So far this winter hasn’t been nearly as cold as last year (fingers crossed it stays that way), but we’ve still seen our fair share of chilly days. While many dogs have fluffy coats bolstered by a second undercoat that comes in to keep them warm in the winter, not all breeds have such a luxury. Here are the dog breeds that really need to be wearing jackets outside, according to the experts at Fitdog Sports Club:
The small, shorthaired Chihuahua has a double-whammy in terms of vulnerability to cold: its petite stature and smooth, short coat make for two counts against frigid climates. The breed originated close to the equator in Mexico and became widespread in warm terrain, however, its irresistibility to pet fans far and wide has brought it to chillier environments than that of its home country. Dog jackets and sweaters can help this dog acclimate to colder regions.
This dog’s close-cropped hair and delicate stature mean it’s susceptible in colder weather. As with the Chihuahua, the Greyhound breed originated in a country whose temperatures rarely dipped below 50 degrees: Egypt. As such, the dog breed can withstand warm temps but needs a little help with chill.
The smaller-bodied dogs of the terrier group need an extra layer of warmth during cold days. Those with smooth, short hair – like Rat Terriers or Boston Terriers – especially require protection against the elements. Yorkies, despite their long coats, can benefit from bundling up as well. Clothing can keep their hair from getting wet from rain or touching damp ground helping to keep these dogs drier and warmer on walks.
Mini Pinschers, similar to the other small dog breeds in our list, sport short coats and a thin frame, so the need for weather protection is high. These dogs were bred from a Greyhound variety and maintain similar traits, so like their thin cousins they appreciate extra warmth when stretching their legs.
Like their larger counterpart, Greyhounds, Whippets need insulation against the elements to an even greater degree. Shorter legs mean they’re even closer to the cold ground and thinner frames mean they have a leaner layer of protection. Their need for speed will have them itching to go outdoors in any weather, but they’ll need protection.
Other pups with short hair (and short legs) can benefit from bundling up during winter walks. Additionally, dog breeds with little to no hair naturally will require jackets in the cold. These dogs include Chinese Cresteds, American Hairless Terriers, Xolocuintli and Peruvian Inca Orchids.
With any dog breed in a jacket or sweater, two key tips apply:
1. Keep Dogs Dry. Remove any wet outerwear after snowy or rainy walks. Keeping coats on when wet could lead to hypothermia.
2. Make Sure It Fits. While you want to stay away from tight dog sweaters or jackets that restrict movement, clothing that is too loose will drag on the ground or tangle around little dogs’ legs. Look for a fitted but not-to-tight item of clothing.