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Do dogs really need coats?

Do dogs really need coats? (or are they just a fashion fad?)

Are dog coats a necessity or a bit of a fashion statement? Not all dogs need coats, but certain breeds, senior dogs, and young pups can really benefit from a spot of canine couture to keep the elements at bay. 

Hairless dogs, short-coated breeds, senior dogs, and puppies all benefit from a coat or jumper in foul weather. Dogs who suffer from joint pain or arthritis can find the cold hard to bear, and an extra layer can allow them to enjoy their walks and even their snuggles indoors when the cold weather hits. 

It’s a misconception that only little dogs need coats. In fact, some of our favourite larger breeds are also surprisingly susceptible to feeling the cold. Great Danes and Vislas, for example, have short fine hair and can expend a lot of energy trying to keep warm.

What is your dog’s natural coat like, and what climate do they hail from?

Your dog’s natural coat is a good indicator of whether they will need a dog coat or jumper when the weather takes a bitter turn. 

Some dog breeds are built for colder weather. Our Huskies, Newfoundlands, and Malamutes, for example, thrive in lower temperatures with big full natural coats built to keep them warm even in freezing temperatures. 

Single coated breeds like Boston Terriers and Greyhounds feel the cold and can quickly get the shivers on chilly dog walks.  

Our little legged breeds like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and French Bulldogs are closer to the ground and are prone to getting wet belly syndrome! A well-fitted dog fleece that wicks moisture away from their low-hanging tums is a good solution for keeping little dogs both warm and dry. 

Breeds who hail from warmer climates such as Basenjis, Chihuahuas, and Ibizan Hounds love nothing more than a lounge around in the sunshine. So when temperatures drop, they need an extra layer to feel comfortable. 

14 Dog breeds who feel the cold (and would benefit from a dog coat)

  1. Dachshund (even long-haired Daxies feel the cold as their coat is not thick)
  2. Beagles
  3. French Bulldogs
  4. Poodles and Poodle mixes (despite their floofy appearance, any water soaks straight through to their skin, making them susceptible to feeling the chill)
  5. Pugs
  6. Chihuahua
  7. Greyhounds
  8. Whippets
  9. Chinese Crested
  10. Boston Terrier
  11. Boxer
  12. Great Dane
  13. Basenji
  14. Miniature Pinscher

Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs are not great at regulating their own body temperatures in hot or cold weather. They need special care to keep them at a comfortable temperature all year around. 

The same can be said of both puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with health conditions. They need a helping hand to stop them from both getting too hot and too cold. 


What about long-haired breeds?

Although longer coated breeds may not feel the cold as much as our short-haired dogs, they can still benefit from a coat to protect their fur from mud, rain, and snow. 

If you have a Spaniel, a Shih Tzu, or another breed with gorgeous flowing locks, then mud season can feel neverending. Managing daily baths and grooming the mud out of your dog’s coat is time-consuming, messy, and not much fun for most dogs either. 

A dog fleece can help reduce the mud you bring home, leaving just your dog’s paws in need of a quick rinse. It can also help reduce matting when mud or snow binds fur together in a stubborn knot. 

7 Benefits of a dog fleece or coat

  • Keeps your dog warm and comfortable
  • Repels water away from your dog’s body
  • Keeps mud to a minimum
  • Protects from the cold of the snow and clumps of snow fur
  • Keeps joints warm - great for dogs with arthritis and joint pain
  • Reduces cleaning and drying time post walkies
  • Keeps a fashion conscientious dog looking stylish!

Signs your dog is cold and could benefit from a coat

If your dog is reluctant to go out for a walk when the weather takes a turn, or if they’re slower than usual or keep stopping on your walk, then your dog may be feeling the cold. 

An obvious sign that your dog is cold is, of course, shivering. If the weather is particularly cold, then layer up with a dog coat or fleece and prepare for a warm-up and a snuggle down once you get home. 

Is a dog fleece jumper better than a coat?

Our dog fleeces are designed to be both functional and stylish. The material wicks away moisture from your dog’s body, stopping them from getting utterly soaked to the bones in the great British weather. 

Our fleece jumpers are also designed to be a snug fit so that your dog retains complete freedom of movement. There are no flaps or zips getting in the way of them having a whale of a time, whatever the weather.

There is no velcro or fastenings, which can be particularly off-putting for noise sensitive dogs.  This also means less room for wear and tear; our dog fleece jumpers are made to last. 

How to measure your dog for a dog fleece

To get the perfect fit for your dog’s fleece, it is best to measure your dog before ordering. Don’t worry, it’s really quite simple.

Grab a tape measure and pick a time when your dog is calm enough to stand still for a few minutes! You want to measure around the deepest part of your dog’s chest, from the bottom of their neck to their tail, and from their neck to their chest. 

Use our simple picture guide below for guidance. 

Merlin Pullover Fleece Size Guide

Browse our heritage dog fleece jumpers here and keep your dog warm, dry, and looking top-notch on every dog walk.