Does your dog hate going outside in wet weather? If so, a high-quality raincoat can keep him dry even when it's raining. In this article, Richard Cross reviews five of the best dog raincoats to help you make the right choice for your dog.
As dog owners, it's our responsibility to make sure our pets get the exercise they need. That means walking in wind, cold, hot...and rain.
Walking in rain isn't always terrible though. I find it quite relaxing if I'm wearing the right gear - but maybe that's my British roots! The problem is some dogs hate going outside in rain - and who can blame them? Dogs without much fur or that are very thin (such as greyhounds) can also get uncomfortably cold in wet weather.
One of the best solutions to both these issues is to buy a dog raincoat. The best raincoats are waterproof, so they stop your dog getting sodden on walks, while also being comfortable and lightweight to wear.
In this article, I've put together a list of my top recommendations for the best dog raincoat. I think each provides great value for money - and does a good job of keeping your pup dry. Before we get to the recommendations though, let's talk a bit about whether a raincoat is a good idea in the first place.
The answer is: it depends.
Like many things in the dog world, there's disagreement over whether raincoats are a good idea. In one camp, you have people that think most dog clothing is anthropomorphising dogs (i.e. applying human wants and thoughts onto dogs). There's also a danger that dogs kept in thick coats when they don't need it can overheat. Some people even argue that the feeling of having a coat on the back could trigger a submissive response in dogs.
On the other hand, some people think a dog raincoat can make a wet weather walk much more comfortable for a dog. They argue that certain breeds - especially those with short hair or that are very small - don't have enough protection in the rain.
I don't pretend to be an expert on this matter, but I do think there's a place for a waterproof coat - at least with certain breeds and in cold weather.
While big dogs with thick, insulated fur (such as Siberian Huskies or German Shepherds) have enough protection from rain, other breeds could benefit from an extra waterproof layer. Breeds such as the greyhound, chihuahua and various other short-haired dog breeds can find it difficult to retain heat, and a waterproof jacket can help with this. Dogs with weakened immune systems, young puppies, elderly dogs and those that just hate rain may also need a raincoat. Even dogs with thick hair but that regularly have it cut short, such as poodles, may need a coat.
With that said, just because a breed can benefit from a raincoat doesn't mean an individual dog will enjoy wearing one. If you notice panting, subdued behaviour or excessive scratching when you use the coat, your dog may feel uncomfortable or be starting to overheat.
To summarise this section, a waterproof raincoat can provide much needed protection for breeds that are very thin, small or have short hair. Raincoats may also help dogs with weak immune systems. Big dogs with thick coats should usually not wear any type of coat, however, as they can quickly overheat.
Side note: If you just want to keep your dog warm indoors, then one of the products on our list of the best dog sweaters might be a better choice. These sweaters aren't waterproof, but provide extra warmth for dogs that need it.
When buying any dog clothing, including other items such as boots and backpacks, comfort for your canine friend is the primary consideration. Here are the main things to look for in a waterproof dog coat:
Getting the correct size raincoat for your dog is vital if you want him to be comfortable. For this, you need three measurements - all of which should be taken when the dog is standing.
Here's a video showing how to take each of these measurements:
Once you have these measurements, you should be able to use a coat's size chart to make sure you get the right option. Ideally, the raincoat should cover the full length of the back without being too tight. A properly fitting coat also shouldn't restrict your dog's movement.
If you find your dog's measurements fall between two sizes, always go for the larger option. The best dog raincoats have a variety of size options, so you should be able to find out close to your dog's size.
Once you have your dog's measurements, the next step is to find a coat that meets all your requirements. Here are five of the best rated dog raincoats - but make sure you read the reviews to find out which is likely to be best for your pet.
If you're looking for the best dog raincoat - and don't mind paying a premium for it - then the Ruffwear Aira Full Coverage Jacket is probably the best choice. It's a stylish raincoat that's designed to provide protection in both cold and warm weather.
Ruffwear has a reputation for producing high-quality and durable pet clothing - and the Aira Full Coverage Jacket is no exception. It's made with a strong waterproof material that's also breathable, so it helps prevent your dog overheating while stopping water. The reflective trim makes it easier to spot your dog in adverse weather conditions, while the oversized storm collar can be folded up to provide extra protection when required.
Something to note is that it doesn't have insulating material. This is so it can be used in warmer weather without your dog overheating - but it won't provide much warmth in colder climates. There's also adjustable belly straps to get a tight (but comfortable fit) and the coat provides plenty of coverage.
Overall, the Aira is one of the best dog raincoats, as long as you don't need extra insulation to warm a dog that often gets cold. It's a durable raincoat that provides excellent protection from rain, so your dog won't get wet or require as much washing. The coat also won't restrict your dog and it's easy to put on.
Note: Ruffwear also makes a life jacket that doubles as a raincoat when the flotation packs are removed. If your dog spends time near water, check it out on my list of the best dog life jackets.
Quick Summary: The Aira is expensive, but is one of the best dog rain jackets available at the moment. The combination of comfortable fit, stylish design and breathable material makes it difficult to beat for an all-round dog coat. If your dog often gets very cold, however, then it won't provide much warmth compared to insulated coats.
The Jelly Wellies Waterproof Raincoat is a relatively cheap option - but don't let that fool you into thinking it's a low-quality coat. It's built with high-quality materials that can provide both water protection and warmth to your pet when on walks.
With its 100% waterproof outer shell and reflective strips, the Jelly Wellies is great for walking in adverse weather conditions. It's also lined with polar fleece, which provides extra warmth to your dog. It isn't suitable for dogs that often overheat, but is great for smaller breeds or those with short hair.
The bottom of the raincoat does up with a Velcro strip and there are two holes for your dog's front legs. This provides decent belly coverage to keep your dog's stomach dry and clean. There's also a small hood, although many dogs won't like to wear this.
A bonus is that it's available in six colors - including pink, green blue and yellow. There are also four sizes, including a large option with a width of 27 inches. A downside is that it's only suitable for hand washing. So if you regularly take your dog for muddy walks, be prepared to manually wash it on a regular basis.
In summary, the Jelly Wellies is a simple raincoat that's available for a great price. It's also one of the best dog raincoats that covers the belly.
Quick Summary: The Jelly Wellies is a straightforward rain jacket, but it provides all-round coverage for your dog and is also relatively cheap. Despite the low price, it's built to a high standard and does a good job of keeping your dog dry. I think it's one of the best dog raincoats for people on a tight budget.
Another premium dog raincoat is the Hurtta Pet Collection Torrent. It's a stylish raincoat that's machine washable, easy to put on and designed to provide protection from both wind and rain.
The Hurtta Torrent was designed in Finland, which suggests it's made for tough weather conditions. This is confirmed by the design of the coat, which offers excellent protection from wind while also being waterproof. There's also an adjustable strap to make sure your dog is snug and secure in the raincoat.
There's no fleece lining inside the Hurtta, so it won't provide the same warmth as coats with this feature. The upside is that it's less likely to cause your dog to overheat - especially as it's made with breathable coating. It also provides good coverage of the top half of the belly, without getting in the way when your dog needs to go to the toilet.
A downside to the Hurtta is that you need to partially pull it over your dog's head to put it on. This might not be an issue for some dogs, but others may not enjoy having an object over their head.
There's no doubt the Hurtta is expensive, but it's also one of the highest quality dog raincoats on the market. It provides excellent coverage of most of the dog's body, while protecting from rain and wind. The Torrent is also available in 13 different sizes, so if you're looking for a raincoat for a large dog it's a great choice.
Quick Summary: If you're looking for a high-quality raincoat for both a small or large dog, then the Hurtta is a great choice. It's one of the best waterproof dog coats, as it provides excellent coverage of the belly and back, without the irritation of a hood. It's expensive though!
If the Ruffwear is a little too pricey, but you still want a high-quality waterproof coat, then the Fashion Pet Rainy Days is a great choice. It's much cheaper than the Ruffwear, yet provides comfortable protection from rain and snow.
Like the Ruffwear Aira, the Fashion Pet doesn't come with fleece lining. Instead, it's meant to provide protection from rain without causing the dog to overheat. It's probably not as good as other options when it comes to wind protection though.
An interesting feature of this coat is the hood slicker. This can protect your dog's head during winter weather - although I'm not sure many dogs would like something covering their head. Other features include a self-adjusting strap, a small opening for a leash and a bright yellow design.
While I think the Fashion Pet is a great option considering the low price, it's not perfect. As the belly strap is quite far down the raincoat, male dogs may have trouble peeing without it going on the strap. This can be partly solved by moving the coat strap a little further up the body, but this is an issue that could have easily been solved by the manufacturer.
There's also no Velcro to keep the hood in place. While the hood is a useful feature if you're caught in a torrential downpour, most of the time your dog is likely to find it a nuisance. I would have liked a Velcro patch to keep it folded back without getting in the dog's way.
Even so, the Rainy Days Slicker raincoat still provides great value for money. The quality of the waterproof material is excellent for a budget option - although be aware that there have been complaints about the sizing running small.
Quick Summary: If you're looking for a cheap waterproof dog jacket, then the Fashion Pet is a great option. The hood could annoy some dogs, so I wish it had a Velcro patch to fold it back, but the material quality is high and it does a good job of keeping your pet dry.
The FrontPet Explorer winter dog jacket is a tough and durable option that aims to combine breathable fabric with an insulated design. This means it's not suitable for dogs with thick coats (these probably don't need a coat anyway), but is great for short-haired breeds in cold weather.
If you're looking for an all-round raincoat, then it's a good choice. With layers of insulation, neoprene bottom and breathable fabric, the Front Pet is able to protect from both wind and rain. The breathable fabric also helps with cooling - although it's probably not as effective in this regard as coats without insulation.
A downside to this raincoat is that it's only available in three sizes. This makes it more difficult to get a good fit - although the side straps are adjustable to help with this. You also need to pull it over your dog's head, which some canines don't enjoy.
Considering the low price, the Front Pet Explorer is one of the best dog raincoats for all-round protection. It's not the most convenient to put on, but provides good value and has a durable design.
Quick Summary: The Front Pet Explorer combines waterproof design with an insulated layer for greater comfort in cold and wet conditions. This means it's probably not the best choice for dogs that are at risk of overheating, but is great for short-haired breeds. It also provides wind protection - although the belly coverage isn't as good as I'd like.
A dog raincoat can be a great way to make your pet more comfortable during cold and wet weather conditions. While they shouldn't be used on dogs that have a thick coat, as extra layers can cause overheating, they can provide protection for small dogs, those with short hair or dogs that have problems keeping warm.
If you're looking for the best dog raincoat and are willing to pay extra for it, the Ruffwear Aira is my top pick. It's a high-quality coat that provides excellent protection and coverage of your dog, while also being comfortable to wear. For a cheaper option with insulation for extra warmth, the Jelly Wellies Premier is a great alternative.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best dog raincoat for your pet? Let me know in the comments section - I'll do my best to help!