Most dogs don’t really need to wear a rain jacket or rain boots when going on walks, but there are some breeds that benefit from wearing raincoats, like short-haired dogs, who typically don’t have a thick undercoat to protect them from the cold of the rain. Think Boston terriers, boxers, and French bulldogs. “They seem to appreciate it. They don’t really like getting too wet,” says Mat Deveau, the founder of the Greenwich Village-based dog walking company the Well Heeled Dog NYC. But even water-friendly breeds like Labs and wire-hair terriers, who are generally impervious to getting soaked through, can benefit from wearing a rain poncho or jacket when it’s windy and cold, Deveau adds.
So to figure out which dog raincoats and rain boots dogs actually like to wear and will really keep your pet dry and warm in the rain, we talked with four New York City–based dog walkers about the rain jackets and boots their clients’ dogs wear, as well as the ones they put on their own pups.
Best dog raincoats and rain jackets
Three of the professional dog walkers we spoke to pointed us toward this RC dog rain poncho on Amazon. “When I put it on dogs, it’s just a standard raincoat,” says Christopher Turi, owner of Bark Ave Dog Walkers, “but a lot of people probably are drawn to the style.” It’s not the most full-coverage option, he notes, explaining that even though it has a hood, with “any kind of raincoat, most dogs’ underbelly is still going to get wet from them walking and kicking up any kind of rain or snow or sleet.” But Stacia Anderson of RuffCity Dog Walking calls this blue and green rubber-ducky rain jacket a good option “if you have somebody who wants to make a fashion statement, which a lot of New York City dog owners do.” It’s basically the Amazon coat, but for dogs.
Heather Curatolo, owner of Financial District–based Paws on Pine, has a French bulldog named Tristan, and she bought him a classic yellow raincoat at Petland. “It was very inexpensive, and it’s perfect, because it’s got Velcro around his neck and his stomach, and it has a hole for the leash,” she says. “What’s great about it is, even if it’s very cold and rainy, you could put it over their regular coat.” Plus, “he likes to wear it, it’s not too tight, it gets the job done, and it has a little hood, which is super cute.”
If you are looking for a more technical, full-coverage dog raincoat, Deveau recommends the Sun Shower Dog Rain Jacket from Oregon-based Ruffwear. Made from water-resistant ripstop nylon, it has a large flap that protects your dog’s underbelly from getting wet from puddles and matted with debris kicked up from the street.
Deveau also recommends Hurtta, a Finnish company, for technical dog gear (made with human-grade technical fabrics) that is actually comfortable for your dog to wear. “They’re more aware of dog movements and the variables in sizing, so they give a lot of options there,” he says, which makes sizing a little tricky, but if you can dial it in, it’ll keep your dog bone-dry. For rain, he likes the Torrent: “It wicks away moisture as well — any heat that the dog is holding onto underneath the coat sort of wicks it away, so you’re not getting a damp, smelly dog.”
“We have a client with a black Lab who really loves the Kurgo North Country Coat,” says Anderson. “This one actually has built-in LED lighting on it,” she explains, which means that your dog will be visible to cars and other passersby even when the weather is dark and stormy. Plus, the jacket itself is is lined with fleece to keep your dog warm and has a waterproof shell, made of durable, ripstop material, to keep them dry and protect them from wind gusts.
Those fleece-lined coats are especially helpful for short-haired breeds like whippets. Another rain jacket from Ruffwear that Deveau recommends is the Vert. It’s got a very similar profile and style to the lightweight Sun Showers jacket, but this one is lined with fleece.
It can be much trickier to find raincoats for dogs with short legs, like a dachshund or a corgi. “For example, I have a basset hound,” says Anderson. “I actually got him a custom-made raincoat, because when he walks in the rain in the city, his stubby little feet splash up all of the gross city water all over his stomach, so he basically looks like a sewer rat when he gets home.” This custom raincoat, she explains, completely covers his belly, keeping him from getting all black and dirty. The seller Anderson bought the jacket from seems to have shut down her web page, but this coat is almost identical to the one her basset hound wears.
Best dog rain boots and paw cleaners
None of our dog walkers really recommend putting booties on your dog for the rain. “Those we generally recommend more for snowy types of environments, when doormen and supers and maintenance people over-salt the sidewalks,” explains Anderson. “Booties come in handy for that, because the magnesium chloride actually causes burns on dogs’ pads. But we do have some clients who are very type A and don’t want to track in the city mush.” The most common type of dog booties, according to Anderson, is Pawz, whose unassuming booties look like uninflated rubber balloons but are surprisingly sturdy. “We have seen the other kinds, that you strap on,” notes Turi, “but those always seem to fall off.” The rubberized Pawz, however, will stay on no matter what the weather is doing, and keep their paws dry and salt-free.
If you’re worried about your dog tracking mud into your home, but don’t have the patience to put booties on each of your pet’s paws, Anderson recommends the Paw Plunger. “You fill that up with water and a light soap, and then you can actually dunk your dog’s feet in it while you’re still out in the hallway,” she explains. The brushes inside will gently and efficiently wipe away any muck that may have accumulated. (It’s also great for removing rock salt from between their pads).
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