Exercising Your Dog in Winter

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean that you should stay in. But if you think the cold might chill your dog, a winter dog coat or sweater may be enough to make the walk warm and fun.

A dog needs exercise even in the winter months. You might play with him in the house, but sometimes you can’t or just don’t get the kind of aerobic activity or good stretch that your dog needs. Plus, as they say, the fresh air Winter Coat for Dogdoes you good. Both of you. Also, after spending so much time in the house, the different sights sounds and smells encountered outside might be what your dog needs to shake off nervous energy.

Now some dogs really, really, really do not want to go out in the cold. If your dog really resists it or you know it is not healthy for your dog’s condition (arthritis for one), do not force the issue. But many breeds would appreciate even a 5-minute walk or jog just to get out of the house. For breeds that are more sensitive to the cold, you should definitely invest in a doggie sweater or coat. You may also want to get your dog some booties as we discuss in this post.

Dogs that are more susceptible to getting chilled in cold weather
  • Small breed dogs
  • Dogs with short or smooth coats
  • Lean dogs (like breeds such as Greyhounds and Whippets)
  • Senior dogs
  • Puppies
What to look for in a winter dog coat, jacket or sweater
  • Ample room to move forearms naturally when walking.
  • Warm enough for your weather.
  • Not too long in the back (does not interfere with elimination).
  • Washable material.
  • If you have a long hair dog, get a coat with smooth linings like rayon or satin to keep down matting and static.
  • If not sure about the coat’s size and you can’t try it on, order a size bigger than you think you need.
Wearing a doggie sweater or coat
  • Let the dog try out the coat or sweater indoors if a new coat or the first time wearing one. Both you and she can see if there are problems before getting outside.
  • Remove coats or sweaters immediately coming indoors to reduce matting and overheating.
  • If you have a long hair dog, commit to brushing a few minutes after wearing a sweater or coat.
  • It’s tempting to use dryer sheets to reduce static on your dog coat but do not as the chemicals are unsafe for your pets.
My Favorite Winter Dog Coats and Covers
No reason your dog shouldn’t look sweet. I love the look of this coat and so do many others. It’s listed as suede but it’s not, which is good because you need to wash it regularly and this one washes great. This is easy to put on too, no over the head stuff, but velcro flaps to secure it around her body and easy to take off.
If you think the dog coat is a little too much, but you do think your dog needs one, go super simple with a “throw” if you will, since you just throw it on his back and then strap. No arms through arm holes. Really easy to put on and take off, just buy a nice one made with warm material.

Getting outside all-year round keeps your dog fit and reduces bad behavior because of boredom.  A winter dog coat or sweater may more useful than you ever imagined.