This question is one that the minds differ on: Does winter clothing make sense for the dog, yes or no? “After all, the dog is descended from the wolf and you have probably never seen it walking through the forest in a winter coat”, “Nature still dresses the dog best – with a warm fur.” may be the more innocent answers to the question. A research on the Internet also shows the division of dog lovers, so you can find pros and cons on the subject alike. Some animal rights activists even speak of “not species-appropriate” when it comes to the question of winter clothing. Accordingly, it is ok for old and sick dogs to want to protect them with warm clothing during winter walking, but for all other dogs this is not appropriate to the species and even irritating for the dog.
Dogs with lush undercoat do not need a winter coat
The fact is: most dogs have a change of fur in autumn and a winter coat grows for them. Due to hormonal reasons, the undercoat becomes thicker during the change of fur and keeps the dog warm even in colder temperatures. The fact is that dogs can also catch a cold or develop a bladder infection and therefore keep moving in cold temperatures and should not sit on the cold floor for too long.
But: Not all dogs have undercoat
But the fact is also that not all dog breeds have undercoat. For example, Yorkshire Terriers or the Mexican Chihuahua, which was bred for a warm climate, cannot use this natural protection against the cold in winter. In addition, especially small breeds, whose mostly sparsely hairy belly is very close to the ground due to their small size, can freeze and cool quickly. And not only smaller dogs are affected, larger dog breeds like Dalmatian, German Boxer or Doberman have such a thin coat that they simply lack enough undercoat and they can cool down.
The question can probably not be answered with a blanket and not only for old and sick dogs with “yes””.
The vet advises that
The veterinarian of office dog Oskar, a Yorkshire Terrier, then urgently recommended in a bitterly cold winter to put on a coat or a sweater for the dog when going for a walk. And I gladly followed his recommendation. Even if I always wanted to avoid putting on Oskar clothes and thus possibly fulfilling one of the (usually not applicable) clichés regarding this dog breed. But my dog’s health comes first. Because he is no longer a wolf, but a dog who knows no other way than to spend the winter together with me in our heated apartment.
The discussion of the question of winter clothes for the dog should not be “black and white”. Rather, factors such as breed, age and possible diseases that can weaken the dog should be used to make decisions. You cannot stubbornly follow a paradigm here, but should above all do justice to your dog. In particular, this includes placing functionality before fashionable aspects. The point here is not to give the dog a fashionable accessory, but to protect it. A dog coat or sweater should therefore be sufficiently warm, not press, and above all not restrict the dog’s freedom of movement. And if in doubt, ask the vet.