Doggie winter warmers

Winter has well and truly arrived in England, morning walks are frosty and bright, with the sun glittering off the pavements making them look like they are covered in diamond dust. Whilst it is beautiful, it is very chilly! I wrap up warm, two pairs of socks, hat, insulated gloves and my thick padded ‘duvet’ coat, I feel the cold badly and my fingers and toes go numb very quickly.

Border Terriers are a hardy breed, originally bred in the English/Scottish borders, to spend the day following horses out on a hunt. They have a rough, coarse coat, with the top wiry coat covering an undercoat of softer hair which gives good insulation against wintery weather and rain.

So you might think that your Border doesn’t need an extra layer, however, I believe you should judge any dog’s needs individually and Barney noticeably shivers out on his chilly morning walks. So, he has a couple of coats and a jumper, he hates wearing them, skulking off as soon as he sees me bring them out, head hung in disgust, ‘no way, not the coat again’. Whilst we think he looks dapper in his checked coat, or cute in his snowman sweater, there really is reasoning behind making him wear them.

What should you be considering when deciding whether your dog may need an extra layer in the winter? These pointers below might help you:

  • Is your dog visibly shivering whilst out in the cold?
  • Your dog’s age, older dogs can’t bound around quickly and can have weaker immune systems;
  • Your dog’s size, smaller, lighter bodied and toy breed dogs feel the cold much quicker than larger dogs;
  • Your dog’s coat, dogs with lighter, thinner coats tend to need extra insulation, sometimes even indoors; and
  • Your dog has a weak immune system or has been unwell recently.

Any of the above and your dog may benefit by wearing a coat for extra warmth.

So now you need to find a good coat or jumper, in making you choice some of the things you may want to consider are;

  • ensuring the correct fit;
  • the material and texture of the coat;
  • whether it coat can be easily washed (I think I wash Barney’s checked coat at least once a week); and
  • additional bits of the coat i.e. buttons, zip or tags which may be chewed and swallowed.

Some coats are more ‘fashion’ items and should only be worn whilst you are around, other coats are more practical and hardy, the decision is up to you.

Here are the details for Barney’s winter warmer wardrobe for 2014, as you can see from the photos above, he really doesn’t like wearing any of them and hates posing for photos even more!

  1. Barbour Quilted Tartan Dog Coat – John Lewis *REDUCED from £34.95 to £17.45 – this is the one he wears the most and doesn’t seem to mind it once he has it on, I think because it has a small strap around him and so doesn’t bother him too much.
  2. Urban Pup Teal Blue Fleece-Lined Raincoat – Urban Pup.com £20.95 – this really is waterproof, and great because it covers his complete underside, however, he really doesn’t like wearing this one. The hood is removable.
  3. Urban Pup Snowman Sweater – Urban Pup.com £18.95 – this is cosy and so cute! plus this would be great in the snow as it would stop the snow balls attaching to his fur!

There are so many to choose from, to suit every shape and size and in a vast array of colours and design. Enjoy picking your pooches winter wardrobe and why not send us a picture or post one on our Facebook page (link above), we look forward to seeing your photos!

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