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16 Greatest Canine Coats For Winter 2023 – Tried & Examined


Dog coats come in as many, and more varieties than the breeds we have, fit for all kinds of weather, and cover all needs of fall, winter and spring.

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But the market is kind of dazzling when you don’t know what you’re looking for. And I know that, because I went from having a German shepherd in the UK (a double coated breed, in a moderate climate), to adding two slick-coat hounds to that, and being in Maryland, US, where the winters are much colder and much snowier.

Skip To How These Were Tested | Skip To List Of Best Dog Coats

And so I found my self in need of dog coats! So, I turned to google (like you probably just did!) and suddenly there were all these coats, and I had minimal clue as to what to do.

Since, I’ve endeavoured to test them out! And figure out what actually is the best dog coat for my hounds? Which I’m now, just about, ready to share with you guys!

All of these dog coats have been tested by Rebarkable! Whilst I may (or may not) receive affiliate income if you choose to purchase, it costs you no more than it normally does, I just get a small % for my efforts. However, I assure you that that commission has no effect on the rankings of this post – because it’s really important to me that you make informed decisions.

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What Sort Of Dogs Need A Dog Coat?

As a broad rule of thumb, older dogs, puppies, unwell dogs, small dogs, short-legged dogs (particularly in rain or wet conditions) and short-coated dogs are all dogs I would quickly recommend coats for. These dogs, for the main here, it’s a case that these dogs are either extra exposed to the cold, or they’re less able to regulate their own temperature and a chill could be quite tough for them.

But that is just a quick view, instead, ask yourself these 5 questions;

1 – What is the potentially problematic weather?

This one really changes the sort of coat you want for your dog. So ask yourself what are you wanting this coat to do?
Is it wet?
Is it windy?
Is it likely to be snowy?

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All of these are going to change the parameters of your needs. I find that having a few combinations of coats really makes this the best it can be. Much like for myself (actually) I love a rain coat, a winter coat, and a good sweater.

Tip: Your dog can absolutely wear more than one coat to achieve your goals for this!

2 – What type of coat does your dog naturally have?

Different dog breeds have different kinds of coat, those coats may be wiry, they may be fine, they may be slick coated (or short-haired dogs) or double coated.

Knowing this will help you decide (and you can always ask your groomer if you’re unsure) what sort of coat your dog might need. Generally speaking the lighter (density, not color!) your dog’s natural coat is, the more likely they’ll need at least a good winter coat.

This is why Shelby & Lucy, my slick coated hounds, have coats, but my double coated shepherd does not.

Typically you’ll find a dogs who have double coats (and are fit and healthy) will not need a coat.

3 – How Old Are They? How Fit Are they

Older dogs, unwell dogs and younger dogs typically feel the cold more acutely than a fit and healthy dog. So, if they’re within those categories, you may choose to seek adding in some extra padding for them.

This is also going to decide how much you’re willing to invest in a coat, as a growing puppy, you’re definitely not going to want to go for some of the more expensive coats on the market.

4 – Are They Habituated?

Then contrast this with what your dog is bred for, how old they are and whether they’re used to these conditions.
For example, a husky? Likely isn’t going to need a winter coat. But, if that husky has been raised in Texas, you might reconsider that if you decide to go to Alaska.

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Conversely, a daschund who’s habituated to the cold, may require less support than you might think!

But, either way, with all of this, you’ll then know whether you’re ensuring that your dogs coat needs waterproofing, warmth and/or windproofing. Then you can find the best suited coat for your dog. Just make sure to read carefully what the intention of the coat is, and when you try it, keep an eye on your dog to make sure they’re still comfortable on their walks.

5 – Do They Need To Walk?

Then comes this question; Does your dog really need to take that walk in those bitter conditions? If your dog isn’t feeling it, it’s a good idea to not force them to proceed with the walk. If they’ve done what they need to do, heading home is perfectly fine.

If your dog is out (and they’re not an Alaskan malamute, determined to enjoy the only season in which they’re truly comfortable), and you’re worried about them? Then it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them and just see if the cold appears to be getting to them. If their ears, tail or paws are particularly cold to the touch? Then it might be worth turning around and going home.

It also may be a great idea to look into winter activities to keep your dog busy if it really gets that cold! As, if you have an active dog, or a young, energetic dog, this sudden decrease in exercise could be problematic.

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(This said, our coonhounds are both large dogs and active breeds, but they cope very well throughout winter, and just use it as an excuse to nap by the fire!)

Tip: not all coats offer your dog the same amount of coverage, some coats come with more insulation across the chest and even down the legs. this added coverage will absolutely help keep your dog warmer!


The Testing

Please note, these coats are tested in Marlyand, US through autumn, winter & spring, tests are done as thoroughly as possible and further and full details can be found in the individual reviews.

Insulation Test

This one’s happening in three ways.

First, I’ve actually designed a couple of unique tests, which I am really pleased about. One of the tests was to wrap a jar of 4 cups of boiling water in the coat, and track the decrease in body temperature. This actually gives a phenomenal insight into the insulative properties of the coat.

Next, I have a FLIR, which is being used to see how the coats size and insulative properties affect the core temperature of the test subject (aka. Shelby & Lucy the coonhounds).

Lastly, I’m going to use a temperature probe to record the girls when they’re out, and see how their core temperature actually varies whilst wearing the coat. This data should be really interesting. Whilst this may be in the individual reviews for the coats, this is all data that has gone towards this review!

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The last two tests in this should actually give really good insight as to whether these coats are too warm in certain instances.

Fit & Size Availability

My dogs are big dogs, they’re both roughly 75lbs of dog; so we typically outside a lot of ‘fashion’ brands, so you may not see a whole bunch of those brands here, instead, we’re looking at practical coats (mainly), but it also emphasises the need to discuss the range of sizes that these coats come in, and then how they fit vs the measurements, and just how adjustable the adjustable straps are. Because after all, whether they’re great danes or chihuahuas, our dogs all deserve to be warm!

Water Repellency & Wind Resistance

There’s a difference between water-repellent and water-resistant, and then theirs a difference again in how well the coat stops wind. What’s the point in a beautiful warm coat if it lets the wind through? Or worse! Gets sopping wet when it rains and ends up enshrouding your dog in a really cold wet coat. Yuck! Talk about a way to get sick! But not all coats are designed in a certain way, some of them are intended for absolute waterproofing, many more are simply water repellent. I’ll be detailing all of that though so you can make a truly informed choice.

Usability

This one is hard to quantify, but it’s things like whether it chaffes, if it has a leash portal, whether it inhibits movement. Whether it’s a chore or easy to put on – and even whether it offers good visibility if you’re walking in low-light. Or even something as simple as does it make your dog really itchy? I’ll be detailing as much of this as possible as well as what sort of closure they have, and whether they go above or below your dog’s harness.

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Washability

This one goes without saying with a dog, right? Whether you’ve got a puddle sploosher, or a swamp monster, likelihood is that it’s going to get dirty at some point or another. So, as with most dog products, we want to make sure they’re easy to keep clean and easy to maintain.

Miscellaneous

Whether this is sustainability, whether it’s a unique design, or whether it’s some other je ne sais quoi that the coat offers and makes it uniquely suited for your problem? Then that’s a factor I’ll be highlighting for you.

Best Dog Coats

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Reflective strips
  • Sleeves (with a seam)

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

I love the sleek, form-fitting design of the cloud chaser from ruffwear, it feels like a scuba suit for my pups. It’s not the warmest of coats on the list, but when it comes to adaptability and weatherproofing? This one is a great choice. I like this for chilly days that are that cold, windy and rainy day as it’s designed as an outer shell. You may wish to add a warmer layer to add in the extra warmth your dog may need.

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It’s good to note this one is designed to go under the harness and has no leash portal.

 

Ruffwear Furness Dog Jacket

Ruffwear Furness Dog Jacket

  • High Insulation
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Overhead
  • Reflective strips
  • Sleeves (without a seem)
  • Leash Port
  • Leg Straps

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

The Furness is a really nice coat, I have to say. It has really good coverage, and the fact that it cinches in, means that it fits nicely from my german shepherd’s thicker build, to the physique of my athletic hounds. 

Non-Stop Glacier 2.0 (Synthetic)

Non-Stop Glacier 2.0 (Synthetic)

  • High Insulation
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Overhead
  • Reflective strips
  • Leash Port
  • Leg Straps
  • Washable

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Waist Belt

So, I definitely measured my hounds right, but, these seem to run a little shorter than I’d like. I’m not sure which factor varies on my hounds, but the chest strap runs a little tight too (both hounds are basically at the full extent of the strap.

But, that said, it is absolutely a fantastic coat. It overs great coverage, and its such a warm coat, my hounds love it.

Non-stop Glacier 2.0 Coat (Wool)

Non-stop Glacier 2.0 Coat (Wool)

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  • High Insulation
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Overhead
  • Reflective strips
  • Leash Port
  • Leg Straps
  • Rinseable
  • Water-resistant
  • Natural Fibers

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Waist Belt

The use of natural materials here, is a wonderful thing for me, personally. Wool is a massively underused material, it’s renewable (pretty much!) and fairly affordable. And, even better, it’s warm! 

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It offers not only a warm body, but even goes up the neck some, and can cinch close around the body to ensure that your dog retains as much warmth as possible.

Ruffwear Powder Hound

Ruffwear Powder Hound

  • High Insulation
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Reflective strips
  • Sleeves (with a seam)

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

This one doesn’t go over the head – which does make it a little fussy to put on – but there is a knack to it. 

The sleeves do have a seam, which has a different effect with two of my dogs, on Shelby, the seam is fine, but with Lucy, we did find that it rubbed – which surprised me. But, it’s definitely a comfortable and warm coat that (other than the sleeve!) is comfortable and flexible. I was delighted to see it fit the athletic form of my hounds.

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Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Reflective strips
  • Sleeves (with a seam)

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

I love the sleek, form-fitting design of the cloud chaser from ruffwear, it feels like a scuba suit for my pups. It’s not the warmest of coats on the list, but when it comes to adaptability and weatherproofing? This one is a great choice. I like this for chilly days that are that cold, windy and rainy day. 

It’s good to note this one is designed to go under the harness and has no leash portal.

 

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Kurgo Loft Jacket

Kurgo Loft Jacket

  • Water resistant
  • Reflective trim
  • Affordable
  • Warm
  • Leash Portal

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

This coat is a pretty lightweight coat. It has this claim that it doesn’t make your dog itchy like other coats do, but that one remains to be seen! 

The Kurgo Loft Jacket is a durable too, and doesn’t catch for your bush-runners!

Non-Stop Fjord Rain Coat

Best Waterproof Coat

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Non-Stop Fjord Rain Coat

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Large coverage
  • Ability to cinch
  • Form Fitting
  • Reflective strips
  • Leg straps

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: waist belt

Words

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RUFFWEAR, Sun Shower Dog Raincoat, Waterproof & Windproof Jacket for Wet Weather, Hibiscus Pink, X-L
Ray Allen Woobie Jacket

Ray Allen Woobie Jacket

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  • Warm
  • Attaches to harness
  • Fuss free
  • Leg straps

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Attaches to Some harnesses

Words

Wilderdog Fleece Dog Jacket with Neoprene Neck Gaiter - Large - Olive - 1Ct
Ruffwear Climate Changer
Ruffwear Hemp Hound

Ruffwear Hemp Hound

  • Hemp based
  • Light base layer

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Zipper

Words

 

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Ruffwear Quinzee

Ruffwear Quinzee

  • Warm
  • Water resistant
  • Leash Portal
  • Leg straps
  • Good coverage
  • Reflective trim

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Side clips

Words

Ruffwear Lumenglow High-Vis Dog Jacket
OneTigris Dog Jacket, Small Medium Large Dog Jacket Winter Coat Water Resistant Windproof Reflective
Ruffwear Stumptown

Ruffwear Stumptown

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  • Lightweight
  • Water resistant
  • Leash Portal
  • Leg straps
  • Good coverage

Insulation value: TBD

Closure Type: Side clips

The Stumptown is a wonderful “Autumn about town” dog coat. It’s not waterproof or windproof, but it’s a great second layer for that seasonal change. 

How I Use Dog Coats With My Own Dogs

On a personal note, I have two coonhounds (slick coat) and a German Shepherd, the shepherd doesn’t ever wear a coat, his own natural coat is more than sufficient for him (he literally will go lay in the snow and make puppy angels out there), whilst my slick coated coonhounds get morning coats as early as October this year, but (much like us humans) I have a couple of different options for them, from sweater-style things, to rain coats and then full winter coats to ensure that they’re always in the right ‘mode’.

Here’s what we use;

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Lucy Shelby
Warm Coat Ruffwear Furness Non-Stop Glacier 2.0 (synthetic)
Rain Coat Non-Stop Fjord Ruffwear Sun Shower
Sweater/light jacket Ruffwear Climate Changer Wilderdog Coat
In an ideal world, I’d have both hounds in the ruffwear furness, because I love the full coverage that it offers.

The Best For Your Best Doggo

These coats have been really thoroughly tested, and I’ve genuinely gone through these with a fine-toothed comb to get these results.

It’s really been a pleasure working with all of these coats, and many of them have a great purpose. I’ve tried to lay out what our favourites are, and where limitations might be, but our situation is not your situation! And you might decide that my best coats, aren’t yours. And that’s ok! Dog owners all have different needs, and this is here for you to find what is the very best choice for your dog.

What I can say? Is that this list is as accurate as you’ll find!

If you need help deciding on what coat or gear your dog might need, or even if there’s something on this list you feel needs to be here, feel free to get in touch and let’s discuss!

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!

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