It's getting a little chilly out there, you've probably put your heating on at home already and pulled your scarf and hat out of the cupboard, but does this mean you need to get your dog a coat too?
There's mixed opinions about dogs in clothes - those that think it's cute and that the dog actually enjoys it or needs it and those that think it's borderline cruelty.
There are very few occasions when an animal needs a coat as dogs have developed a very effective coat of their own, which will protect them from the elements. Dogs can raise the fur to control their temperature and putting them in a coat diminishes the animal's ability to regulate their own body temperature. This could be detrimental if the animal gets too hot. Some experts state that there is a growing tendency to spoil pets with large wardrobes and treating them as children. This can sometimes lead to bad behaviour due to lack of boundaries and training which can then make for unpleasant pets.
However, whilst some dogs love running through the snow or icy puddles, others dogs can struggle. Larger breeds with thick coats, such as Bernese mountain dogs, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands, do not require any extra insulation in the winter — though wearing a jacket will certainly not necessarily hurt them. Some breeds have been bred to have less fur, so in some cases it is quite appropriate for a dog to wear a coat or jumper to help keep them warm in very cold weather so if you're a pet parents to greyhounds, Chihuahuas or poodles you should possibly invest in some extra winter protection.
Here's a quick tip to help you decide whether your dog needs a sweater this winter - If your dog feels cold to the touch, it’s likely he/she is cold, as well as shivering and reluctance to be outside are also good indications that your dog may prefer to stay inside and be cozy - or they're lazy.
With a number of jumpers, coats, raincoats and even full on snowsuits available for your four legged friend you're spoilt for choice. Fit is important as some clothing can causing rubbing and lead to possible loss of hair. There are brands out there that specifically tailor coast for those difficult to fit dogs such as Dachshunds, Great Danes and Bulldogs so it's worth having a little search.For those that don't need or want to dress their dog up this winter there's some more appropriate accessories you can spend your money on such as a new lead, collar or new dog bed for snuggle time at home.
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