The 10 Best Dog Raincoats
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in April of 2016. With one of these doggie raincoats, you don't have to let inclement weather interfere with your plans to spend quality time outdoors with a furry friend. We've included poncho-style options as well as insulated garments equipped with waterproof fabrics, adjustable chest and belly straps, and reflective striping, which all serve to keep Fido warm, dry, comfortable, and well-protected. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 15, 2020:
Some people might want to assume that because dogs are covered with so much hair and fur, they don't need any additional protection from the elements like humans do. While a dog can certainly survive a walk in a rainstorm without a jacket, it's beneficial to fit him with a garment designed just for him that provides at least some degree of protection from all that water, wind, dirt, and debris. Take the Standard Poodle, for example. While this breed doesn't have fur, grooming it is practically an art form (and an expensive one at that). Why go to all that trouble and expense to get the animal coiffed only to have it ruined in less than 10 seconds under a rain deluge? Sure, Fido's going to get some amount of water on him (even with a jacket) and he might need to be brushed after coming inside, but his raincoat will keep a majority of his body dry. Furthermore, if that dog spends a lot of time in cold climates, these raincoats offer soft fleece linings to keep the animal warm. Some of them are also compatible dog harnesses. While there's really no substitute for a life jacket in potentially dangerous wilderness settings, I feel this category has a bit more "leeway" in terms of coat style, but without sacrificing functionality.
Depending on the type of breed you have, a dog raincoat should be comfortable with breathable fabric. Dogs don't sweat through their bodies, so their garments shouldn't allow them to overheat. The Weatherbeeta Deluxe Parka, for example, leverages a breathable polyester exterior with a fleece lining, making it good for use in the coldest of outdoor environments. Some of our options, like the HDE Slicker and Ellie Dog Wear Yellow are also equipped with adjustable hoods to protect a pup's head. A hood comes in especially handy for dogs (like mine) with fluffy "pompoms" of hair on top of their heads. Water can mat that ball of fluff down in mere seconds. Some coats, like the Zack & Zoey Nor'easter, offer reversible designs that are both lined and water-resistant, so they can be used in cold weather, even when it's not raining.
We've also added the Hurtta Downpour, as it's one of the few options that goes over your furry friend like a pair of overalls, providing nearly top-to-bottom protection. This one would be an excellent choice for use in the snow or when stuck in extremely stormy environments. Its fabric has also been treated to repel insects like mosquitoes and ticks, so it's a practical option for a dog to wear when hiking in the woods.
While some of our options have reflective piping, few are also equipped with a flashing LED like the Kurgo North Country, which sets it apart from the competition.
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A Brief History Of Dog Clothing
However, as dogs have started to be recognized as members of the family, they've moved indoors — and they're starting to dress like us, too.
The first time most people really thought about animal clothing was when they realized that Donald Duck was wearing a shirt, but not pants. However, dressing up our furry friends has been going on for a lot longer than Walt Disney would have you believe.
Dog attire started with the simple collar-and-leash combo that's still ubiquitous today. The Egyptians had a soft spot for dogs, using them both as hunting buddies and home protectors. They wore leather collars that were beautifully adorned and decorated, and I can only assume they also said, "If found, return to Tutankhamun."
The collar would be the extent of dog fashion until the 15th century. King Louis XI of France was so devoted to his favorite greyhound that he robed him in scarlet and decorated him with pearls and rubies, and the practice of dressing up dogs became commonplace among European nobility as a result.
In the 19th century, Princess Victoria of Britain started a fad when she decked her spaniel, Dash, out in a scarlet coat and blue trousers. Dog fashion became such big business that canine boutiques started cropping up all over Europe, presumably with names like "Yves St. Bernard" and "Donatella Grrrsace."
Many dogs of this era had entire wardrobes, with costume changes for meals and activities, as well as special garments for traveling.
Meanwhile, in America, dogs were largely viewed as outside pets, and their wardrobe was limited to functional collars and leashes until the 20th century. However, as dogs have started to be recognized as members of the family, they've moved indoors — and they're starting to dress like us, too. While many clothing options for canines still serve a dedicated purpose, Halloween costumes have recently become big business, because who doesn't like seeing a Labrador dressed up as Darth Vader?
In all seriousness, though, while dog clothing is cute, it's really not okay that Donald Duck is walking around without any pants.
How To Get Your Dog To Wear A Raincoat
You bought the absolute cutest raincoat, waited forever for a cloudy day...and now your pooch absolutely refuses to wear his new jacket.
Fortunately, there are ways to get even the most finicky dogs to tolerate wearing clothing. The best way to accomplish this is to start when they're still puppies, as they'll adapt to just about anything if they think it's natural. If you have an older dog, though, you can still persuade him to cover up before going outside.
Once he doesn't seem to notice that he's wearing it, he'll be ready to show it off outside.
The most important thing, of course, is to make sure it actually fits him. If it's too tight, it will be uncomfortable, and if it's too loose, it will make walking cumbersome. Take care that it doesn't press down on his neck — when mothers correct their puppies, they do so by putting pressure on the neck, so he'll think he did something wrong if his coat is constantly weighing him down.
You'll also need to go slow. Start by showing your dog the jacket. Let him investigate it to his heart's content. Praise and reward him with treats as he sniffs around, so that he associates his new coat with positive feelings. Don't try to put it on him just yet.
Once he's convinced that the coat isn't a threat — or, better yet, once he's actually excited to see it — it's time to acclimate him to the feel of the thing. Rub it on him, being sure to praise and reward him as you do so.
After a few days of this, it's time for him to try it on. Again, reward and praise him as you put it on, then continue to do so once he's wearing it. Don't leave it on him for too long just yet — you need to build up to that by having him wear it a little longer each day. Once he doesn't seem to notice that he's wearing it, he'll be ready to show it off outside.
Of course, once he realizes that the neighbor's cute little Golden Retriever is checking him out, he may never want to take it off.
Tips For Walking Your Dog In The Rain
It's the true test of your mettle as a pet owner: there's a downpour outside, but your little buddy wants to go for a walk. Do you take him, or do you try to explain to him the concept of a rain check?
You already know the answer to that. Bad weather is no excuse for neglecting your dog, but walking in the rain doesn't have to be a nightmare — provided you know how to do it the right way.
It's the true test of your mettle as a pet owner: there's a downpour outside, but your little buddy wants to go for a walk.
Having the proper gear is key. You already know the importance of a raincoat, but booties can help keep his little feet warm and dry, while also helping to prevent him from tracking paw prints all over your carpet once he gets home. Grab an umbrella for the both of you, and you're good to go.
If your dog is one of those masochistic pups that really seems to love the rain, letting him splash around will do you both a world of good. It will tucker him out faster than exploring the streets would, and seeing him tromp around in mud puddles will remind you why you love him enough to be out in this weather in the first place.
However, if your dog seems to hate the water (or if you just really don't want to take him this time), you can plan ahead for rainy days with a porch potty and some vigorous indoor playtime. Try to tax his mind as much as his muscles, so brain games like hide-and-seek or the shell game will be just what the doctor ordered.
Then, give him his favorite treat. You owe him big for this.