Did you know that the Upper West Side of New York City has the most dogs per capita in the entire United States? I didn’t either until I started researching the founders of Handsome Hounds, Ruth and Debbie. The women are former college roommates, who coincidentally both have two cockapoos.
Ruth socialized on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where she ran into many other dog owners, and she quickly realized that many of them had the same problem – their dogs hated going outside for walks in inclement weather. New York is filled with specialty pet stores that carry some of the cutest little dog clothes you’ll ever see, but that’s not what most pet parents were looking for.
This dilemma spurred Ruth and Debbie to create a weather resistant dog coat that provided appropriate covering to keep canines dry, while offering a classic appeal for dogs of all sizes and their owners. That’s how the Handsome Hounds Wax Cotton Coat was born. The coat is still the company’s biggest seller, but they’ve also expanded to offer Polartec Fleece, leashes, and dog collars. All of their products are manufactured in Massachusetts.
Their signature coats are made with 100% cotton thread that is treated with waxes and oils to provide a waterproof covering for your dog. They are also equipped with a full cotton lining, a solid snap closure around the neck, and a reinforced leash hole. The company will even monogram the coat with our pet’s name if you choose.
I’m from Maine, so caring for my dogs in the rain isn’t such a big deal, but keeping them warm and dry in the winter is. These coats can be paired with Handsome Hounds’ Polartec Fleece Coat which would be ideal for dogs in cold, damp environments. I’ve used fleece coats with my dogs before, but the snow makes them wet and then the dog is even colder than she would be if she wasn’t wearing anything. I like the idea of pairing the two for waterproof capabilities and warmth.
If you’ve never had experience with wax cotton, it is a unique fabric that is not only water resistant, but also extremely durable. At the same time, it is also comfortable, breathable, and lightweight. It sounds like the perfect material to make a dog jacket from. The only downside to this versatile material is that it cannot be put in the washing machine.
Using detergent will reduce the wax proofing of the coat, minimizing its waterproofing capabilities. The only way to clean these dog jackets is to gently remove any visible dirt with a gentle brush or a damp sponge. The company’s website does specify say that if absolutely necessary, you could use a small amount of bar soap, flaked soap or saddle soap on specific areas only. You also may need to reproof the jacket as necessary by purchasing Wax Cotton Proofing Spray.
This jacket is certainly more high maintenance than any traditional dog jacket, but if it keeps your dog dry on damp days it just may be worth it. You’d have to decide for yourself, but since we live in the country, I let my dogs out in the rain and they do their business quickly and come right back in. They certainly don’t enjoy it, and I’m sure they would love one of these coats, but I’m not sure we would really use it often enough to make it worth it.
If I lived somewhere that I walked frequently or had to take my dog for a walk so she could use the bathroom, I would probably get them each a raincoat. We know a few dogs with rain coats, and one of the largest benefits seems to come when pet owners have to drive their dog somewhere in the rain. If you travel with your pet (let’s say to doggy daycare) every day then a raincoat may be a great idea to keep your dog, and your vehicle, dry.