body jackets will also cover up the legs which provides extra warmth and protection. The body suit should protect against snow, water, and wind. Ideally, look for a full body jacket that features reflective strips, which can help keep your pup safely visible if the weather turns inclement quickly.

If you live in a particularly cold climate, be sure to choose a dog winter coat that is rated for sub-zero temps. Chilly Dogs, a Canadian company, makes dog coats rated for -30 degrees Celsius.

Full body snow jackets are ideal for dogs who take longer walks on trails and enjoy spending lots of playtime out in the snow.


Winter dog vests are a good choice for dogs who need a little extra warmth but not necessarily the full protection of a full body suit. Vests are easy to slip on even the squirmiest dog; they secure under the belly and over the chest with Velcro or buckles.

Dog vests range from lightweight (offering light protection from cold rain or icy snow) or warmer versions made of fleece. Before committing to a vest, you’ll first have to decide how much your dog will wear it outside (one walk a day or long hikes on weekends) and the weather conditions that you’ll likely encounter in your climate (cold rain or blankets of snow).

Note that sweater vests are available for indoor use too. Sweater vests are particularly nice for small dogs who need that extra warmth during the coldest months of the year. Sweater vests tend to be a little bit trickier to put on since they do require the dog to put his head through a neck hole. While sweater vests aren’t the easiest to put on a pup, there is no shortage of style when it comes to vests: festive holiday sweaters, cable-knits, and enough patterns to suit any dog’s tastes.


In winter, dog shoes are a must for two main reasons:

  • Protection from salt: Whether or not your dog is bothered by the cold, boots are crucial in protecting sensitive paws from salt that may end up along sidewalks and other places your dog frequently walks during winter. If protection from salt is your number one priority, you don’t necessarily need thick treads – a rubbery textured surface of at least .8mm thick will suffice.
  • Protection from ice and cold: Does your dog like to go on icy winter adventures with you? If so, you’ll definitely need to invest in a pair of boots. Good quality boots – with thick treads and anti-slip grips– can be found at many outdoor gear shops such as R.E.I and L.L. Bean.

Regardless of where your pup will be sporting his new shoes, invest in a pair that is weather resistant and has a gaiter high enough to protect your dog’s legs.

Purchasing Winter Apparel

Whether Rover needs a dog coat for winter or new boots (or both!), be sure to take all of the measurements before you place your order. Because sizes may vary from brand to brand, it’s always best to order a jacket based on your dog’s current measurements – not necessarily what size he wears in a different brand.

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