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Turn on the Warmth: How to Introduce Your Dog to a Winter Jacket

By August 2, 2019 August 5th, 2019 No Comments

            There’s no denying that your dog wearing a winter jacket is not only adorable and heart-warming but if you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions, it can also be beneficial to your dog by providing them with extra warmth especially if your dog does not have a thick fluffy coat.

            The problem is the process of introducing a new jacket.Even if you buy the most comfortable winter jackets for dogs it may take a while for your pet to adjust.

Why Doesn’t My Dog Want to Wear the Jacket?

            The fact of the matter is that most dogs, especially adult or senior dogs, don’t take well to suddenly have a piece of clothing introduced to them, especially if it hampers their movements. This is why it could be difficult and frustrating to make them wear items of clothing such as winter jackets or shoes for the first time. You might notice that your dog will wiggle or even thrash around, trying to remove the clothing from their body.

            A lot of owners do understandably get annoyed and frustrated during this process and will try to force their dog to wear the winter jacket. You need to keep in mind that even if you have their best interests at heart, they don’t really understand that! From their point of view, even comfortable snow jackets for dogs are nothing more than hindrances to their movements. What’s more, they will pick up cues from your tone of voice and movements, so if you are shouting or trying to force them into wearing the jacket, they will come to associate wearing the jacket with a negative experience. Ultimately, it might become very difficult or even impossible to get them to wear the jacket at all.

            Here are some tips that you can keep in mind to help your dog accept wearing a winter jacket easier:

·        The process of introducing a winter jacket is generally easier for puppies and younger dogs, so if you already foresee that your dog will be wearing a winter jacket regularly throughout their lifetime, it’s better to start them as early as possible.

·        Make sure to introduce the jacket when your dog is feeling safe and comfortable; after a meal or after playtime are great times to try and introduce a winter jacket for the first time.

·        Use a calm and low voice, as well as calm and slow movements when putting the jacket on your dog.

·        Make sure that the jacket you have chosen fits well over your dog. If the jacket is too tight, it will be uncomfortable for the dog, and if it is too loose, it will let in the cold and it might even come off while your dog is running around. 

·        If you notice that your dog is starting to act scared or anxious, don’t try and force the winter jacket on them. Put it away and let your dog relax. Try it again later when your dog has calmed down.

Easy Step-by-Step Method to Put a Winter Jacket on Your Dog

 

            Here are five steps that you can do in order to make the process of wearing the jacket a little bit easier for you and your dog:

1.      Get your dog in the ready position to wear the jacket. If you have a small dog, place them on your lap to make them feel safe and secure. For medium and large dogs, place them firmly on the floor with their head facing you.

2.      Get the jacket ready in one hand, letting the dog see your movements the whole time. They will try to sniff the jacket or even paw at it to see what it is; let them do so to make them feel comfortable.

3.      Pull the material of the jacket into a bunch over your hand and onto your wrist so that you will only need to pull the jacket over your dog’s head, and not have to bother with pulling the jacket material little by little.

4.      With the same hand, hold a treat so that your dog would need to come closer to the jacket to get the treat. Little by little, your dog will associate the treat with the jacket, making them more comfortable and amenable to the idea of the jacket.

5.      Once they are comfortable, slowly pull the jacket over their head, making sure to praise them with a light and friendly tone while doing so! Once the jacket is completely over their head, smooth out the fabric, place their legs through the leg holes, and keep praising and playing with them a while longer until your dog no longer minds the jacket.

As with all things that come with training a dog with a new object in their life, consistency is the key. Make sure that you make wearing the jacket an enjoyable experience, and eventually, your dog will not mind wearing a comfortable snow jacket during your next outing into the cold! 

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