Choosing the right dog jacket is essential for your dog to be comfortable in all weather conditions. There are many different dog jackets on the market. In this guide, we will help you choose the perfect jacket for your dog’s needs.
Does my dog need a jacket?
Your dog’s breed, coat, weight, health and age are factors that need to be considered when deciding whether your dog really needs a jacket or not.
Some breeds, like Siberian Huskies and Malamutes, have a thick double coat and are born to live outside in cold temperatures. They will cope with cold weather in a much better way than short haired dogs like Weimaraners or Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Many breeds with thick double coats actually prefer to not wear an extra layer, as it makes them too warm! However – when resting and in the most extreme conditions, even polar breeds will also benefit from wearing a warm jacket. Dog mushers often use jackets to protect their dogs from wind and freezing temperatures when training or competing.
Dog jackets are more than just fashion! A functional dog jacket will keep your dog happy and comfortable in any condition, allowing you to get out and have fun together regardless of the weather. For example, a dog with lots of fur will benefit from a rain jacket in the pouring rain. The jacket will prevent his or her coat from getting wet, heavy, and dirty. Some dogs also need jackets in the winter.
Body fat, body type and size also play a role. Small dogs, like Chihuahuas, tend to get cold easier as they are close to the ground and have a big body surface to keep warm compared to their body weight.
Dogs with chronic diseases or poor blood circulation will in many cases also benefit from being kept warm with a jacket. The same goes for puppies and old dogs that need help regulating their body temperature.
When should a dog wear a jacket?
At what temperature does my dog need a jacket? There is no exact temperature limit, as it will depend on the same factors as mentioned above; your dog’s breed, age, coat and health. Individual preference also plays a role. Among two identical dogs, one might start getting cold at a certain temperature, while the other dog is doing just fine!
Only your dog can answer the question of when it needs a jacket. Look at his/her body language to see if he/she is getting cold or are uncomfortable. Signs that can indicate your dog is too cold are, for example, shivering, lifting a paw off the ground and a change in behaviour.
If using a jacket, pay close attention to your dog when your dog is working hard, for example, when running, biking or skiing. Your dog will generate body heat, even in colder weather, during strenuous activities. Excessive panting or staggering are signs your dog might be overheating. Using a jacket when warming up and cooling down can be a good idea on chilly days. You can also bring a light packable dog jacket with you for breaks or just in case your dog gets cold along the way.
Which dog jacket is best for my dog?
The two main categories are dog rain jackets and winter jackets. You also have full body snow suits, visibility covers and reflective vests, but in this guide we focus on warm and waterproof dog jackets.
When choosing a dog jacket, you can look for the following:
Your dog’s jacket should have an ergonomic fit and allow full freedom of movement. It is also essential that the jacket is comfortable and stays in place when your dog is moving. Leg straps, or a loop to thread the line through by your dog’s tail when wearing a pulling harness, will help keep the jacket in place. Leg straps also prevent the jacket from lifting in high winds. Many dog jackets can be adjusted with cinch points for optimum fit.
A dog jacket should be lightweight to maintain the natural insulating abilities of your dog’s coat. The fur creates air pockets that help keep your dog warm. By putting a jacket on top of this natural layer, without pushing the fur down, your dog will stay warm and comfortable. Therefore, choosing the right size is also important.
Compatibility with other gear
As you would usually use a dog jacket when moving outside, compatibility with other gear, like a harness or a collar, makes the jacket easier to use. Look for a dog jacket with practical solutions that fits your everyday needs, for example, a dedicated opening that allows you to attach a leash to a harness that is worn under the jacket.
You might think a thick puffy jacket for dogs will be warmer than a thin jacket, but that depends on the materials being used. An insulated dog jacket made with materials like PrimaLoft® offers excellent insulating abilities even though it is very thin and lightweight. This synthetic microfiber thermal insulation is known as the best alternative to down.
The materials should also be durable. Dogs put their gear to the ultimate test every day. Our product development team always has this in mind when choosing materials. We only use fabrics that satisfy our high quality and functionality requirements. We believe that a long-lasting product is the most sustainable approach. It is also important to us that the materials are environmentally friendly. Did you know that Non-stop dogwear was the World’s first pet brand to become a bluesign® system partner?
It’s often said that «a dirty dog is a happy dog». That’s why it’s important that you dog’s jacket is easy to clean when needed.
Dog jackets are often worn in weather conditions where it can be hard to see the dog. Bright colors and reflective materials will increase visibility.
Dog winter jackets
The needs of a musher with dogs moving are different than the needs of someone that needs jacket for their dog to wear during breaks. That’s why we have developed several different warm dog jackets for winter use.
The Glacier jacket is a light and functional winter jacket for dogs. This jacket for dogs provides your four legged best friend with freedom of movement and protection against cold temperatures, wind, rain and snow. The jacket has a dedicated opening for a collar and short harness, reflective print and cinch points for optimum fit.
The Glacier wool jacket has the same features and fit, but comes with a wool lining. Wool is a natural and sustainable material that has a long tradition in Norway. Wool absorbs moisture without becoming cold or feeling wet and has very good breathability that regulates the body temperature in both cold and warm temperatures.
We also have two insulated dog jackets developed specifically for dog mushing, but that are also suitable for other activities, especially if your dog is wearing a pulling harness.
The Blest jacket is a featherlight dog jacket with PrimaLoft® insulation that easily packs into a sled or hydration belt. This winter jacket for dogs is easy to take on and off, even if your dog is in a harness. The jacket stays in place with powerful hook-and-loop fasteners on the front of the chest and under the stomach. This also makes it easy to take the jacket on and off. The ergonomic design ensures excellent fit and full freedom of movement while protecting the chest, shoulders, thighs, and stomach. An optional windbreaker to protect male genitals is also available.
The Long distance jacket has the same functionality, but is equipped with a thicker layer of synthetic thermal insulation. The Long distance jacket is our warmest winter jacket for dogs. It is used by professionals in the world's toughest sled dog races, performing in extreme temperatures reaching -50 Celsius/-58 Fahrenheit. This dog jacket was designed to wear both while running and resting.
Dog rain jacket
Scandinavian weather is unpredictable, especially in the fjords. You can have sunshine at one moment and heavy rain showers the next. That is why we developed the Fjord raincoat, a wind and waterproof rain jacket for dogs with a 15.000 mm waterproof rating and excellent breathability to keep your dog dry and comfortable.
The Fjord raincoat covers your dog’s body well no matter the shape or size and includes adjustable cinch points for optimum fit. This dog rain jacket was designed for unrestricted movement. Even when running at full speed, your dog’s legs are free to move. Leg straps help keep the rain coat in the right position and prevent it from lifting in high winds.
A large collar shields your dog's neck, and drainage holes prevent water from gathering under their chest.
A dedicated leash opening allows a harness to be worn under the rain jacket. Reflective details provide high visibility in the dark as well as on overcast days.
How to measure a dog for a jacket
For optimum function and comfort, it is essential that your dog’s jacket fits well.
To find the right size, simply measure the length of your dog’s back from in between the shoulder blades to the base of the tail, as shown in this video:
When you know the length of your dog’s back, put the number into the size finder on each product’s page to get a recommended size, or check the size chart.
Make sure the jacket is not too tight for your dog, as that can limit movement and press the fur down, decreasing the natural insulating abilities of your dog’s coat. If you dog is in between sizes, we recommend you to go one size up, to make sure the jacket covers the whole body when your dog is moving or lying down.
Built for active dogs!
With a background in sleddog sports in Scandinavia, where weather conditions can be harsh, we have spent several years developing functional gear for active dogs and their humans. The product development process takes place in close cooperation with elite athletes from different sports. They test our gear to the limit, to ensure the best quality possible for you and your dog. Our goal is to unleash your potential and facilitate an active lifestyle that is not dependent on the weather.
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