2001-Wed Jan 16 15:49:40 EST 2019
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. I feel safe in saying that if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who’s acclimated to the cold and has the glorious coat common in the Northern breeds, you likely won’t have to invest in canine clothing for walks in the snow. In general, there are three kinds of dogs who benefit from the insulation provided by a sweater or coat, as well as the protection afforded by life as a pampered house pet:
What these dogs have in common is that they have a more difficult time generating and retaining enough body heat on their own. For these dogs, a little help keeping dry and warm is always a good thing. Though protection from the elements is the biggest reason to put clothes on dogs headed outside, it doesn't hurt to leave a sweater on these dogs inside if you're keeping the heat down to save energy and money. At our house, our two little Heinz 57s, Quixote and Quora, get jackets when they go out in the snow, as do our two thin-coated grand Pugs, Bruce and Willy. Our big dogs, Gracie (Labrador Retriever-Pit Bull mix) and Shakira (Golden Retriever), do just fine without sweaters or coats. In fact, they love the snow.
If you have a dog with arthritis, protective clothing is just one thing you can do to make winters more comfortable. Pet-safe heated orthopedic beds are a great idea; you can also talk to your veterinarian about nutraceuticals, such as glucosamine and omega-3 oils that are clinically proven to ease joint pain. Other dogs may benefit additionally from the use of pain-control medication, typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Even if your dog doesn’t need a coat, having one certainly won’t hurt him. I know many people who put slickers on their pets before taking a walk in the rain or snow because it saves them the trouble of cleaning a wet dog at the door before coming inside, for example. Boots help keep things neater, too, and where de-icing solutions are used, they can protect your pet from licking toxic chemicals off his paws.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.