Do dogs really need to wear coats? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do dogs really need to wear coats?

I think they look adorable, especially on small dogs, but is it really necessary? Our foster terrier is small and short coated and nothing would do but my husband had to get her a coat for winter. But does she really need it for walks or even just to go out to potty? We don't take walks if it is bitter out and for bathroom, she is only out there for a few minutes. So are coats/sweaters really protective or just fashion accessories? I am all for letting dogs be dogs.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Coats are helpful for protection against the cold or rain if the dog doesn't have thick fur or the fur has been clipped real short. For your little terrier, if the dog is healthy and young, it may not need a coat for little walks depending how cold it is. You can go by how the dog reacts -is she shivering? For elderly dogs with a short fur who can feel the cold more, then a coat would help keep the dog warm even for short walks.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Depends on where you live and how cold it gets. A smaller or older dog with a short tight coat might need a coat in snowy areas. My longcoat GSDs wouldn't, especially where I live, but even in the snow.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm in Iowa and it does get pretty cold. I'll keep putting it on her if we are going very far or out very long. I don't think my GSD or labs need one though. I saw a really beautiful big dog coat at the pet expo though. It looked like a very pretty horse blanket and my younger lab was really interested in it!
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jazzy is a poodle, she definetely needs a coat when it's cold. If it's cold enough for me to wear a coat she does as well

Delgado loves the cold and snow, I have to limit him on his outside time because he'll just keep playing and playing. It would have to be seriously cold for me to consider putting one on him
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The closest I've come to dressing up the dog is when he wore shoes because it was so cold and I was afraid of frostbite. I knitted him a light wool vest for SAR; his coat feels like it's on the thinner side, but it could just be me. He loves the cold!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I made my Weimaraner wear a superman cape for three days straight while we visited my sister over the Thanksgiving weekend. We just couldn't stop laughing long enough to take it off of her!

My GSDs, on the other hand, I would never disrespect them that way. Mattie's gotten a little thick around the middle in her old age, plus she's a longhair and would probably suffer heat exhaustion. And Jack, well, Jack is just Jack. He has more than enough personality just being a plain jane B/T.

If I lived where the winter was more bitter, though, I would put a coat on my Weim. Even though she's a german breed, the little wind chill we had over the weekend here in South Texas was enough to make her run quickly back indoors. We wouldn't get to have any fun without a coat. Her own is too short and barely there on her belly.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My mom bought me a nice coat for Lara that has reflective strips for walking her at night since she's black right now. I like the idea of wearing something that won't get her hit by a car
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Depends on the breed and the weather. When I fostered Italian Greyhounds, YES. Otherwise they couldn't stand to be outside 1/4th of the length of time the GSDs were. I also sometimes had them wear their PJs inside the house in the middle of summer if they would shiver from the a/c.

I make and sell the PJs and coats and I've never used any on my GSDs.
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