Functional Pet Fashion for Winter

Young boy walking a dog in winter.

Some dog jackets parallel the best haute couture has to offer. Are they being worn for fashion or function?

Some dogs have a natural warm winter coat made for our northern climate while others need a little help keeping comfortable and cozy when venturing out in Minnesota’s weather. We want dogs to exercise all year long. Knowing what type of hair or coat your dog has will help determine the need to add an extra layer of warmth or wind protection for your canine fashionista. A silky, smooth, shorthaired or hairless dog would benefit from a doggie jacket, whereas a dog with long hair or a double coat might not.

How do you protect dogs’ paws? Try booties, which are not just an accessory, but a functional piece of clothing that protects their pads from salt and sand. Some dogs won’t tolerate booties. In that case, use an emollient salve on the feet, which can help protect their paw pads.

It can be fun dressing up your dog with fashionable and practical winter clothing. As a veterinarian, I see dogs put on extra weight during the winter, however with available winter gear, taking your pooch for
a walk can be very enjoyable.

Jackie Piepkorn, DVM, co-owns Westonka Animal Hospital and the Lake Minnetonka Pet Wellness Center. Learn more at