Going outside is inevitable for dog-owners, no matter how torrential the downpour or severe the weather warning. And while many hounds object to clothing, there are days when an extra layer is essential.
Of course, there are as many options as there are breeds of dog, and an awful lot that serve no purpose beyond making your dog look cute on Instagram. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a coat that is durable and versatile too.
The ideal coat will be both warm and waterproof. It should be machine-washable, easy to put on and designed to accommodate a lead or harness. It shouldn’t slip around the body or affect the dog’s ability to do its business. And given that many dogs don’t love wearing clothing, it needs to be comfortable enough that they can forget they’re wearing it.
If you have a large breed though, often a standard XL won’t suffice, while long-bodied dogs need something adjustable that can accommodate their proportions.
I enlisted my reluctant mini Goldendoodle, Bodhi – 11.3kg, 60cm neck-to-tail, 54cm around the ribcage – to put the best to the test.
2-in-1 Harness dog coat
This coat looks, feels and performs way beyond its price tag. We took it out in heavy rain and it made for decent protection. The Velcro straps must be threaded through loops and folded back on themselves, a system that is made for a secure, comfortable fit. It is harness-friendly, machine-washable and the fleece liner is removable, making it equally suitable for summer months. It’s only available in black but has reflective beading for visibility on night-time walks.
Barbour Battersea waxed dog coat
Made from the same waxed cotton as Barbour’s “human” coats, this is a high-performance, waterproof design with a tartan lining and brown needlecord collar. The buckles were a little fiddly, but we love that it offers a huge range of sizes (from toy breeds up to a Great Dane) and that Barbour donates £5 from the purchase of this coat to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Weatherbeeta Reflective 300D parka
There’s absolutely no chance of losing your dog in this neon, reflective jacket – it’s perfect for late walks in poorly-lit areas. It’s waterproof and well-insulated – Bodhi seemed really snug and comfortable wearing it. It’s fitted with strong Velcro strips at the neck and belly – the lower strap is also adjustable, so there’s no loose fabric. It’s harness-friendly and machine-washable too.