We had some very wet walks this week, definitely the time of year now for everyone to purchase a little waterproof for their pooches.
I have had people in the past ask why dog-coat is necessary, after all they are dogs and should be able to cope with being outside right?
My reason for being pro dog-coats (especially a waterproof one) is as follows; all dogs are different and have different hair and fur types, some of which provide great protection from the elements. Cocoa (Spaniel/collie cross) and Murphy (Irish Terrier) for example have fantastic coats that withstand water extremely well. On the flip side Smudge’s coat (poodle cross) provides no protection from water as it soaks it up like a sponge! A dogs shaking action dispels water very efficiently from their coats and this is designed to help them prevent against hypothermia. However once again the shaking actions efficiency depends on the coat type, when Murphy shakes he is pretty much dry! When Smudge shakes there is little to no difference. Regardless of how good your dogs natural coat is or not at protecting them against the weather, if they are out in the rain walking for an hour there are very few dogs who would not become soaked to the skin, and of course shaking provides no relief if they are still out in the rain.
I would like to stress carefully this has nothing to do with your dog being ‘tough’ or not! You cannot make your dog ‘tougher’ by walking them in horrendous weather without helping them stay warm. ‘What about working dogs?’ I hear you ask. Well on top of being bred for generations to have natural coats that withstand tough weather conditions there is also the following to consider….
When dogs are running around their body temperature rises, just like a persons would, and so whilst on the walk and active (for example working cattle as a working collie would) they are less likely to get or feel cold. However as soon as they stop they very quickly become cold and with soaking wet fur they would not be able to control their body temperature which would begin to drop. Once again this is very similar to people, everyone at one stage in their lives will have been caught out in the rain when on a walk/run/hike etc. What’s the first thing we do to get warm once we have stopped? Get out of our soaking wet clothes! But our dogs don’t have that option. With working dogs on top of the fact that they have been bred to have coats that withstand the elements they are also usually returned to a dry kennel with other dogs. They would then huddle together and the combined heat of their bodies would dry their coats and prevent hypothermia (there are obviously many working dog situations, that is just one scenario). Despite it’s breed if your dog does not come from a long line of working dogs, but rather lines that have been chosen for being good pets, then the reality is that it is very unlikely that any consideration has been given to how weather proof their natural coats are!!
Dog groomers are also very careful to dry dogs quickly and efficiently once they have been bathed, to prevent them becoming too cold.
In the end no matter how hardy your dog is, no matter what their breed, a simple waterproof coat that protects the majority of their body from the worst of the rain will go miles in helping your dog keep warm during the worst weather. And come on people, we live in Scotland! Buckets of rain and cold weather is kinda on the agenda for the majority of the year, so why wouldn’t you go that little bit further to help them stay warm.
Obviously there are breeds that in reality need very little to absolutely no help from us. Husky’s or Akita’s instantly spring to mind! Out of all my dogs I have to say that I think only Murphy (Irish Terrier) and Colin (Patterdale Terrier) have the kind of natural coats that would protect them for long periods of time out in the pouring cold rain! For everyone else, a little simple waterproof would go a long way.
I have posted on facebook page this week about the two simple inexpensive coats I would recommend. Please see the link below to read more;
Smudge in his onesie (http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/dogs/dog_clothing/waterproof/248453)
Elvis and Hugo having a ball!
Raarrr!!! I may be 13 but I can still catch you young pup!
Love this photo!
Was that good fun Elvi? 😀 Good girl x
Hamish in his borrowed coat, its a little big so I had to tuck it into his collar to stop it slipping down. Hamish wears it like a champ.
Looking out over a very wet Edinburgh!
Bit wet are we Archie!
Maud being a good poser for the camera. She is such a good model!
Wee man Hector negotiating through the puddles…
Kobi, every inch the strong, healthy and athletic Frenchie! Love it, love it, love it!