If you’ve been to a dog park lately, especially in inclement weather, you might have noticed that a lot of the dogs are dressed better than their owners. Over the past five years, clothing for dogs has exploded in popularity, from small luxury brands like Max Bone offering designer-collaboration dog sweaters to well-known people brands like Carhartt, Ralph Lauren, and Moncler that have ventured into canine fashion. While there are ribbed turtlenecks, tiny backpacks, and even gold chains for dogs, jackets and coats make up the vast majority of what you can buy, because they’re practical, keeping dogs of all shapes and sizes warm and dry without getting in the way of their bathroom habits.
You’ll first need to determine what kind of coat your dog needs and how often they’ll need to wear it. Breeds like Italian greyhounds, which have only one coat of fur as opposed to most dogs’ two, need to wear a jacket as soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees, while bigger, furrier dogs may need an extra layer only for long romps in the rain or snow. And then there’s fit: “It’s important that any coat fits well to allow for natural movement and to prevent any chafing or rubbing,” says Tory Waxman, a veterinarian and a co-founder of Sundays all-natural dog food. She recommends getting a coat or jacket that’s machine washable since your dog is bound to get dirty rolling around in the snow and mud.
To find the best, most stylish jackets for your particular dog, we asked Waxman and nine other cool dog owners, dog walkers, and the owner of a famous dog café about the dog jackets they like best.
Best dog jackets for snow
For the most part, little dogs weren’t built to withstand icy winds and snowdrifts twice their size. While a chunky Labrador retriever may need only a fleece-lined shell as protection, toy and miniature breeds will be much cozier with full-body insulation. Dusen Dusen designer and dog owner Ellen Van Dusen; Jenn Lee, owner of a chocolate Pomeranian named Oak (who has more than 31,000 Instagram followers); and Risa Miyamoto, owner of a Pomeranian named Mokutan, all recommend ski-suit-style puffer jumpsuits for small dogs who are going out to play in the snow. In cold weather, Van Dusen’s dog, Snips, is always in a Dusen Dusen sweater — she’s the fit model for the brand. But in extra-cold weather, she layers. Snips has a red puffer that she’s been wearing for eight years, and Van Dusen says it makes her look like she’s going skiing. Since that coat isn’t available anymore, Van Dusen recommends this one from her favorite store for dog stuff, Dog & Co. This puffer has a hole in the back for a leash or a harness hookup. Puppia also makes a puffer jumpsuit with a built-in harness.
Lee says that she and her dog, Oak, go for jackets that are functional and stylish to keep Oak dry and clean while walking in the slushy winter streets of NYC. Her favorite cold-weather jacket is this one from Miso and Friends. She says, “It’s full coverage, so it covers Oak’s fluffy legs while being both waterproof and warm.” The jacket comes in six sizes and features a hole between the shoulders for a harness or leash.
Miyamoto was about to buy the Puppia red puffer jumpsuit above when she found this similar coat in metallic silver. She says it makes her dog, Mokutan, look like an astronaut exploring another planet. Mokutan loves playing in the snow but doesn’t like the big frozen chunks of it that get stuck to her fur. This coat’s extra coverage keeps most of her fur concealed, so less grooming (and thawing) needs to be done when she comes back inside.
Both Waxman and New York Magazine newsletters editor Kelsi Trinidad love Hurtta dog coats, which they use to protect their dogs from freezing temperatures and deep snow. Although the Hurtta Summit parka is Waxman’s all-time favorite, she says the brand makes multiple amazing cold-weather options for dogs, depending on their coat, body shape, and size. Targeting important muscle groups for warmth, this one is great for active dogs, has an adjustable hole for leash hookup, and is water repellent.
Back when we wrote about status dog bags, Love Thy Beast’s tote-bag-style carrier was the most recommended of all. Since then, the company has continued to create well-designed accessories and apparel for discerning dog parents to drool over. Logan Mikhly, owner of Boris & Horton, Manhattan’s first dog café, is a fan of the brand and recommends its quilted puffer jacket for cold weather. “It is really sleek and secure, and it fits a range of dogs really well,” she says. “It’s also easy to take on and off and stays put even during dog-park play. My dog, Horton, needs a new jacket, and I am going to get it in black.”
Strategist deputy editor Maxine Builder bought this Kurgo reversible jacket for Harmony, the rescue dog she adopted in quarantine. “It’s very sleek,” she says. “Like the dog equivalent of the Patagonia Nano Puff. Plus, it has a big zipper on the back that makes putting on Harmony’s leash a breeze.”
“This is probably New York specific, but I see a lot of dogs with really great-looking, kind of classic jackets. I feel like the trend is going toward dog gear that works well with your outfit rather than being really cutesy,” says interior designer Gabriela Gargano. Her Cavapoo, Pablo, wears this fleece-lined camouflage jacket whenever it’s cold and wet outside. Since he’s quite furry, Gargano says he doesn’t need a full-on puffer jacket to keep him warm. “This jacket is pretty cute and keeps him from getting sopping wet,” she says.
Much like the coats (i.e., the blankets) horses wear to keep warm, this parka insulates without restricting movement or having to pull on sleeves. It comes recommended by Strategist newsletter editor Mia Leimkuhler, who recently moved with her husband and their dog, Reggie, to Montreal. “We got one for Reggie, and it keeps him warm and dry even when trudging through snow that’s as tall as he is,” she says. The coat is waterproof, comes in 12 sizes, has a hole for attaching a leash to the dog’s collar or harness, and features reflective tape for high visibility at night.
Best dog jackets for rain
“Ruffwear is the best. It is the Patagonia of the dog world,” says Kate Anello, a dog owner and project manager for Apple. Waxman is also a fan of Ruffwear dog jackets, especially for the rain. “Ruffwear makes great, high-quality raincoats, including a non-insulated one for warmer climates,” she says. It has easy-on-and-off side buckles and reflective trim for visibility on evening walks. This jacket also made our list of the best dog rain jackets and rain boots, according to dog walkers.
If looking good in the rain is your top priority, Wagwear’s nylon rain jacket, which is recommended by Miyamoto, is an excellent choice. It comes in five solid colors (plus three color-blocked styles that are exclusive to Dog & Co.) with contrasting drawstrings and a stylish front zipper that’s easy to use and makes it look like a real raincoat for adult humans. “There’s something very embarrassing about matching your dog but also very sweet and funny,” says Van Dusen, who makes matching Dusen Dusen dog and person sweaters. “Whenever I see it in the wild, it makes me smile,” she says.
To keep your dog fully dry from head to paws, Cristina Camara-Mandy, owner of an Italian greyhound named Nola, recommends this rainsuit, which 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 if we’re walking around on a rainy day in New York City and it’s filthy out, her back legs and chest won’t get covered in mud,” she says.
Best dog jackets for spring and fall
Carhartt’s classic chore coat for dogs comes recommended by Builder; Yena Kim, owner of two Shiba Inus, Bode (a.k.a. Menswear Dog) and Luke; and Will Ferman, a New York City dog photographer and dog walker. Ferman likes that it keeps midsize and larger dogs warm without limiting their range of motion. Kim agrees, saying that, as well as going with everything in Bode’s closet, the sleeveless design is more comfortable for many types of dogs because it won’t rub against or snag on the fur of their armpits. Plus, it saves time by keeping dirt and mud off the back and sides of rambunctious dogs like Luke, who rolls around on the ground at the park. “When we get home, all I have to do is clean off his legs and paws, rather than give him a whole bath, which is a lot of effort,” she says.
For weather that’s brisk but not freezing, the best jackets are those that block the wind and keep dogs dry in case of sudden drizzle, all while looking great. On days like those, Anello puts this waxed-cotton jacket (basically a Barbour coat for dogs) on her Border-collie mix, Zane. “It’s cute, water repellent, and longer than other jackets, so it covers the butt and the business,” she says.