If you have ever seen a dachshund in a sweater or witnessed your dog shivering away when the mornings are nippy, you might be wondering whether dachshunds need coats, or whether this is just a fashion trend that’s a bit silly really.
The answer is that dachshunds can benefit from wearing a coat if you live in a cold country, yes. Dachshunds do not have thick fur coats, meaning that they do get chilled quite easily, and even if your friend seems pretty well wrapped up, it is likely going to suffer from icy mornings.
If you aren’t prepared to go outside in just a sweater, consider getting a coat for your dog. Dachshunds have not evolved to handle ice and snow well and will suffer if the conditions are too cold for them. It is much fairer to give them a protective layer that will keep them snug during chilly walks.
Why Do Dachshunds Get Cold?
You may have looked at pictures of huskies frolicking in the snow and found yourself wondering why dachshunds are more sensitive to the cold. The answer is that they are single-coated dogs and usually have just one thin layer of fur.
Many of the dogs that are cold-weather hardy have two layers of thick fur, with the undercoat being extremely dense and good for conserving body heat. Dachshunds don’t have this; they are going outside in the equivalent of a long-sleeved shirt, rather than a sweater and a coat. They just can’t cope as well.
Older dachshunds in particular suffer from the cold. They don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature well, and they will get chilled and miserable, and possibly sick if you walk them in the cold too much.
You may find your dachshund is reluctant to go out during cold days, and this is a sure sign that they are suffering. Get them a coat to keep them snug and make sure their walks remain enjoyable.
What about long-haired dachshunds? It may seem like they have more protection than other dachshunds, but really, they aren’t much better off. Their long hair may offer slightly more insulation, but it doesn’t make much difference.
The dog’s coat is still too thin and fine to trap much warmth in, and even long-haired dachshunds get decidedly cold when the weather is chilly.
What Features Should A Coat Have?
So, how do you choose a coat? It isn’t easy when it comes to these dogs because they are such an unusual size and shape, so you may find choices are fairly limited. However, here are a few things you should at least try and get if possible:
- Reflective material (or reflective strips) so that your dachshund shows up well. This makes a big difference, particularly on cold, dark mornings or early evenings.
- Long enough to cover your dog’s whole body, not just their torso.
- Easy to clean. Because dachshunds are short dogs, their coats are close to the floor, and will inevitably pick up splashing mud and grime from the pathways. You want to be able to toss the thing in your machine.
- Easy to put on. Dachshunds can be impatient, especially when a walk is imminent, and won’t want to keep still while you try and fasten fiddly buttons. Look for something that will be quick and easy both at the start and the end of the walk.
- Waterproofing. Dachshunds hate to get wet, and they are notorious for their dislike of rain, but being only a few inches tall, they are vulnerable to puddles and splashes. A waterproof coat can make the walk that much more enjoyable.
- Warmth, with this being perhaps the most important factor of all. If your dachshund’s coat isn’t warm, it isn’t doing its job. Try to choose one that fits snugly, while still giving your dog good movement so it doesn’t get frustrated or feel restricted.
If you can find a jacket that checks most of those boxes and seems reasonably durable, give it a try. It may take a few walks for your dachshund to get used to it, but once your dog has tried the coat out and adjusted, it will appreciate the extra warmth and protection from wind, snow, and hail.
How Can I Get My Dachshund To Wear A Coat?
This can be a challenge for any dog owner, and if the dachshund sees the coat as a fiddly, annoying object that delays a walk, you may struggle to get it on. However, there are a few things you can try to help with this.
Firstly, make sure the coat is comfortable. The dog is much less likely to want to wear it if the coat rubs or restricts its movement, so check the fit is good.
Secondly, reward the dog for good behavior when putting the coat on. You may find that it helps to have someone else nearby to hold your dog’s paws for you while you fasten the coat. Ideally, coats should have simple fastenings to make this quick and easy.
If your dachshund starts to associate the coat with treats, it may be more willing to stand still, which will make it easier to get the coat on. Try not to get frustrated if you are having trouble; the dog will pick up on your emotions and may start to develop negative associations with the coat.
Thirdly, give your dog some time to adjust. It may take a while for your dachshund to get used to the feeling of wearing a coat, and in the meantime, you might experience some fussing, misbehavior, or grumpiness. Dachshunds can be very stubborn creatures, and you need to be patient. After all, they don’t understand why you’re putting clothes on them!
Dachshunds benefit from coats very much if you live in a cold place. This isn’t about fashion; this is about choosing something that makes your dog feel more comfortable and gives it more enjoyment when you go out walking together.