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Dog jacket - necessary or fashion item

(46 Posts)
MTBMummy Tue 29-Oct-13 12:17:31

So we're waiting on the final home check before hopefully getting a long wanted puppy, and I'm trying to draw up a shopping list of all we need, and I've drawn a blank when it comes to dog jackets.

I know some people scoff at the idea, and others say it's cruel to not get them, so for a 16 week old pup (pointer x) with quite short hair (think doberman type coat) but with a slim build, would you get a dog jacket and do you just go for something that is water proof, or something fleece based?

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 29-Oct-13 12:19:39

At the risk of sounding mean ... is their fur not sufficient for the purposes of cold?

Greydog Tue 29-Oct-13 12:19:42

I have a greyhound, also slim with not much hair, and a dog coat is a necessity. We have a fleece coat and a waterproof. Get both!

mistlethrush Tue 29-Oct-13 12:23:09

Some short coated dogs are quite OK with no coat - and some need them - its the density of the fur that really matters - most JRs for instance (when young at least) wouldn't need them. Vizlas, Weimeraners etc - again, normally fine - but anything that's getting towards greyhound might well need one. However, at the moment he's going to simply grow out of anything you get him anyway - if he needs it for warmth, try making something from a DC's old jumper or an old fleece to last him out. You might need to get a waterproof if you're going to need to walk him in the rain (ie can't choose when to walk during the day).

If you do get something I would suggest getting something practical rather than 'fashionable' with that mix of dog. wink

basildonbond Tue 29-Oct-13 12:34:15

my sister's springer/lab x wears a coat when it's very cold - she's got very short fur and is very slim (verging on skinny as she's so neurotic she can't put on weight ...) so feels the cold - most of the year she's fine but below about 3C she struggles

it's definitely not a fashion item though!

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 29-Oct-13 12:37:36

Ok, I have a dog with a thick coat so I'm not the right person!

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 29-Oct-13 12:39:02

I have the same cross, Basildon. Mine's a chunky monkey though - short fur but thick coat. I wonder if he does need an extra layer though.

everlong Tue 29-Oct-13 12:48:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MTBMummy Tue 29-Oct-13 12:57:09

Thanks all for the fast responses.

I would never dream of "dressing my dog up" I think that takes it a a whole new level, but some practical and warm, I could be swayed on. The reason I ask is SIL has had dalmatian, whippet, greyhound and JRT's and all have had coats. I thought a pointer coat should be ok, but when I see her JRT or Dalmatian in a coat I think would I be cruel not to get a coat?

I think I'll definitely get a waterproof, as you never know when we're going to have weeks of wet weather, and winter is approaching, but I'm quite handy with a sewing machine, so may try and fashion a fleece myself - I hadn't thought about the growth spurt

Thanks for the very useful advice

mistlethrush Tue 29-Oct-13 13:17:27

I've found a 3 peaks one very good in terms of durability and practicality (waterproof) although I've now got a made to measure one for my lurcher as she's so long. Most dalmations I've met don't need them - but most greyhounds do.. really depends on their coat (and whippets always need a coat too!)

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 29-Oct-13 13:26:05

I live in Canada in the mountains - we have about 5 months of snow a year. Even in -30 my dogs don't wear coats. We do occasionally see dogs in boots so that their pads don't freeze to the ice. When we moved here, their coat was sparse - after a couple of winters, they have easily adapted and their coats are much thicker for the colder months. Nature is very clever.

We just go for shorter walks when it's below about -20.

I don't mind seeing dogs in coats and boots - but it does say 'town house pet' rather than 'come run in the woods with me!' We tried boots with our previous dog when we moved here the first time (kleine munsterlander) as she was getting snow build up between her toes and it was uncomfortable. She found the boots even more uncomfortable and tried to chew them off every time, so we haven't bothered since. We just used to stand her in an inch of lukewarm water to melt the snow away when we got back in.

TotallyBursar Tue 29-Oct-13 13:31:15

If you have ever seen a dog kept outside you will see the difference in coat and good laying down of fat - even between heated/non heated sheds and kennels.

Most owners of pet dogs keep them inside a centrally heated house for 90 % of their time so they don't get the very dense thick coats they would otherwise have. Most heavily coated dogs that are kept in this country actually struggle in the summer and manage even cold winters very well if you ensure their skin is kept dry.
Short, medium or single coated dogs may need help to get through a cold winter in good condition - if exercised well then they will stay warm when out and moving but you will notice a marked drop in weight if you don't increase their food.
Most issues arise in the way we need to have them with us - periods of not belting about or waiting on a school run means they drop temp very quickly outside after running around and will get cold, particularly if they are wet.

We take our dogs in the car often to and from particular walks - the car doesn't get warm very quickly, they will get chilled and noticeably uncomfy if in the buff. So, we use a fleece lined jacket for the poorly coated spaniel and Dane (for joint protection mostly) and waterproof jackets for the better coated spaniel, Flatcoats and the Rotties/Staffies. We keep an eye on fat and this works well for us with a small increase in food. If I used fleece jackets for them all I would have overheating issues.

I think that novel condenses as - yeah, what you said blush. Sorry!

Tillypo Tue 29-Oct-13 13:47:04

I have three dogs and they all have the three peaks waterproof coats they have a lining so it also keeps them warm. I wouldn't go out without a coat in the cold and rain so don't take my dogs without theirs. I do agree that if dogs are kept outside that they are used to the weather but when they live inside with the heating on they should have coats on imo.

kaysee020 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:52:36

I have 2 dogs. One (Cairn terrier) never wears a coat as his fur is so thick, but the second one (Staffie X) does as he is short haired and feels the cold. I think it is down to the individual dog and his/her needs.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Tue 29-Oct-13 14:36:47

Totally, that's really useful, thanks. I don't think ArseDog gets cold easily, but there are times in the winter when, after a walk, he might be in the car for an hour whilst I run errands, so I might well invest so as to keep my baby cost!

NCISaddict Tue 29-Oct-13 14:42:06

I've had labs, Springers and border collies and I think they would all have got heatstroke if I put them in coats as they all rushed around like mad things. I think a pointer should be fine as they're bred for outdoor work unless you are going to make them stand around for hours in the cold.

DukeSilver Tue 29-Oct-13 14:44:34

Totally necessary for my pretty much bald greyhound grin He literally refused to walk in the rain with out it on (and sometimes with it on if he is being particularly annoying). The red bobble hat he also wears isn't really necessary, but it does look good grin.

Floralnomad Tue 29-Oct-13 14:45:29

I have my Patterdale clipped every 6/8 weeks for convenience so he has an Equafleece jumper and an Equafleece coat that he wears in the cold/wet ,even clipped I'm sure he'd be ok without them but TBH its much easier if he is not getting soaked all over 3 x a day in the winter .

SnakeyMcBadass Tue 29-Oct-13 14:53:57

I use a waterproof coat on the spaniel in really bad weather in a bid to keep my house more a dwelling and less a swamp. He doesn't really need one for warmth, but gets cold if he's wet (and tries to swim even if the water in question is frozen over). The cockerpoo has a proper coat that is both waterproof and warm. He has a poodle coat, and is less than 6kg, and if he gets wet he loses heat incredibly fast. He wears his coat much more than the spaniel.

fanoftheinvisibleman Tue 29-Oct-13 15:09:10

My Border (born end july 12) had the 3 peaks coat for the start of the winter last year but that was it. He made his distaste for it known and never seemed cold despite keeping a short coat of his own.

I won't bother this year but I have packed in hand stripping for this winter. We are going feral!

MTBMummy Tue 29-Oct-13 15:21:56

Thanks all - the 3 peaks ones look really good. I think it's definitely worth while just in case. Pup will definitely be a indoor dog, so I'm not expecting him to tough it out

MTBMummy Tue 29-Oct-13 15:23:28

I think the main reason is some walks will be done with DD who at 4 isn't the fastest in the world, especially in bad weather, so it'll be useful to have it just in case, if I find he's getting too hot, I'll definitely ditch the coat

NCISaddict Tue 29-Oct-13 16:16:30

I would worry that any coat mine wore would get caught up on branches etc as we always walk in woodland/common but if they're on the lead then that won't happen.

digerd Tue 29-Oct-13 17:52:01

In Germany we also had -18, but was a dry cold. No dogs wore coats. Most dogs have a double coat - a thick undercoat and a waterproof top coat. The coat is well oiled to help this insulation and should not be bathed in the winter.
A few breeds do not have much if any undercoat, mostly the toy breeds. It is the wet more than the cold that can be of concern, but while walking, running about they are fine.
A dog's blood temperature, despite the fur coat is 1 degree higher than humans - my vet told me.

mistlethrush Tue 29-Oct-13 18:04:02

The 3 Peaks one managed to survive my last dog - and is occasionally used on mistlehound too and doesn't look worn.

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