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Coats for dogs? approved or dismissed?

With autumn approaching, the most fashionable owners indulge themselves in search of the coolest coat for their dog, eager to dress him up in the most unthinkable ways, which  often make animal rights lovers shiver. Regardless of any ethical argument, let's try to understand what are the pros and cons of sweaters, coats and raincoats for dogs (and cats).

Is it useful?

We start from a fundamental point. Today's dogs and cats do not have the same physical, characteristic and behavioural attitudes as those of many years ago. The "function" of the dog in ancient times was to follow the owner on hunting trips, with the great privilege of being able to feed on leftovers inside the house. The cat probably lived in worse conditions, not receiving any meal from the owner; therefore, they must try to hunt small weed prey for the harvest.

Today many of us are horrified at the thought of a cat forced to live like this, in the cold and frost even during winter. In fact, nature, which is really looking out for animals, has provided dogs and cats with many tools to protect themselves from the cold, starting from that beautiful soft coat, which becomes even thicker during the winter.

cane nudo crested dog gatto sphynx

Over the years, however, as cats have become permanent residents of the armchair by the fireplace and dogs have settled on the owner's bed, nature has decided to reorganize itself, reducing the thickness of the hair, which at that point would no longer be useful in the warmth of the houses.

This premise makes it clear how in reality "modern" dogs and cats are equipped to tolerate cold seasons, thanks to the undercoat that still works perfectly.

In fact, as you may have noticed, dogs and cats that live in the house permanently have a less dense coat than stray ones or those found in gardens and courtyards. In other words, what is not needed in nature is removed. 

At the same time, however, dogs need to go out several times during the day, regardless of the weather conditions. In addition, the sudden change in temperature from the living room to the garden where you walk your dog might cause cold and bronchitis.

That's why the coat can come in handy, especially in some cases:

  • Sick, convalescent or delicate animals
  • Dogs with short and short hair
  • Dogs that live indoors
  • Puppies
  • Elderly animals
  • Very skinny dogs
  • Small dogs

With regard to the last aspect, the size of the dog can also greatly affect the temperature. It may seem counterintuitive, but the smaller the animal, the larger its body surface will be compared to a very large dog. Therefore, when it gets colder, the amount of heat that is carried away across the surface of the body will also be greater. It is a rather complicated concept to explain and understand, but it still needs to be taken into consideration.

Which garment should I choose?

The coat is not always useless, although most of the trappings that are applied to it are. The important thing, however, is to choose the most useful and most suitable one for our dog in the right way. Here are some tips:

  • Let's choose the right size for our dog. A tight coat will make him feel awkward whilst moving and loose one may not protect him adequately from the cold;
  • Make sure that the belly, chest and throat are covered, because they are the most sensitive parts to the cold, so high-necked sweaters are approved, which reach the base of the tail, naturally leaving the “intimate” parts uncovered;
  • The material is an important. The interior must be warm, but not irritating, so we choose cloth, fleece and other materials that do not sting, such as wool;
  • The raincoat is highly recommended for all dogs, with short and even long hair, because they help keep the coat dry even on the wettest days (and not just when it rains).

cane bassotto cappotto

The ideal coat, therefore, is certainly the one that is waterproof on the outside and warm on the inside, always paying attention to cover the most sensitive and exposed parts.

Finally, as regards to a small ethical parenthesis, there is nothing wrong with making our animals wear cute and fun clothes, but let's just remember that they are not children or dolls, so let's rely on our common sense.