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Most dogs will appreciate a coat when walking in inclement weather, but some may require a little extra protection.
Typical dog coats usually have a poncho-like design, which shields a dog’s back, neck, and head, but some coats also feature legs, which will help keep your dog’s lower extremities warm and dry.
But some coats with legs are better than others, so it is important that you compare the various options carefully, and pick one that will work well for your pup.
We’ll talk about some of the things you may want to look for in a coat with sleeves and recommend five of the best options below.
Do Dogs Really Need Coats?
Some dogs were bred to live in the coldest and wettest weather Old Man Winter can throw at them, so coats aren’t always necessary. For example, huskies, malamutes, sled dogs and similar, long-haired, double-coated breeds will usually remain comfortable even when snow covers the ground.
But, most other dogs can become chilled when the mercury falls, and they’ll appreciate a little extra insulation during winter walks. This is especially true for short-haired breeds and those without an undercoat like boxers, beagles, and pit bulls. However, coats are most important for small dogs, who are particularly susceptible to the cold.
Even if the temperatures in your area don’t plummet terribly far during the winter, you may want to provide your dog with a water-proof coat if rain is common. Wet dogs can become chilled very easily, so it is always a good idea to keep your dog dry while going for walks.
Dogs Who May Benefit Most from a Coat with Legs
Most dog coats have very short “sleeves,” which don’t really offer any protection for your dog’s legs.
While these types of coats may be fine for moderately cool temperatures, your dog may require additional coverage to cope with very cold weather. Coats featuring sleeves are perfect for such occasions.
Sleeves are especially important for some dogs, including those who meet the following criteria:
Very Small Size
Generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the more important it is to keep him warm. Very small dogs radiate body heat into the air remarkably quickly, so you have to bundle them up to keep them warm. Sleeves are usually a good idea for Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Papillons and other dogs with single-digit body weights.
Even though they are fairly large, Weimaraner’s, Dalmatians and other long-legged breeds may benefit from a full-body coat which shields their legs from the cold winter air. Your dog’s legs effectively work like radiators and constantly let body heat escape, so it is important to give these types of dogs the extra protection sleeves provide.
Dogs with Hip, Knee or Elbow Problems
Dogs who have joint issues may benefit from a little extra warmth, so sleeves are often a good idea. By keeping your dog’s hips, knees and elbows warm, your dog may experience less pain and enjoy greater range-of-motion while walking around in cold weather.
Dogs Who Love to Splash Around or Play in the Snow
Some dogs love to splash in every puddle they encounter or jump into every pile of snow they can find. And, while fun, this can cause their legs to become soaking wet, which can cause them to catch a chill. But coats with sleeves will allow your pup to play the way he wants to, while still keeping him relatively dry in the process.
Things to Look for When Purchasing a Coat
No matter what type of dog you have or what the temperatures are like in your area, you’ll always want to consider a few key factors when making your decision.
This will help ensure you get a high-quality coat, which will keep your little canine cozy.
Your dog’s coat will get dirty over time, so you’ll need to wash it regularly. While you can wash virtually any coat by hand in your sink, this will quickly become a tedious chore. Accordingly, it is almost always preferable to select a machine-washable coat, to save yourself some time and effort.
Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions to ensure it holds up the way it is intended. For example, some machine-washable coats must only be washed in cold water and some are not designed to be put in the dryer.
A coat isn’t very helpful if it doesn’t keep your dog warm, so you’ll want to select a coat that provides plenty of insulation. However, it is always important to strike a balance between insulation and mobility, as some coats are so thick and bulky that they can make it tough for your dog to move around.
It’s always a good idea to make your pup as visible to motorists as possible, but it is especially important to do so in the types of low-light conditions that are common in the winter. Some good coats feature reflective or glow-in-the-dark patches, while others rely on reflective stitching to catch the eye of nearby drivers.
Removable Sleeves and Hood
Sleeves may be great during really cold or wet weather, but they aren’t always necessary – they may even make your dog too hot in mild temperatures. Because of this, it’s often preferable to select a coat with removable sleeves, so that you can adjust it to suit the current conditions.
Similarly, removable hoods are often a nice feature, as some dogs simply don’t like them, and will put up less of a fuss if provided with a hoodless coat.
Adjustable Leg Straps
Adjustable leg straps help to provide a better fit and prevent the sleeves from creeping up your dog’s legs. This is especially helpful for keeping the coat’s rear sleeves in place.
Even if snow is on the ground and few cars are on the road, you still need to keep your little pooch safe, so you must select a coat that will work with his leash and collar or harness.Fortunately, most high-quality dog coats will either feature a metal ring to which you can attach the leash or a slit in the back of the coat, through which you can access your dog’s harness.
The Five Best Dog Coats with Legs
The following five coats should keep your little four-footer’s legs warm while you go on walks or play outside. Just be sure to select one that addresses your dog’s specific needs.
The Casual Canine Dog Snowsuit is a convertible coat that can be altered to suit the weather conditions and your dog’s needs. When the weather is especially cold or inhospitable, your dog will enjoy the warmth the full-body design provides; but when the weather is a little warmer, you can remove the rear legs and hood to keep your dog comfortable.
Features: The Casual Canine Snowsuit is a machine-washable (hang dry) garment that features a nylon poly-filled shell to keep your dog insulated and warm. It also features a Velcro closure along the belly to keep the coat snug and block out the snow, wind, and water.
The Casual Canine Snowsuit is available in two colors (Blue and Red) and six different sizes(extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large).
The DogHelios Thunder-Crackle Full-Body Jacket is a premium winter coat, designed to keep your dog warm and dry in even the worst weather conditions. A water- and wind-proof coat, the DogHelios Full-Body Jacket features a number of high-tech design features and materials to keep your dog comfortable.
The DogHelios Thunder-Crackle Jacket features a thick, anti-static fleece liner to help trap your dog’s body heat, while the outer shell is a designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and frigid temperatures. The outer shell also features reflective 3M technology to keep your dog visible during low-light conditions.
The top of the jacket features a zipper closure to make it easy to put on or take off your dog. Additionally, the zipper is covered by a Velcro-closure, which helps prevent drafts and retain your dog’s body heat. Adjustable straps on each leg help ensure a good fit, and a slit on the upper back allows you to attach your dog’s leash to his harness quickly and easily.
The DogHelios Thunder-Crackle Jacket is available in five sizes (extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large) and four colors (Blue Wave, Grenadine Red, Grey, and Sporty Orange).
The Doggie Design “Ruffin It” Winter Snowsuit is designed to keep your dog warm and dry while looking fantastic. Made with plenty of cute features and high-quality materials, this jacket gives your dog a chance to stay comfortable and stylish during cold winter walks.
Features: The Doggie Design Winter Snowsuit features a thick Sherpa Fleece lining, which will help trap your little four-footer’s body heat and keep him warm, while the water-resistant outer layer is made from a nylon and polyester blend to cut the wind and protect your dog from the rain.
The jacket also features a zippered hood, which can be removed in warm weather. A Velcro closure is situated along the belly, to make it easy to put on or take off your dog. A leash ring is located on the upper back to make it easy to hook your dog up and head outside.
This jacket is available in five sizes (extra-small, small, small/medium, medium, and large) and three different colors (Pink, Red, and Black and Gray). Each color is silkscreened with the words “Ruffin It” on the back for maximum cuteness.
The Scheppend Adidog Coat is a relatively light-weight, full-body jumpsuit, which is designed to keep your dog warm in cool, if Tnot cold, weather. Fashionable and cozy, this coat will help keep your dog comfortable while still allowing for a full range of motion.
Features: The Scheppend Adidog Coat is made from soft cotton fleece to ensure maximum comfort. The attached hood will help shield your dog’s ears and neck from chilly breezes, while the button-style closures make it easy to put the coat and take it off.
The Scheppend Adidog Coat is available in nine colors (Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Orange, Pink, Red, White, and Yellow) and six sizes (small, medium, large, extra-large, extra-extra-large, and extra-extra-extra-large). All models feature “Adidog” lettering and double-stripes on the legs and hood.
About: The Touchdog Quantum-Ice Full-Bodied Jacket seeks to provide your dog with top-notch protection from cold and wet weather, while still providing a comfortable fit. Made with all of the bell’s and whistles you’d want in a full-body jacket, this coat is made for dogs who must confront especially cold and wet winters.
The top of the jacket features a zipper closure to make it easy to put on or take off, and a Velcro closure covers the zipper and helps to keep your dog’s hair from getting caught in the zipper teeth. It also helps to prevent drafts to ensure your dog stays warm.
The Touchdog Quantum-Ice Jacket is available in five sizes (extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large) and four color combinations (Black & Grey, Light Yellow & Grey, Ocean Blue & Grey, and Red & Charcoal Grey). Accented embroidery and printing help make the jacket as stylish as it is warm.
Our Recommendation: DogHelios Thunder-Crackle Jacket or the Casual Canine Snowsuit
When selecting a dog coat with sleeves, you’ll want to pick one that provides your dog with plenty of warmth, as well as the types of features you want. Both the DogHelios and Casual Canine products do exactly this, as the former provides a leash-slit, adjustable leg straps, and high-quality closures, while the Casual Canine coat features removable legs and an easy-to-use Velcro belly closure.
Additionally, they’ve both proven effective for other dogs and their owners, and they’ve enjoyed mostly favorable reviews.
Does your pooch need a coat with a little extra protection from the elements? Have you found a coat that worked especially well? We’d love to hear about it.
Let us know the name of the coat and the reasons you have found it effective.