Putting a dog jacket on your pal can provide an additional layer of warmth and comfort in chillier weather. And while a dog's natural coat helps to regulate their body temperature, “canine clothes, like coats, can mean your dog stays outside longer without getting uncomfortable,” veterinary surgeon Linda Simon told The Spruce Pets. “A good dog coat will allow them to stay dry and warm regardless of external conditions.”
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, short-haired and short-legged breeds are more likely to have a lower tolerance for cold, while young dogs, senior dogs, and pets with health conditions may need more help regulating their body temperature.
To help you identify the dog jacket that fits your dog and is suitable for the weather where you live, we selected 18 top-performing styles for two weeks of real-world testing. We gathered insights and feedback from our participants to rank and review the best.
Our favorite is the Little Beast Super Duper Reversible Parka Vest. It's made with soft, water-resistant nylon, it keeps limbs and tails free to move about, and it's easy to secure around a doggo with a hook and loop strip along the front. This style works for cold and wet weather, but we also found other dog jackets to suit a variety of needs and situations, from romps on snowy hills to strolls along rainy trails.
Little Beast Super Duper Reversible Parka Vest
Opening of leash attachment to harness
Adjustable drawstring cord at waist
Arm openings do not restrict movement
Easy to put on and take off
Fits over harness, shirt, and sweater
Five color combinations available
Easy to wipe clean or place in gentle cycle and air dry
Hook and loop tabs are likely to get stuck on longer fur and hair
No reflective accents
This padded puffer vest is cut to keep all four legs and a tail unrestricted while the core of your canine stays warm. With a different solid color on each side, the Little Beast Super Duper Reversible Parka Vest makes it easy to mix up your dog's style throughout the colder months.
"I love the design, and it's like two vests in one," our tester said.
An opening at the nape allows for a leash connection to your dog's harness or collar, and a hook and loop tab and snaps join both sides along the front. "My dog is able to move around freely, and it has a tie at the end to tighten for a secure fit." An adjustable drawstring at the base can be tightened or loosened with ease, and the water-resistant nylon helps keep the wetness away from your pup. The nylon fabric has a soft feel,and our tester prefers it to fleece which, from their experience, can lead to static shock and cling. Not only will they look adorable, but you'll also decrease the splash zone when your dog shakes to dry off.
The jacket can be worn over a sweater, shirt, or onesie for an extra layer of warmth—and style! To find the right fit for your dog, the widest part of their chest should be considered first, and then the length of their back. Our tester's dog was between sizes, and they went with the larger of the two so that it wouldn't be too snug.
Our tester also noted the lack of a hood but felt head coverage was not necessary for their dog who doesn't like to have their ears covered. The jacket is easy to clean with a damp cloth, or it can be placed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle and hung to dry.
Price at time of publish: $88
Best High End Technical
Hurtta Summit Parka Dog Winter Coat
Easy to put on and take off with one buckle around waist
Adjustable back length, belt, and collar to find the perfect fit for a variety of dogs
External clip for leash attachment
Designed to withstand the elements
Provides coverage from neck to hips
Limited availability in stock
For outdoor excursions, the Huttra Summit Dog Parka will keep your dog protected, dry, and warm. It's adjustable in three spots, the back, the belt, and the collar, so you can find the right fit for your dog's unique shape.
"This high-quality jacket will last for years, it's very easy to put on, and looks great on my dog," shared our tester. "The flap that goes under my dog ensures that the entire torso is warm and cozy."
With one buckle around the waist, this jacket is easy to get on and off without moving any of your dog's legs. Once on, an external clip makes it easy to attach a leash, and the jacket stays securely in place, giving your dog freedom to move and run without restriction. "The flap that goes under my dog ensures that the entire torso is warm and cozy, and it looks great on my dog." This jacket extends from the neck to the base of the tail, offering the most waterproof coverage surface area out of all the dog jackets that made our list. It's pricier too, but highly durable and designed to last for several years.
Price at time of publish: $104 (Size: 24)
ThinkPet Cold Weather Dog Coat
Reversible with water-resistant fabric on one side
Two-way zipper opening for leash attachment
Hook and loop tabs on each side for a secure fit
Stretchy panel along chest
Available in 12 colors
East to get on and off
Limbs are unrestricted
Hook and loop tabs are likely to get stuck on longer fur and hair
Only one side is water-resistant
Help keep your canine cozy with the ThinkPet Cold Weather Dog Coat. "It is very well made, and for the price, it's hard to find anything wrong with it," our tester said.
Designed to be worn on top of your dog's harness, this jacket features a two-way zippered opening for leash connection to a D-ring. The jacket is reversible, but only one side has water-resistant fabric. There are hook and loop tabs at the center of the upper chest and on each side of the abdomen. A stretchy panel runs across the chest to connect with the hook and loop tabs keeping the jacket securely in place around your dog.
If your dog is fluffy, like a Samoyed, or has long hair, like a Havanese, we recommend ordering a size up and pairing the jacket with a sweater or t-shirt underneath to prevent the hook and loop from getting stuck on your dog's natural coat.
Price at time of publish: $25 (Large)
Gooby Padded Vest Solid
Available in 12 colors
Built-in D-ring for leash attachment so no additional harness required
Soft fleece on the inside for warmth and comfort
A flap of fabric alongside the zipper protects skin and fur from getting caught
Fast-drying and water-resistant nylon exterior
Back runs a little long on small dogs
The Gooby Padded Vest has a built-in D-ring leash connection at the top making it a vest and harness in one. "Not having to add a harness underneath or on top saves time and makes it much easier to get my dog ready for walks," shared our tester.
The step-in design comes together with a zipper along the backside, which our dog tester seemed to prefer over a zipper along the belly side. There is a protective fabric flap alongside the zipper to prevent your dog's fur from getting caught in the teeth. The water-resistant nylon exterior of the jacket comes in a variety of colors, and the interior is a soft fleece fabric in a complementary color.
Once on, limbs and tail are unrestricted from movement, and the cut of the jacket is high enough to allow for peeing and pooping as usual.
Price at time of publish: $35
Wagwear Fleece Zippy
Opening for leash attachment
Soft fleece fabric
Accents in complementary color
Resembles look of fleece jackets for people
Cut high along belly to keep dog clean during potty breaks
Some dogs may feel slight restriction of front legs
The Wagwear Fleece Zippy is a dog version of a human fleece jacket complete with a zippered pocket in a complementary color. While the pocket is more style than function, we always welcome a human-and-hound-matching moment.
"My dog doesn't like jackets, but he seemed content in this one," shared our tester who enjoyed the feel of the soft fleece and the look of the jacket on their Goldendoodle.
Getting acclimated with the process of putting the jacket on took a little bit of time, but once it was in place around each front leg and zipped up, their dog didn't seem to mind the lightweight layer. This jacket comes in three colors and a variety of sizes, but it's not recommended for wet conditions.
Price at time of publish: $75
Best for Day Hike
Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket
Reversible and available in 13 color combinations
Hook and loop closures stayed securely in place as our dog tester romped around
Two-way zipper on top for easy access to leash attachment on harness or collar
Available in 13 colors
Belly is exposed so dog is less likely to soil the jacket
Limbs are not restricted
Hook and loop closures may get stuck on fur
Our tester experienced bunching around the neck area
No points of adjustments
The Kurgo Loft Dog Jacket is designed to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes while providing lightweight water-resistant protection from the elements. "The jacket fits around my dog really well," shared our tester who has a 10-pound Cavalier King Charles. The jacket is designed to be slipped over the head and come together at the upper belly with a hook and loop strap. "It's easy to get over her head without a big, wiggly struggle. She seems to really like wearing it, she never pulls, scratches, bites, or tries to gnaw it off."
When selecting a size, one should focus on the chest circumference for a comfortable fit that leaves all limbs free to move. The jacket is cut high along the belly so your dog is less likely to accidentally pee on itself. Each color option is reversible and made out of Kurgo's proprietary Microtomic Ripstop fabric designed to block wetness and cold air without adding bulk. A two-way zipper at the top allows for easy access and a snug fit around a leash attachment.
The jacket is machine washable, but our tester found that lint and loose fur easily accumulated on the hook and loop fastener. It's easy to comb out but it's something to keep in mind if you start to notice the hook and loop coming apart more easily after repeated wear. For an added layer of warmth, the jacket can be paired with the Kurgo K9 Core Dog Sweater or another top your dog likes to wear underneath.
Price at time of publish: $30
Best for Wet Weather
Ruffwear Vert Dog Winter Jacket
Wind and water resistant fabric
Fill made with recycled polyester
Quick-release buckle closure on each side
Built-in elastic loops to keep the jacket in place
Foldable collar for extra protection when needed
Access for leash attachment via opening is compatible with most harnesses
Buckles are covered by flaps to prevent contact with fur or hair
Only available in two colors
No hood or leg coverage for puddle and rain protection
For rainy and snowy conditions, the Ruffwear Vert Dog Jacket has a breathable, wind- and water-resistant shell and recycled polyester fill to keep your dog dry, warm, and comfortable. "I walked my dog in a light to medium rain, and everywhere the jacket covered was 100% dry when we got back inside," shared our tester.
Quick-release buckles on each side of the jacket make it easy to get it on and off. Plus, each buckle is covered and concealed within the shell which gives a streamlined appearance and prevents the buckles from getting tangled in fur. Through a slit at the top, a leash can be connected to a harness or collar. This jacket features a foldable collar that stays out of the way when not needed and easily unfurls to protect your pup's neck, and if it gets windy, elastic loops discreetly placed on each side can be slipped around each hind leg to keep the jacket securely in place.
There is no hood or leg protection, but the cut of the jacket allows for a dog to walk and run with their usual gait while offering more hip protection than other jackets that made our list.
Price at time of publish: $100
Our favorite is the Little Beast Super Duper Reversible Parka Vest, because its versatile, lightweight design makes it easy to put on, and the soft, insulated nylon provides protection from cold wind, rain, and snow. If you have a dog with longer fur or hair, which can get stuck to hook and loop straps, the Gooby Padded Vest has a zipper along the top side with a protective flap to prevent fur from getting caught. And cool, dry weather, our pick for Best Fleece, the Wagwear Fleece Zippy, provides a cozy layer for dogs of all sizes.
What to Consider When Selecting a Dog Jacket
Most winter dog jackets are adjustable, with straps around the chest or waist, but getting the right size will still be crucial to a proper fit. When you’re buying a dog jacket, make sure to look at the sizing guide, and measure your dog using a fabric tape ruler (or use a piece of string, and then measure that with a ruler).
“The coat should fit well and allow normal movement: jumping, running and playing,” says Corinne Wigfall, veterinarian with SpiritDog Training. “You should be able to fit a finger between the body of your dog and the coat to check it’s not too tight. If your dog scratches, bites, or refuses to walk this may be their way of communicating to you that the coat isn’t fitting right.”
In general, a waterproof jacket is preferable, since staying dry is a key component of staying warm, but if you anticipate predominantly snowy weather, then insulation should be a higher priority. Fleece and polyester fills are most common, but give extra consideration to jacket options with two-layer linings that can offer multiple benefits.
Almost as important as the fabrics and fill is the overall cut, with dog jackets typically finding a middle-ground balance between easy to get on and coverage. In more extreme weather, you'll want to opt for a jacket that covers more of your dog's chest and limbs, even if it's more of a pain to get them in and out of it.
Your Dog's Natural Insulation
Some dogs are just naturally better suited for colder environments, because they have more fur. As a result, they won’t need as heavy of a coat as others.
“Certain breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and the Caucasian Shepherd were built for the snow and have thick, double coats to keep them toasty warm,” says veterinary surgeon Linda Simon. “These guys need little intervention when it comes to handling cold weather.”
But other breeds aren't as prepared for cold weather, with some smaller dogs even at risk in relatively mild cold.
“The American Hairless Terrier and Chinese Crested are two examples of breeds that can’t handle low temperatures due to their lack of fur," Simon told The Spruce Pets. "These dogs can only go outside shortly and need to wear doggy clothes to ensure their core temperature does not plummet.”
Since your dog can't tell you directly, watch carefully for signs of their discomfort to determine whether a jacket is offering too much or too little insulation.
“If your dog is panting while wearing the coat, he might be too warm,” says T.B. Thompson, a veterinarian from Arizona. “If your dog is shivering or trying to curl up against you, he might still be cold and needing a warmer coat.”
Lots of coats either have a place to attach your dog’s leash or they have a slit to allow for you to attach their leash to the harness they’re wearing underneath the coat. This feature is important if you’re planning to have your dog wear the coat on walks.
Also consider getting a coat with reflective strips or lining so that your pup is visible to other people or vehicles if you plan to walk your dog at dusk, dawn, or night.
How We Tested
We researched popular and top-performing dog jackets in a variety of styles. We then selected 18 dog jackets for real-world testing on dogs as they experience a variety of weather conditions.
To begin, each human participant was assigned a dog jacket. They measured their dog and selected the appropriate jacket size based on the manufacturer's size chart. For two weeks, our pet parent and dog tester pairs went for walks, strolls, romps, and jaunts in their assigned dog jacket. Each human participant paid close attention to how the features of the jacket on their dog performed against the elements. They gathered insights and provided feedback within the following categories: Comfort, Design, Quality, and Value. They were also asked whether they would recommend the dog jacket to friends and family.
At the end of our trial period, we analyzed the data and information provided by our testing teams. We then ranked and categorized our top picks to simplify your search for the most appropriate dog jacket to suit your dog's unique needs, preferences, and atmospheric conditions.
Do dogs really need a jacket in the winter?
"Most of our pets are well set up for handling the winter,” says Simon. “They come with a built-in fur coat and thick skin. You’ll notice your dog is walking confidently along while you may be shivering.”
However, some dogs cope better than others. For example, older dogs or dogs with certain medical conditions aren’t as good at regulating their temperatures, so they could benefit from a jacket in the winter. In addition, as mentioned above, some breeds have longer fur coats, with undercoats that help insulate them from the cold. As a result, they might not need a coat at all. But breeds with shorter coats, such as greyhounds or whippets, have very slender frames and thin coats, making them more susceptible to cold.
"While a chihuahua may start to shiver at temperatures of 40 degrees, an American Staffie won’t start feeling the chill until it dips to 30 degrees," Simon says.
As a rule of thumb, though, if you notice your dog shivering, refusing to walk, whining, lifting its paws, or walking slowly, these are all signs that your dog is cold and could benefit from a sweater or a jacket. You might also want to get your dog a coat if temperatures in your area regularly dip to 40 degrees or lower, unless they are a breed with a particularly thick natural coat.
How often should dog jackets be cleaned?
In general, dog coats don’t need to be washed that often. “Dogs don’t sweat, and their coats tend to stay clean on the inside,” says Simon. “However, they should be washed a few times each season, especially if your dog is keen on rolling in grass or lying on mud.”
Thompson agrees. “You should wash your dog’s jacket when it is visibly soiled or odorous,” she says. ”Wash it at least as often as you bathe your dog.”
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This roundup was updated by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets who shares her home with a happy pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.
A previous version was written by Steven Rowe, who has a rescue beagle of his own that won’t tolerate the cold or garments that hinder her ability to run, so he made sure that the jackets on this list had the features he looks for when shopping for her.