It’s that time of year again!
Dog owners around the world are waking up when it is dark and freezing out to go on a walk with their beloved pups. We are bundled up with jackets, thick socks, boots, a scarf and hat… what do our dogs need?
When do we know that our dogs need a doggie jacket? Small and/or skinny breeds definitely need something to warm them in this cold weather. It is important to keep an eye open for any signs of shivering and pulling up their stomach to name a few. If my dogs are in my parked car for a while in the winter, I make sure they have enough blankets and never leave less than two together, so that they have at least one dog to cuddle with. If this isn’t possible – don’t leave your dog in the car in the freezing winter for a long time.
Since my last post was about how a dogs’ physical features can affect their communication, this post is also relevant. A coat can also really change a dogs’ appearance and can affect how other dogs interpret their body language.
These photos aren’t mine, but they can give you an idea of how a jacket can change a dog. Look at them from a dogs’ perspective – not knowing that it is a jacket.
To another dog, these dogs look stiff and bulky. Stiffness isn’t a welcoming stance and the Dobermans also look much larger and as if they are trying to impress someone by pushing their chest out. It is just the jacket they are wearing which humans can see and understand, but for a dog it can come across completely differently.
Then we have some dog owners who go over the top and not only want their dog to be warm, but also stylish. This may be cute in the eyes of the owner, but is it right or even humane for the dog? A dog is and will always be a dog – that needs to be respected! In the picture below, you can see how extremely bulky this hoodie is and how that might affect this Pugs’ communication. Especially if you read my last post, you will understand that it is extra difficult for this dog to communicate with his overbred face and curly tail.
It is something to think about, but definitely not a reason to not give your dog a jacket! But if you notice other dogs approaching your dog differently, that might be why.
What are your experiences with dog jackets? Tell me all about it in the comments!