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Dog coat shopping

As published in Canadian Dogs Annual
Dog coat shopping

Shopping for a dog coat can sometimes be a daunting tasks. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect balance between quality, fit and fashion.

Whatever the weather, it’s important to make sure your dog gets some outdoor exercise every day. When it’s cold or wet, you can make his walks more comfortable and enjoyable by fitting him out with a warm, waterproof dog coat.

“Domestic dogs are no longer bred to withstand the tough climates they are often exposed to,” says Stephanie King, Marketing Coordinator for Greenhawk, makers of Shedrow dog coats. “Coats prevent moisture buildup on wet and cold days.”

The coat you choose depends on your dog’s breed and hair type, although protection against the elements is helpful for any pooch. “If you have a dog with shorter hair, he will need a coat with more fill, while a dog with thick hair may only need a shell or other lighter material,” says Stephanie.

Shop smart

  1. The first rule of thumb when shopping for a dog coat is to go for good quality. Look for top quality materials finished with practical details to make them functional.
  2. “You also need to determine how much fill you want the coat lined with (or if you need any fill at all),” adds Stephanie. A Beagle will need a warmer and thicker coat than a Siberian Husky, for example.
  3. Look at how the coat fastens. Is it going to be easy to put on and take off? Are the fasteners durable and adjustable? Does it have stretchy back leg straps to keep the coat from twisting and turning during wear? Some coats have reflective piping, great if you walk your dog late at night or early in the morning.
  4. The coat must also be properly fitted to your dog. If it doesn’t fit right, it’ll be uncomfortable and could even be harmful if it’s too tight around his middle, or so loose he can wriggle out of it. Check the company’s sizing chart to find the right back length and chest measurement for your own dog. Check the fit on a regular basis and adjust or replace the coat when it gets too small for him.
  5. Now that the practicalities have been taken care of, you can consider fashion. “A coat with fun patterns and colours is a great way to show off your style,” Stephanie says.

By fitting your best friend out with a good quality weatherproof dog coat, you’ll be protecting him from the worst of the elements when you’re out and about. A warm, dry dog is a happy dog!

Getting him used to it

If your dog or puppy has never worn a dog coat before, Stephanie recommends:

  • Getting your dog accustomed to the sound of the Velcro fastening before putting the coat on. Each time you “rip” the Velcro, give him a treat so he comes to associate the sound with something good – this is positive reinforcement training.
  • Gently placing the coat on your dog and using positive reinforcement to help get him acclimatized to the sensation. Make sure he is completely accustomed to the coat before you take him out for his first walk in it.
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