Do Dogs Need Coats in the Wintertime?

Do you remember what your mother always told you? Put on a coat or you’re going to catch a cold! You may even find yourself berating your own children before they head outside to catch the bus to school. While we as humans most definitely need coats in the wintertime, it gets more complicated with our four-legged friends. Dogs have natural coats, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s enough.

To keep your pup safe and warm this winter, here are some ways to determine if your dog needs to wear some extra layers:


Similar to people, the smaller a dog is, the harder it is for them to retain their body heat. As such, many small or toy dog breeds will need to wear a coat during the winter months. This doesn’t mean that all small dogs require coats or that all large dogs can go without one; it just means that smaller dogs are more likely to need some extra padding.

Fur length and thickness

Perhaps the biggest factor in determining if your dog needs a coat is their own natural coat. Dogs with thick or long fur such as Pomeranians or Huskies can go without a coat. Short-haired dogs, however, will need one as their fur is too thin to keep them warm. It’s like wearing a spring coat during the middle of January—it’ll keep you from freezing, but just barely.

Outside temperature

When it’s 50 degrees out, we typically don’t put on our heaviest winter coat. The same practice goes for your dog. If the temperature is greater than 45 degrees, then you don’t have to worry about your dog bundling up. After that it’ll depend on your dog and how long they plan on staying outside. If it’s 40 degrees and your dog will only be outside for a few minutes, then they won’t need a coat. Anything under 32 degrees, however, no matter how long your dog stays outside, they will need a coat.

At Pauley’s Pups, we want to make sure that all dogs stay safe and warm this winter season. For more tips on how to protect your dogs this winter, give us a call at 804-798-7877.