It’s a common misconception that a dog’s fur can function as a winter coat. Small dogs in particular can get quite sick if exposed to freezing temperatures for too long. And though bigger dogs fare better, without jackets they’ll need to be bathed after every slushy walk. Fortunately, the canine winterwear market is saturated — filled with four-armed puffer snowsuits and tiny Swedish raincoats. We asked 15 discerning pet owners to tell us about the most practical and stylish outerwear their dogs don’t wriggle out of, including a pair of rainproof overalls preferred by an Italian greyhound named Nola, a puffer that one Canadian dog parent pulls out on subzero days, and the “perfect” raincoat that designer Ellen Van Dusen puts on her Boston terrier, Snips.
Best Overall Coat
Carhartt’s chore coat for dogs comes recommended by Greenpoint dog mom Kelly Mittendorf, Strategist editor Maxine Builder, Yena Kim (owner of Shiba Inu Bodhi and Jindo Luc), and dog walker Will Ferman. Ferman likes that it keeps larger dogs warm without limiting their range of motion. Kim appreciates how the sleeveless design doesn’t snag on the fur of dogs’ armpits. Plus it saves time by keeping mud off rambunctious dogs like Luc, who rolls around at the park.
Best Overall Rain Jacket
Kate Anello, a project manager for Apple, compares this coat to one from Patagonia. Tory Waxman, co-founder of Sundays dog food, is another fan, especially for the rain. It has easy on-and-off side buckles and reflective trim for visibility on evening walks.
Best Overall Vest
If your dog refuses to wear a coat with full sleeves, you might want to consider a puffer vest. Three of the dog owners we talked to recommend this reversible one from Little Beast. Designer Lila Habermann says, “It adds the perfect level of puffiness to keep Sofi warm while allowing her to move, jump, and play.” (The first time the dog wore it, she was “so comfy she went directly to sleep.”)
Insulated All-Weather Parka
Three of our panelists praised Hurtta’s dog coats, and its Summit parka is Waxman’s all-time favorite. Unlike coats with open bottoms, this one is designed to keep extra-sensitive areas
Aesthetically Pleasing Puffer
Logan Mikhly, co-owner of Boris & Horton, Manhattan’s first dog café, likes this “really sleek and secure” jacket: “It’s amazing — easy to clean, warm, and superfast to put on, which is helpful since I also have a child who needs to get bundled up to go outside now.”
“Noize coats are rated up to minus-15 degrees Celsius, making them great for Canadian winters,” says Toronto dog mom Tiana Feng. Her pup, Bacon, has three coats from the brand, but this one with a faux-fur hood is Feng’s favorite. “It closes with Velcro, so it’s really easy to put on.”
Snowsuit for Small Dogs
Little dogs are more vulnerable to icy winds and snow, so this machine-washable quilted puffer snowsuit with full-body insulation is a practical choice. Per Waxman, the extra coverage helps reduce the need for grooming when they come inside.
Waxman’s dog, Mabel, wears this quilted horse-blanket-style coat on quick walks when it’s very cold outside. Her owner loves that it’s super-easy to get on and off and very high quality. “Ours is seven years old, and it looks brand new,” she says.
On milder winter days, Gramercy dog mom Jenn Lee puts this on Oak, her social-media-famous Pomeranian. “It’s ideal for light-snow days,” she says.
Cristina Camara-Mandy, owner of an Italian greyhound named Nola, says this slightly looser rainsuit gets tons of compliments on Instagram and in real life: “It’s a very thin fabric, so it’s something she can wear on |top of onesies if the weather is cold. If it’s hot, she can wear it as a light rain jacket, and it covers her whole body so her back legs and chest won’t get covered in mud.”
Of all the coats on this list, GoldPaw’s fleeces are least likely to bother a fussy dog. Waxman says they allow for maximum flexibility, while bulkier coats hinder movement.
For weather that is brisk but not freezing, the best jackets are those that block the wind and keep dogs dry in case of drizzle. On such days, Anello puts this waxed-cotton jacket (basically a Barbour coat for dogs) on her Border-collie mix, Zane. “It’s longer than other jackets, so it covers the butt,” she says.
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