Dog raincoats are one of those items that the general public does not have a hard and fast rule about. The host of dog parents are divided into two arguments, the two sides of the great divide.
The two sides of the divide come forward with quite strong arguments, some of which would be discussed in this article. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Dog Raincoats- Should You Or Should You Not?
If you’ve been doing any sort of research about dog raincoats, you might have gotten confused. This confusion doesn’t come as a surprise to us. We’ve helped you gather all the resourceful information we could find and we’ll give you a summary of the points from both arguments.
We’ll start with the argument against, “why dogs don’t need raincoats”.
Why Dogs Don’t Need Raincoats
To defend their arguments, many scholars point immediately to evolution. They say that from time immemorial, canines have existed without human companions to give them shelter.
They also point to man’s best friend’s wild cousins saying “if wolves do not need raincoats, then dogs sure don’t”.
Still in relation to wolves, scholars argue that when an older relative or a more dominant wolf wants to oppress the younger or less dominant, they stand over them. They say that this is what the dog feels when you put a raincoat on him.
They claim, that at the end of the day, the reason why your dog wears the raincoat without complaining is because of a feeling similar to the weaker wolf as explained above. The dog feels subdued and respects that someone stronger, more domineering is around.
At the end of the day, they prefer that dog parents read behavioral patterns. They also say that sometimes our dogs might send mixed signals. It’s your job as a dog parent to look beyond those signals and do what you know is best for the dog.
Why Do Dogs Need Dog Raincoats?
These points are brought forward by Dr. Michelle Danna of petMd. In her research, Dr. Danna puts forward four dangers and risks that the rainy season brings for your dog.
When there is heavy downpour, the vision of drivers become very blurred. Because of this, taking your dog on a walk when it is raining is not very advisable.
However, this problem of visibility can easily be overcome by raincoats. How can a raincoat make a driver see my dog better and not hit him? Great question.
There are a whole lot of high visibility raincoats out there, most of which come with reflectors. What are reflectors? Reflectors are simply materials that help to reflect light. An example of reflectors are clothes worn by traffic wardens and police officers vest.
So, with these dog raincoats that have reflectors, the danger that is; low visibility during the raining season, is curbed.
With great rainfall comes great lightning and thunder! Any day of the week, including thor’s day (Thursday), lol, lightning is dangerous both for you and your dog. Dr. Danna advises that in a case where you hear thunder or see lightning, take shelter immediately.
Dogs can get easily frightened by lightning and thunder. If your dog gets scared, he might run off and eventually get lost. To avoid this happening, Dr. Danna says you should keep your dog indoors during the rain. She also advises really short and heavily supervised potty breaks.
One thing a lot of dog parents are often very worried about is their dog’s tag. Because the tag is metal, a lot of parents prefer taking it off during storm situations.
However, this is not a great idea. Yes, it’s correct that the tag is metal and as such would conduct electricity (lightning), another thing you really need to look at is “what if your dog gets scared and runs off?”
Without his tag, there is almost no chance in the world that you’ll be able to find him. Also, whoever finds him wouldn’t know where to bring him.
“So, what do I do? The tag is metal!” Well, Dr. Danna’s worry is not exactly the tag but your dog’s identification. All you need to do is find him some other form of identification that’s not metal for when it’s raining.
With rainfall comes puddles all across the streets. While splashing in puddles is great amusement for some dogs, some others walk through these puddles unavoidably. Ultimately, they end up in standing water for whatever reason.
However, it is very important to note that any dog that comes in contact with these puddles introduces herself to a lotta dangerous bacteria.
Giardia and Leptospirosis are two agents that your dogs can pick up if they consume infected water. This infected water is readily found in these puddles. Once your dog drinks from any puddle, he instantly stands the risk of being infected by Leptospirosis and giardia.
What you can do is to vaccinate. You can get your dog vaccinated against Leptospirosis. However, ultimately, you should properly hydrate your pooch before venturing outdoors. This will ensure he doesn’t drink from any puddles during your walk.
You might say “hey, I’ve trained my pup well enough, he doesn’t drink from puddles”, but what about his paws? Stepping on these puddles and then licking his paws afterward is as bad as him drinking straight from the puddle.
Prevention is better than cure and the best prevention to these infections is to get your dog fully covered. Especially when it is raining or wet outside, covering up your dog is your best bet in preventing diseases. Dog raincoats and a pair of dog boots or shoes would do the trick.
Symptoms of these infections include:
- Excessive urination.
If you notice these symptoms, take your dog straight to the vet. Be careful before going to the vet, these diseases can be transmitted to humans. Wear gloves when touching him and stay away from his urine.
Pneumonia according to Wikipedia is defined as the inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. If your pups are unprotected against the cold weather and rain for extensive periods, their respiratory tracts might become inflamed.
This inflammation is what results in pneumonia.
Dogs most likely to experience this are; older dogs, young pups and those with weak immune systems.
Symptoms of pneumonia include;
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Runny nose.
This disease is very life-threatening once it’s not properly treated. It is best to take your dog to the vet once he begins to show these symptoms.
The best prevention to pneumonia is to keep your dog inside 100% of the time when it’s cold or raining.
However, this is nearly impossible as simple things like potty breaks must be taken. With that in mind, the next best prevention is to get him a dog raincoat.
Dog raincoats are water-resistant so they keep the moisture out. Keeping the moisture out also means the heat stays in. The heat staying in means no inflammation of respiratory tracts, which means no pneumonia.
Pneumonia is very expensive to treat because of the severity of the disease. Dog raincoats are very inexpensive.
Before completely brushing off the idea of dog raincoats, consider things carefully.. What’s the best move for you economically? What’s the best move for your pup’s health? What is the best move all around?
How To Go About Buying Dog Raincoats
Because there is so much uncertainty when it comes to dog raincoats, it might be quite difficult looking for one. Looking for dog raincoats would be a very tasking job if you aren’t well vast in that knowledge.
However, you need not worry because we’ve got you covered. We have done all the research you would need. As a result of this research, we have gathered all the things you need to look out for before buying dog raincoats.
Seriously, is it even a raincoat if it cannot coat against the rain? This is obviously the first thing you need to look out for when getting dog raincoats. Can it keep him dry?
The best way to determine this before purchase is by checking the material that the raincoat is made out of. The material it is made out of would tell you whether or not it is waterproof. Also, it should be properly stated that this is a dog raincoat and not a dog sweater or something similar.
You’ll need to check how much moisture the material can handle before it begins to stick to your dog. You seriously do not want something that would cling to his body after just a few minutes under the rain. That can even be more dangerous than his being completely exposed to the rain.
Rainfall is always accompanied by strong winds which results in a cold. Due to that fact, it is important that whilst these dog raincoats prevent your dog from the downpour, they also prevent him from the cold.
Small dogs and big dogs with thin hair and little fur would greatly benefit from this form of insulation. However, it is also important to note that insulation can become a bad thing if in excess. Big dogs with really thick fur can easily get overheated if kept insulated for a long period.
Make sure to check what material the raincoat you want to get is made out of and how much insulation it produces. Match this with how much heat you think your dog needs during the cold.
While you would definitely measure your dog so you can get a raincoat that he’s size, the raincoat still needs to be adjustable. It needs to be adjustable to give your dog enough room. Dog raincoats aren’t meant to be too free, neither are they meant to be snug-fit.
If the dog raincoats are too free, they might slip off. If they’re a snug fit, the water pressure hitting the raincoat might affect the dog and make him scared. With this in mind, it is important that these dog raincoats are easily adjustable.
The adjustability of dog raincoats also determines how easy they are to get on and off your dog. Wearing your dog any form of clothing or accessory is quite a chore, especially if it’s new to him. The only way to make your job less stressful is to get something that is so adjustable he can slip it on easily.
In as much as we would love for you to go out there and pick up the best dog raincoat you can find, we do not want you broke afterward. Obviously, dog raincoats are not the only things you need for your furry friend.
However, it is also not advisable to get something cheap that wouldn’t serve the purpose for which it was bought. The fact that price is the last factor to consider is no coincidence at all.
It is only when the dog raincoat has passed all the above tests that you should begin to consider its price. Remember, it’s better to buy one that’ll last a lifetime, than 100 that’ll last only a year.
And we’re done! If you followed the path we have laid out carefully, you and your dog would get home after a heavy downpour without as little as a wet paw.
Your dog’s health and comfort remain our biggest motivation, stay dry, stay healthy.