Actually, a dog's coat should be enough to protect it from the wintry outside temperatures. But why do some breeds such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds or Jack Russell Terriers tremble when they are outside during the cold season? The reason for this is their short fur and lack of undercoat, which keeps other four-legged friends nice and warm. To protect the sensitive animals from the cold, their owners buy suitable clothes for dogs. But does that really make sense? And what should be considered when buying?
According to the Federal Veterinary Association e. V. (BTK for short), healthy dogs do not normally have to wear a coat when they go for a walk. Nevertheless, the association admits that some four-legged friends are dependent on warm clothing: "For old or sick animals, breeds with short fur and no undercoat, a dog coat can be useful in exceptional cases." Here, the BTK recommends light, breathable and water-repellent materials that are also kind to the animals' skin. As far as the fit is concerned, the club points out the following: "The coat must fit well and must not constrict any part of the body or chafe against the skin. However, it should not be too loose either, because then it does not warm up enough or the dog sticks to objects or hanging from bushes".
If you have decided on a fleece dog jacket, you should follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions. You can usually wash the material at 30 degrees to remove heavy soiling. Then let the synthetic fiber fabric dry in the fresh air before you put it back on your pet. If the inner lining of the dog coat is removable, only this may be washed.
Source: Federal Veterinary Association e. V
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