Should Dogs Wear Raincoats and Rainboots When Walking in the Rain?

Dogs wearing clothes is a topic that divides many dog owners.  On one hand, many dogs have waterproof fur and by nature, they have evolved to withstand many types of elements.  On the other hand, the diversity of breeds and sizes of dogs means that some breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, can find themselves in environments where they do not naturally thrive.  Here, whether or not dogs should wear raincoats and rain boots when walking in the rain will be discussed.  

Advantages of Raincoats and Rain Boots

For dog owners, the main advantages of raincoats and rain boots are that they limit the amount of moisture and mud the dog brings into the house.  For dogs that do not have water resistant coats, rain resistant clothing can reduce the amount of time (as well as the hassle) spent drying off a dog after a walk.  

For some dogs, walking in cold rain can present the risk of catching a cold or developing hypothermia.  This fact is true for young, elderly, short-haired, or long-haired dogs – especially when the weather is chilly.  Additionally, rain boots prevent dogs from being exposed to run off during a rainstorm that might contain chemicals such as motor oil.  

Disadvantages of Rain Coats and Rain Boots

Even though raincoats and rain boots for dogs have advantages, not all dogs enjoy wearing clothing.  In particular, dogs can struggle to walk when first wearing boots.  It is important that rain boots fit properly, and that the dog is acclimated to wearing them.  Proper traction is required if the boots are to be worn on slippery surfaces.  

Additionally, the raincoat should not restrict your dog’s movement.  Some dog owners find that raincoats are stifling, so you should find a coat that is both water-resistant and breathable.  Besides a dog’s possible discomfort, there are no other serious disadvantages to wearing rain gear.  

Ultimately, whether or not your dog wears a raincoat or rain boots is dependent upon your pet’s comfort as well as factors such as your dog’s age, breed, and the climate.  Not only does water-resistant rain gear minimize the amount of time spent drying your dog after a rainy walk, but a raincoat and rain boots also can help keep your dog healthy.