Milo’s Closet: Keeping Your Dog Warm in Cold Weather
I’m not one of those dog owners who dresses up my dog in clothes just to make him cute, but I do think it’s important he is warm enough outside in cold weather.
Milo owns 3 pieces of cold weather clothing. He has a raincoat (that doubles as a lightweight coat), a heavy winter coat and I just bought him a sweater.
Milo’s first coat was this lightweight blue raincoat.
I took this picture just one week after I adopted Milo. I adopted him on December 28 and the stores were already cleared out of coats, so I didn’t have a lot to choose from to keep him warm.
And he did need to stay warm. He was covered with matted fur when he was rescued and his foster mom did a home grooming job to clean him up. He looked pretty ragged so I took him to a groomer and had them cut all of his fur short…so he definitely needed a coat!
I wasn’t looking for a raincoat but I picked out this coat because it fit him well and has a flannel lining to keep him warm. I’m really glad that I ended up with a raincoat, because it really does keep his body dry in wet weather.
Milo wore this coat as his only coat for his first 2 winters with me because I just had no luck finding a warmer coat that I liked that fit him.
Last winter I bought him boots since we live in a condo without a yard and the sidewalks around us get covered in salt when it snows. The salt burns his feet and I end up carrying him. I know, you probably think I’m a softie to carry him but I just can’t help it when he starts limping and trying to get all of his feet off of the ground and then looks up at me with these ‘help me’ eyes.
It was hilarious watching him learn to walk in boots…I shared a video of him last winter that you should check out. Definitely watch it if you are thinking of buying your dog boots…because apparently Milo’s reaction to walking in boots is pretty common.
Milo Gets a Winter Coat:
After 2 winters of no success at finding a winter coat that I liked AND fit him well, I had just about given up.
The challenge is that Milo is 22 lbs with really long leg for a dog his size. If you are looking at sizing charts, he is on the big end of small, which normally goes to 25 lbs. But, most smalls don’t fit him well, and most mediums are huge on him.
The other problem is that so many pieces of clothing aren’t built for BOYS. A girl dog can wear something that covers up her tummy but a boy dog will pee all over it. You also have to be careful that the clothing doesn’t pinch your male dog in sensitive spots if it goes too low on the stomach.
I knew that Milo’s raincoat fit well, so I kept looking for a heavy coat with a similar design.
I found the perfect coat for Milo. The store had a no return policy for the clearance items, so I brought Milo back the following week to make sure this coat would fit, and it did.
And, it looks SO cute on him too.
It did take Milo a bit to learn to run down the steps from my condo (I’m on the 2nd floor), because there is a flap that protects his upper legs and he has never worn anything like that before. But it didn’t take long and he was running like normal.
This fall I decided I wanted to get Milo a sweater for those chilly days instead of always using the raincoat.
Last winter I had a couple of foster dogs that needed a coat, but I didn’t want to spend over $20 to buy a coat for a dog that I would have for just a few weeks (they were so adorable I knew they would be adopted quick!). So, I went to the local Goodwill store and bought some baby clothes for $1 each. It worked great so I thought I would hit the thrift stores for a sweater for Milo.
Milo’s new sweater was $2 at Goodwill and is a size 18 months. If you decide to buy baby or kid’s clothes for your dog, simply focus on the neck hole and get one that should go over your dogs head. If you need to, bring you dog’s collar with you so you can compare the size.
You put the sweater on just like you would if your dog was a baby. Pull it over his head, then pull one leg through the sleeve and then the other.
I like the looks of the sweater with the sleeves rolled up a bit, but I could leave them unrolled too.
While the sweater only covers him halfway, that works since he is a boy and if it was longer underneath he would get it wet when he pees. With a girl, you could go with something longer and it would be fine.
I always take Milo’s sweater off as soon as we come inside so he doesn’t get too hot. He quickly learned that when I pick up the sweater he gets to go outside, so he now actually pushes his head into the opening to help me get him dressed.
Do you have a coat or sweater to keep your dog warm?
Share your tips in the comments below for buying clothing that fits your dog or saves you money.