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Best dog coat 2021: The best waterproof jackets and thermal coats to keep your pup warm and dry

19 Oct 2021
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Give your best friend an extra layer of warmth and style. Discover the classiest coats for canines, with our mini reviews and buying guide

Your dog has an amazing built-in fur coat that you probably find yourself envying in winter, but it’s not always enough to protect against the elements. The best dog coats provide that crucial extra layer to help keep warmth in and rain out, so your poor pooch isn’t a shivering, smelly mess after a drizzly walk.

The best coats for dogs aren’t just mini versions of human coats. When researching this article, we came across all kinds of over-the-top designs, including “full coverage” coats that look like canine shellsuits with hoods. Your dog is unlikely to thank you for such treatment. A great dog coat is quick and easy to get on (for your pup’s sake as much as yours), then just as easy to get off. Useful extras like high-vis reflective sections, holes for leads and harnesses, machine-washable fabrics and easily adjustable velcro fastenings are also well worth the investment.

Skip down the page to discover our top recommended dog coats, or read on for more info about how to buy the perfect coat for your pup.

Best dog coat: At a glance

  • Best raincoat: Ancol Muddy Paws Stormguard | Buy now
  • Best quilted dog coat: Joules Newdale Quilted | Buy now
  • Best thermal winter dog coat: Withu Cold Winter Dog Coat | Buy now
  • Best for drying off: Ruff and Tumble Dog Drying Coat | Buy now
  • Best for dogs who don’t like coats: Barbour Quilted Dog Coat | Buy now

How to choose the best dog coat for your pup

What factors should I keep in mind when buying a dog coat?

It will probably come down to personal taste in the end, but here are some factors you mustn’t forget when buying a dog coat.

Warmth: When the temperature drops, your dog will feel the cold, despite having its own natural coat. After all, you don’t wear the same clothes all year round. Additional warmth is extra important when your dog has just had a haircut (not advisable in winter) or has short hair, or if he or she is particularly young or old. Many dogs don’t like to be “dressed”, of course, so the best dog coats pack as much thermal efficiency into a lightweight, non-constricting coat as they can.

Waterproofing: Many dogs hate the rain, but still need to go out for the loo and to stretch their legs. And even when it’s not raining, there are always puddles to be investigated. So a weatherproof coating will help avoid a soaking, and the shivers and smells that soakings always lead to. For rain-phobic dogs, look for macs with hoods that help keep the rain away from eyes.

Reflective sections: When the days are shorter, it’s essential that your dog is seen by motorists – and by you, of course. If you don’t want to go full hi-vis, you can buy coats with reflective trimmings and sections to help your pup stay visible.

Ease of getting on and off: Most of our recommended dog coats have hidden velcro fastenings, which make light work of fitting your dog’s coat snugly (but not too tight), as well as getting it on and off quickly. Because when your pup just needs to nip out for a wee, do you really want to be struggling with buckles and buttons? Zips are quick, but they can get snagged in hair, especially if your dog is a wriggler.

Ease of cleaning: Dog coats are made to get muddy, soaked, and rolled in all manner of unmentionable stuff. So avoid tweedy fabrics that need dry-cleaning and take forever to dry after getting wet, and instead buy practical polyesters and fast-drying cottons that you can stick in the washing machine, and will then dry fast or can even be tumble-dried.

Holes for leads: This is especially important if you’ve ditched the collar and switched to a harness. You don’t want a dog coat to get in the way when it’s time to attach the lead, so the best dog coats have a hole in the back for this purpose.

READ NEXT: Best dog harnesses and leads

How do I measure my dog for a coat?

You want a dog coat to fit snugly enough to stay comfortably in place and keep out chilly wind, but not so snugly that your dog feels trussed up. So rather than take the maker’s word for it that “Medium” is right for your Cocker Spaniel, get out the tape measure.

The main measurement you need is your dog’s back length. Measure from the nape of the neck to the base of the tail. Exact sizes differ from brand to brand, so always check the product page, but here’s a rough guide:

  • Length up to 28cm: XS
  • 29-38cm: S
  • 39-47cm: M
  • 48-55cm: L
  • 56-66cm: XL
  • 67cm+: XXL

Girth/chest size (measure around your dog’s widest part, just behind the front legs) is useful to measure, too, especially when you’re buying a coat that zips up. But these sizings vary wildly from brand to brand. “Large” means different things to different makers, so always check our product page links for a size guide.

If you think your dog will need a bit of wiggle room to allow for an expanding tum, go for easily adjustable velcro fastenings. You’ll find these on most of our recommended dog coats.

Even when you find the perfect coat for your dog, make sure not to leave him or her in it for too long, especially after you’ve been out. You don’t want them to feel uncomfortable or agitated. Coat time should feel like a treat!

READ NEXT: The best dog toys for tugging, fetching, catching and chewing

The best dog coats you can buy now

1. Ancol Muddy Paws Stormguard Coat: Best raincoat for dogs

Price: From £15 | Buy now from Amazon

This warm, waterproof coat by UK pet supplies specialist Ancol has it all. The water-repelling surface keeps the rain off, while the fleece lining keeps your pup cosy. The chest protector is broad enough to keep your dog clean and dry even when splashing through mud, and the velcro middle strap keeps the coat secure without being restrictive. There’s a lovely distinguished collar, zipped harness slot, and reflective edging for high visibility even on the darkest, wettest walks.

Amazon has the Stormguard in various other colours including navy, red, hot pink and high-vis yellow, but annoyingly you can’t select different colours from the product page, so here’s a search shortcut.

Buyers absolutely love the coat, but agree that it’s better suited to more chunky dogs than slender ones. “I have a very silly 16kg Staffordshire Bull Terrier who’s scared of rain,” writes one buyer. “I couldn’t find a coat that would go round her deep chest and not swamp the rest of her. Then I found this. Perfect.”

Key features – Material: Polyester (machine washable 30°C); Colours: 5; Sizes available: 5 (S-XXL); Medium chest size: 40cm

2. Joules Newdale Quilted Pet Coat: Best quilted dog coat for warmth without weight

Price: £14 | Buy now from Joules

Less than £15 for a seriously classy-looking, durable coat from top outdoor brand Joules? That’s a steal. The coat is lovely and lightweight, so it won’t make your dog feel swamped (even if you have a small Jack Russell or Boston Terrier), but its super-soft thermal fleece lining is warm enough for chilly morning and evening walks. The adjustable velcro straps give a cosy, comfy fit, and there’s a concealed lead hole in the back. A quality product, with lovely details including faux brass buttons and embroidered logo.

Buyers say the sizing can come up a bit big (the site’s Size Guide suggests Medium fits chest sizes from 42cm; length 45cm), but otherwise it’s happiness all round. “Such a lovely coat, warm and stylish, ready for winter,” says one buyer. “My rescue boy loves it, and he looks so stylish in it.”

Key features – Material: Polyester (machine washable); Colours: 2; Sizes available: 4 (S-XL); Medium chest size: 35-41cm

Buy now from Joules


3. Withu Cold Winter Dog Coat: Best thermal dog coat for cold winter days

Price: from £15 | Buy now from Amazon

This snazzy thermal coat looks a bit like a sleeping bag. Not just because it’s smartly quilted, but also because it provides more tummy coverage than most dog coats. That will come in extra handy if you have a pug, corgi or other dog whose belly is close enough to the ground to get muddy and wet on winter walks. Be assured, though, there’s ample room at the back for letting pup get his or her essential business done, without getting the coat mucky.

The cool-looking, warm-feeling coat (described as “distressed pastel” by one delighted Amazon reviewer) is beautifully put together, with plenty of handy features including velcro fastenings, a zip hole for attaching leads to harnesses, and a flexible rib collar to keep out the chill.

Key features – Material: Polyester and cotton (machine washable 30°C); Colours: 6; Sizes available: 7 (XS-3XL); Medium chest size: 49-57cm

4. Ruff and Tumble Dog Drying Coat: Best dog coat for drying off

Price: from £29 | Buy now from Amazon

This super-soft cotton drying coat is not designed to dress your dog for a walk, but to dry them off after a soaking, swim or bath. It’s really easy to wrap around your dog using the velcro sections, and the fast-wicking fabric absorbs moisture in seconds, staving off nasty smells and keeping your home clean. The double layer of towelling is really warm, so your pup won’t end up shivering (great for arthritic joints too), and the outer layer stays dry enough for you to cuddle your pup dry. There are no buckles or buttons to get in the way, and the long, adjustable snood-style collar is brilliant for drying soggy ears.

The coat comes in a bigger range of sizes than most dog coats, and there’s also plenty of wiggle room, thanks to the wrap-dress-style fit. And unlike most dog coats, this one can be tumble-dried as well as machine washed.

Reviews from buyers are ecstatic (“Buy it!”; “Worth every penny”; “When I reach under the coat to check if she is dry, I can feel how toasty and warm she is” and so on, plus recommendations from vets). It may not be what you imagine when you think of a dog coat, but this gown is a superb addition to your dog’s wardrobe.

Key features – Material: Cotton towelling (machine wash, tumble dry); Colours: 4; Sizes available: 16 (3XS-Giant Mountain Dog); Medium length: 41-49cm (chest size not given)

5. Barbour Quilted Dog Coat: Best dog coat for dogs who don’t like wearing coats

Price: £27 | Buy now from House of Fraser

If you want your dog to be the country gent or ma’am of the morning walk crowd, then grab this bargain Barbour from House of Fraser before the price leaps back up to £40. This coat is as superbly made as you’d expect from the venerable outfitters, with a cord-lined collar with keyhole for lead, velcro chest fastening and buckled underbody strap, plus that classic Barbour tartan on the cotton fleece lining.

This coat is a great choice for dogs who don’t like wearing clothes but do need extra warmth in winter. It’s supremely quick and easy to get on and off, and it won’t make your dog feel trussed up. And it’s much warmer than its thickness suggests, so pup won’t feel weighed down, even when it’s keeping him or her warm in winter.

Key features – Material: Cotton inner, nylon outer (sponge clean only); Colours: 3 (black, olive, pink); Sizes available: 4 (S/M/L/XL); Medium chest size: 37.7cm

Buy now from House of Fraser


6. Hugo & Hudson Dog Puffer Jacket: Best dog puffer jacket

Price: from £32 | Buy now from Amazon

This bright, warm coat is beautifully made, and comes in a great range of colours – all very bright. To help keep the jacket’s sleek shape, it fastens with a zip on the belly side, which your dog will welcome if he or she is fed up with a chilly and muddy tum. Just take care not to catch their fur in the zip. There’s not as much adjustability around the chest and tummy as there would be with velcro fastenings, but UK company Hugo & Hudon makes its coats in a huge range of length and width sizes, so you should be able to find the perfect fit for pooch. Here’s the H&H size guide.

Key features – Material: Nylon with polyester filling (hand wash only); Colours: 7; Sizes available: 10 (XS25-L65); Medium chest size: 63-78cm

Read more

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