It's that time of year...when you realize that your dog has outgrown last year's coat. Or you can't find last year's coat. Or maybe it's your dog's first Vermont winter. Whatever "coat issue" brings you to Houndstooth, today: Welcome!
We want to help you find the best coat to meet your — and your dog's — needs. If possible, bring your dog so we can try things on. If that's not possible, bring an old coat or your dog's measurements...or be prepared to play "dress-up" with our fake dogs. Hey, whatever works, right?!
So, now that that's out of the way, let's get started!
What's most important to you?
This might sound like a silly question. But there are a LOT of coats out there, and we want to help make the process a bit easier for everyone involved (especially the dog, if we're trying coats on in real-time).
Does the coat need to be weatherproof or waterproof? (Will the dog be outside in all sorts of weather, or is this more for post-snow fall adventures?)
How warm does the coat need to be? (Some dogs just need a light layer, some need substantially more.)
Is your dog okay with things going over their head — literally — or velcro or snaps or zippers?
How much coverage does your dog need?
That might feel like a lot to think about. But don't get overwhelmed. We're narrowing the field...
Easy on, easy off. They cover your dog's back and velcro at the belly and neck. We have several options in terms of color and style. Some are weatherproof, some are warm, some are reversible. Most have a harness notch (but not all.)
Coats that cover a bit more
The Great White North and the Winter Paw have a built-in snood and offer some chest protection. Both are also weatherproof and have reflective piping, making them great for long outdoor adventures (like hikes or pack walks).
We also have several puffer coats and vests from WagWear and Found My Animal. These water-resistant coats are really cute and provide nice chest coverage as well. Some also cover the front legs, and some have a hood. All are crazy cute and cozy.
Coats that work well for harnesses
Up Country coats all come with a built-in harness notch, as do the Chilly Dog blanket style coat (as opposed to the Chilly Dogs Great White North; different company, different coat) and the Winter Paw. But here's the thing: You can always put the harness OVER the coat. That's what we do with our pack's Great White North coats.
If warmth is your top priority, we'll recommend the Great White North 9 times out of 10. (That's Dylan above, in the black shell/red fleece — and Sierra in the second grouping in the pink shell/ black fleece). The Chilly Dog blanket style coat, the WagWear blanket style coat, and a few of the Up Country are also incredibly warm.
Coats for adventuring
Dogs who love-love-love this time of year need a heartier coat. The Great White North and the Winter Paw are, as we mentioned earlier, perfect for pack walks and hikes and all the things. (The Great White North also has a harness notch, if that's important to you. The lining is cozy and soft, but not as warm as the GWN. Which, for some dogs, is fine. It's also great for layering.) Some of the Up Country coats are also pretty resilient — for example the Orange Field Coat and the Tan Barn Coat.
Let us know what you're looking for, and how we can help. We're excited to find the perfect coat for your dog this season!