Most owners think they know how to put on a dog jacket, but most don't do it properly. Without the proper fit, the jacket can cause chaffing or choking. A dog jacket that is too tight will restrict range of motion, making your dog incredibly uncomfortable and could ultimately lead to injury.
Before you make a decision to buy your dog a coat, you should think about whether it is actually necessary. If you have a short-haired breed or a dog with medical condition that makes it hard for him to regulate his body temperature, a jacket is a good choice. The same goes for puppies and senior dogs, because they generally don't do well in the cold.
Owners with breeds that are well equipped for winter temperatures should avoid dressing their pups in winter clothes. If your dog doesn't actually need one, a jacket could lead to overheating. At the very least, your dog would be very uncomfortable.
If your dog does need a jacket to help them stay warm and dry in the elements, you need to make sure it is put on properly. There are different types of coats for dogs, and this guide will tell you how to put on a dog jacket the right way to ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable.
How To Put On A Dog Jacket
As you'll see in my video, there are two common types of jackets for dogs. Over-the-head jackets slip on over your dog's head and secure under his chest/belly. Step-in jackets wrap around your dog's back, and he has to step through each arm hole. They secure under his chest/belly as well.
The first thing you'll need to do is check to see if your dog's jacket is marked for right and left sides. Most aren't, but if yours is then you'll need to make sure each leg gets in the proper hole.
As I demonstrate in my video guide, you'll want to start by putting one leg through the appropriate hole. Wrap the jacket up and around your pet's back and then place the other arm into its place. Secure the jacket under your dog's chest/belly. Most dog jackets close using Velcro, but it may also have buttons or fasteners.
Over-the-head jackets are much simpler. This is the type that I personally prefer, because it's easier for both me and my dogs. This type of jacket is much easier to work with, and most dogs are more receptive to having over-the-head jackets put on and taken off.
Slide the head hole over your pup's head. Secure the strap(s) of the jacket under your dog's chest/belly and Velcro or buckle them on the other side. You want the jacket to be snug, but not too tight. If you over-tighten the straps, they may make your dog uncomfortable or cause chaffing.
No matter which type of jacket that you choose, make sure it fits properly. Before purchasing a jacket for your pet, measure him to make sure you get the right size. Once you put it on, make sure the leg holes aren't too tight and the straps can adjust enough for a proper fit.