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Dog in a blanket
Photo: Matthew Henry/Unsplash

Ok, we all know how cute our dogs look when we dress them in warm winter coats. But leading Australian dog groomer and pet educator, Emily Myatt, has warned against canine couture, saying doggy coats can lead to your pet becoming over-heated.

And, if a coat is left on too long, a dog's skin can become irritated and the fur matted.

"Coating up a canine weakens its ability to regulate its body temperature, and a too high temperature is actually more detrimental to a dog than a lower temperature," she said.

"Skin sores from the friction against the skin can also happen if a dog wears a coat for too long.

"When out for a walk most dogs will get warm by themselves as motion will warm them up ... and any extra warmth piled on top of them may cause overheating.

"If a dog has to sleep outside without a kennel it might need extra warmth - but try a blanket to lie on or snuggle into first before a coat, jumper or jacket," she said.

Emily said dogs did not actually need raincoats, Owners usually put them on to prevent having to deal with a wet dog after being out for a walk.

"Dog breeds that might require a coat, jumper or jacket to help them stay warm are thin skinned hounds such as whippets, greyhounds, daschunds (smooth coated), dalmatians, Chinese crested hairless as well as older dogs when they have very thing or sparse coats like a Maltese.," she said.

"Thick long haired dogs should not wear extra clothing, and other dogs should only wear a coat, jumper or jacket under supervision for short periods of time."

So how do you know if your dog is cold or not? Emily says if you see the dog shivering or their paw pads feel cool to touch, they are likely to be cold.

As well, a cold dog will curl itself up into a tight ball, getting its paws and nose tucked in under itself tightly, and is likely to need a coat or blanket until it's warm.



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