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Do Dogs Really Need Sweaters for Snow?
Apr 20, 2018

Do dogs get cold in snow? You may have wondered this when bundling your furbaby up in his or her favorite coat or sweater before a walk.

Well, if you want to start a great debate, ask a group of dog lovers: “Do dogs need winter sweaters?” You’re sure to get a ton of different answers!

Do Dogs Need Winter Coats?

Some people claim dogs don’t need winter jackets because:

  • Dogs come naturally equipped with layers of fat and with a thick coat to keep them warm.
  • Dogs use naturally use some behaviors to stay warmer. For example, they will curl in on themselves.
  • For many generations, dogs did not wear coats or sweaters and functioned well.


On the other side of the divide are the following arguments:

  • There’s the obvious argument that some dog coats, shirts and sweaters are made with logos and prints that are pretty obviously made to be adorable. You can’t help but put them on your dog.  
  • Dogs might shiver, just like humans, which indicates they are cold and may need an extra layer.
  • As our climate conditions get more extreme, dogs may not be able to stay warm as easily.
  • There’s also the additional problem of domestication. Over time, we may have bred out some of dogs’ natural resiliency or some of the instincts they use for keeping warm. 


Will My Dog Get Too Cold?

If you’re wondering whether or not dogs need coats in the winter, here are some things to consider:  

  1. Breed

Some breeds are from cold climates. Newfoundlanders, for instance, were bred in Newfoundland, Canada, where high snow drifts and icy winds off the ocean are the norm during the winter. Huskies are used to pull dog sleds and love the snow. These and other dogs have thick fur which makes winter fun and not a chore for them.

On the other hand, Chihuahuas are from Mexico and have thin coats. Many toy dogs are either originally from warm climates or have been bred with thin coats that might not stand up to cold weather.



  1. Coat and Grooming

If you keep your dog’s fur trimmed very short, they may need a coat because you have removed the fur that would keep them warm.


  1. Age and Health

Older dogs and dogs with some health conditions may feel the cold more intensely, just like humans. Talk to your vet if you’re not sure if your dog needs a little extra help staying warm. Also, keep a close eye on your dog when you go for a walk. If your furbaby shivers, they’re probably cold.


  1. Where You Live

If you live in a cold climate with snow and ice, your dog is likely to need at least an extra layer. He or she may need booties to protect from salt and sand on the roads, too. If you live in a very moderate climate, sweaters may be more of a fashion statement.


Don’t forget some dogs may even be cold at home, especially if you turn the heat down when you go to work. Furbo Dog Camera is an HD and night-vision camera, communication system and interactive treat dispenser. It lets you check in on your furry family member at any time, so you can make sure they are cozy and safe. Check out Furbo today if you want to keep an eye on your fur kid!

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