The Best Winter Coats For Dogs In Australia
A warm coat in the cold weather can make a dog’s life so much better. Some dogs are very sensitive to the cold so colder days make daily walks far less enjoyable for them.
Luckily, there are plenty of winter clothes you can buy for your dog. But it’s important to choose a coat that fits your dog's needs.
Today's guide to the best winter coats for dogs will help you find just such a product. We teamed up with veterinarians, canine behaviourists and dog parents to form a panel of independent experts. We then researched the most popular winter coats for dogs in Australia, testing them out with our precious pooches. After several weeks of research and plenty of discussion later, we were finally able to agree on the contents of this review.
Let's check it out together!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Scruffs Thermal Self-Heating Dog Coat
- Easy to put on
- Not too bulky
- Adjustable fit
- Good value for money
Runner Up -
Carhartt Chore Coat Dog
- Easy to put on and take off
Third Choice -
SlowTon Winter Dog Coat
- Good coverage
- Comfortable design
- Warm fleece lining
- Available in large sizes too
What to Look in a Winter Coat
A good winter coat should obviously keep your dog warm. But, it’s also important that it fits your dog well. What works for one will not work for another, and you also need to take into consideration the type of weather you will face.
Here is what our team of independent experts suggest you take into consideration before settling on a dog coat:
How cold is too cold for dogs? It’s hard to say since every dog has a different level of tolerance to the cold. In general, when temperatures get down to 15 degrees celsius or less, it’s time to start thinking about coats and winter safety (1). The tolerance depends on the size of the dog and the thickness of their coat, as well as various other factors.
In any case, you can only find this out by watching your dog and noticing when they start to feel cold (and there are usually obvious signs, like shivering or reluctance to go outside).
If it’s very cold outside and your dog is not a winter-hardy breed, look for coats with a warm lining. Fleece and various polyester blends are good materials for this. On the other hand, dogs can warm up quickly when they are active, so your dog might even overheat if the coat is too thick and not breathable.
Related: Best Dog Coats.
Comfort & Fit
Comfort is key for any dog garment. If they are not comfortable, dogs are way less likely to get used to the clothing and might even develop an aversion to it. That’s why it’s always important to get the right fit. Measure your dog carefully and always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart as they can vary vastly.
It’s also necessary to take your dog’s body shape into account. A good winter coat should be long enough to cover the dog’s back completely, but not too long to not hinder the movement of the dog. But some dogs are much longer than others, so it’s important to pay attention to the length when shopping for dog coats.
Another critical area is the part around the dog’s neck. Some dogs’ necks are wider than others, but the jacket should be neither too tight nor too wide in this area.
Related: Onesies For Dogs.
Dog coats come in various shapes and designs. An important aspect to consider is how the coat is put on. Some coats need to go over the dog’s head which can be difficult to do. Others simply go over the dog’s back and then you secure them in place with straps and/or buckles.
Neither is right or wrong, but you should consider what would work best for you and your dog. For example, if you take the jacket off your dog frequently while outside, you might want something that’s easy to put on and off.
Best Dog Winter Jackets 2022: Our Top Picks
Dog coats are not just functional, they are also adorable! Of course, the goal is to find something that will keep your dog warm, but we can’t help but notice how cute they look all wrapped up in a cosy coat. These are our independent team of experts' top picks for winter:
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This winter jacket from Scruffs is a great example of a well-made dog jacket. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to fit and put on, it’s comfortable, it’s very warm and water-resistant. What more could we ask for?
This is a soft-shell coat, similar to modern soft-shell jackets for humans. I appreciated how instead of the crinkly outer layer that you normally see in older winter jackets, this one has a soft polyester shell that is water-resistant and breathable at the same time, similar to our number three choice below. I felt great about putting my dog in this before going out for our wintertime walkies.
Unlike most cold-weather jackets for dogs, this one isn’t bulky at all. This is because it relies on reflective technology instead of padding to provide warmth. A special layer on the inside of the jacket reflects the dog’s body heat, thus fulfilling the “self-heating” function.
One thing our panel of pros especially loved about the Scruffs coat is the fleece collar. The neck area is usually the part where many jackets fit awkwardly but here, that’s not the case. The extended fleece collar wraps gently around the dog’s neck without being too tight and keeps them warm and cozy.
Carhartt gear seems to be popping up everywhere, but it’s more than just a fad. The brand has been a symbol of comfy and reliable workwear for decades. And now, they've made something for your furry friend too.
The Chore Coat vest brings the typical Carhartt quality to the canine world. The exterior of the coat is made from high-quality cotton duck. This is a type of cotton canvas that is woven more tightly than most and this makes it water-resistant to an extent. But it’s still cotton, which is notorious for getting very heavy when wet, which is why the fabric is treated with a special water-resistant treatment to make it suitable for rainy weather too.
The Carhartt Chore Coat Dog being tested by our independent expert team.
Under the sleek cotton exterior, there is a quilted nylon lining that kept my dog warm and toasty even on the briskest of days.
One thing everyone on our team of independent experts loved about this vest is how easy it is to put on and how snuggly it fits. When your dog needs to wear the jacket, all you need to do is put it over their back and snap the two straps into place using the large velcro patches. Thanks to the velcro closing, you can easily adjust the straps on the chest and the belly to fit your dog’s measurements exactly.
One potential caveat of this jacket is the length. Namely, some pet parents on our testing panel found that the jacket is not long enough (i.e., it doesn’t reach all the way down to the tail). This will, of course, depend on the breed (the longer the dog the shorter the jacket will appear).
You should also keep in mind that a shorter jacket does allow for more freedom of movement, so that could be a good thing if the jacket is not so short that it stops being effective.
This jacket from SlowTon is an affordable option that works just as well as some more expensive jackets. The coat features a weather-resistant polyester shell on the outside, similar to our number one pick, and a soft fleece on the inside. The combination makes it perfect for walks in all sorts of weather.
The soft fleece lining on this coat is especially fluffy and soft, and the fleece part extends into a long collar area that wraps around the neck. As you know, some dogs have longer necks so finding the right fit in this area can be complicated. However, with this soft fleece collar, it’s quite easy since it can be rolled back as needed.
The SlowTon Winter Dog Coat being tested by our independent expert team.
I really love how the jacket has exceptionally good coverage. It covered my dog's chest area completely when everything was set up in place and it went all the way down to the tail. Two elastic straps went around my dog’s hind legs to keep the jacket in place during play.
The main potential downside of the jacket is the fact that you need to pull the fleece collar part over your dog's head to put the jacket on. For some dogs on our team of independent experts, this was not a problem, but with others, it took some getting used to.
Tiny dogs get cold more easily, so they need to have a really good winter coat for the cold days. This is just such a jacket.
The construction of this coat is equivalent to a good warm parka made for humans. The external layer is water-resistant polyester. Under it, there is a thick layer of warm polyester padding and an extra-soft fleece lining. In short, it is a very warm coat that is suitable for real winter conditions, including snow.
The rabbitgoo Winter Dog Coat for Small Dogs being tested by our independent expert team.
This Rabbitgoo coat is very practical and full of nice little details. For example, there is reflection trim along the sides that helped make my dog more visible in the evenings. There is also an opening on the back that made it possible for my dog to wear a harness under the coat. I was able to pull the lead attachment ring through this hole and attach his leash with no problems.
The coat is machine washable, but you’ll also find that it’s very easy to wipe down the polyester shell with a wet towel. This comes in handy when you take walks in muddy winter conditions leading to a dirty coat after every walk.
If you are set on buying this coat, our team of independent experts want you to measure your dog and pay attention to the size chart. The sizing runs unexpectedly small with size XL being roughly the right size for a Maltese. And yes, that’s the larger size, so this coat is only an option for small and tiny breeds.
Need something larger? Then you may love our next pick in the number five spot!
Winter coats for larger dogs are much more difficult to find than those for small breeds. The reason behind that is simple, smaller dogs get cold way more easily and many large dogs don’t need coats at all. But some obviously do.
The Huskimo Summit Pro coat was designed for larger dogs too, with the largest size being 80 cm long. This is still not enough for the largest breeds, but it is for many dogs on the larger side.
This Huskimo coat has a shell resistant to rain and wind and is lined with microfleece. The lining is exceptionally light, but still quite warm which makes it perfect for active dogs.
The Huskimo Summit Pro Bells Beach being tested by our independent expert team.
The jacket is easy to put on as it doesn’t need to go over the head. It closes at the chest with a large velcro strap, similar to our number two winter jacket option, and straps around the belly attach using quick-release buckles. All the straps are adjustable which helps achieve a good fit.
The fleece vest from Gooby is a lightweight and comfortable option for dogs that need that bit of extra warmth.
This is a fleece vest made for dogs, which means it is very warm, but it’s not water-resistant so it's only suitable for dry weather. However, if you need something to keep your dog warm while indoors or anyways out of the rain, this is a great option.
The Gooby Fleece Vest Dog Sweater being tested by our independent expert team.
This vest features a D-ring for attaching the leash on the back of the jacket. If used in this way, the vest practically acts as a harness. While this is a convenient option for well-behaved dogs, our team of independent experts doesn’t recommend using it in this way with dogs who tend to pull a lot. While this fleece is comfortable, it is not designed to distribute the weight nicely when a dog pulls on the lead.
Another peculiar thing about this vest is that there are no straps, buttons, or buckles. You simply put it on over the dog’s head. While it’s nice not to have to fiddle about with buckles and adjustment straps, getting the vest on can be tricky - it will depend on the build and temperament of your dog.
This jacket from Petface is a great choice for active pups who like to play outside in the rain. The jacket features a nice weatherproof exterior and lightweight fleece padding on the inside.
The padding is considerably thinner than most other jackets. So, if you need a jacket to protect your dog from the elements, but you don’t want them to overheat, our panel members all agreed that this is a good option.
The Petface Signature Reflective Waterproof Dog Coat being tested by our independent expert team.
The jacket features two wide straps that attach with velcro. One is on the chest, and it gave me the ability to adjust the chest part to make it fit my dog perfectly. The other strap went around the belly. It's similar to our number four water-resistant coat from Rabbitgoo, except it's totally adjustable.
Warm dog coats can be a real lifesaver. Our team of independent experts could all agree that our favourite is the Scruffs Thermal Self-Heating Dog Coat because it’s lightweight and still does a great job at keeping your four-legged friend warm.
Another popular choice is the Scruffs Thermal Self-Heating Dog Coat which is not only cute but also weather-resistant and incredibly durable.
There is no easy answer to this question. It depends on how cold it is and on various actors related to your dog. Still, the smaller the dog, the more likely they are to get cold. This is not only because they are small, but because they are literally closer to the ground.
But still, some very large dogs, like Great Danes, will likely need a coat in the winter. Double-coated breeds are more resistant to the cold than dogs with very short hairs.
Dogs will typically show you that they are cold, you just need to pay attention to their behaviour. One of the most obvious signs is shivering. Some dogs will start lifting their legs when they are cold, most will start searching for a warmer place. Whining, anxious behaviour, and reluctance to go outside can all be signs that your dog is cold and needs a coat.
In most cases, dog coat sizing charts specify the chest girth and the neck circumference. The chest girth refers to the widest part of your dog's chest. To find this out, wrap a tape measure around your dog’s chest at the widest part, right behind the front legs. The neck is measured at the base, where it is widest.
- Coates, J. November 3, 2016. “How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?”. PetMD. Retrieved April 26, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-cold-too-cold-dog
- Fitzsimmons, P. January 24, 2019. “Do Some Breeds Actually Need Dog Coats?. PetMD. Retrieved April 26, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/pet-lover/do-some-breeds-actually-need-dog-coats