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Which Dog Breeds Need Coats in the Winter?

Which Dog Breeds Need Coats in the Winter?

Winter is right around the corner and while many families are hitting the stores for coats, boots, and gloves to stay warm, our furry friends are beginning to grow their own winter coats.

Well, some of them are.

Some lucky breeds are built for the snow and are safely insulated by a second undercoat that grows during the winter months. But other breeds aren't as fortunate and need a helping hand when it comes to staying warm in chilly weather.

which dog breeds need coats in winter


Chihuahuas originate from Mexico where their single-layer coat of thin fur was just right for the country's warm, dry climate. Unfortunately, their thin coat and small size make them particularly vulnerable to the cold during the winters up North.


The corgi is a cattle herding dog that originates from Wales, where snow doesn't settle on the ground for very long. In fact, snow is only on the ground in the U.K. for 15.6 days on average during the year. Like the Chihuahua, the corgi isn't made for snowy climates where its short stature causes its belly to brush up against the snow and ice.

Whippets and Greyhounds

These breeds come from Egypt where their small, lean bodies did them a favor when it came to combating the hot climate. But in the cold, these dogs need as much insulation as they can get.

Small-bodied Terriers

Like the corgi, many small-bodied terriers, like the Yorkshire and Skye terriers, originated in the U.K. where snow isn't a major issue. To keep their hair dry and to provide an extra layer of protection, wrap your small-bodied terrier in a coat while outside in the winter months.


Poodles typically have their big, curly coat groomed throughout the year. And grooming may reduce your dog's natural protection from the cold weather. If your poodle is shaved during the winter months, be sure to provide them with the coat they need to stay warm.

A Temperature Guide For Dog Owners

It can be difficult to determine when the best time of the year might be to provide your dog with a coat. Here's a temperature guide to give you a better idea of when it's the right time to get your dog zipped up in a winter jacket of their own:
  • 45°F: Some dogs that are cold-averse may start to feel uncomfortable. Now's the time to consider getting your furry friend a winter coat to keep them warm.
  • 32°F: At this temperature, a winter coat for your dog is crucial. The weather at this temperature is dangerous for small dogs, dogs with thin coats, senior dogs, and puppies.
  • 20°F: Like a human, your dog can develop health problems such as frostbite and hypothermia if they go out in the cold in this weather without proper protection.
Not every dog is blessed with a second coat of fur to keep them insulated. Be sure to keep your dog warm and safe this winter.
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