Winter is Coming

No really, it is, on 21 December. I’m guessing it will try and creep its way in on and off from the end of October. For most dogs, if you need a coat, they need a coat. Granted, a husky may be more amenable to freezing temperatures, but at a bare minimum, every dog wants to stay dry in the rain, right? All dogs should at least have some basic protection from the rain – plus it’s less to clean up and wipe down after those morning and evening walks.

Greyhounds do not fit “off the rack” coats that most people would get from a local pet shop due to their unique body shape. Narrow bodies, thick necks, long backs, and deep chests make store bought coats impossible. Anything long enough will be too wide or too tight in the chest; fitted in the chest will be too short and barely go half-way down the spine. I will try and spare you my obsession of colour-coordinating and assigning a “colour” to each dog…

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Voyagers K9 coats (top to bottom): winter coat, tummy warmer/housecoat, rain coat

My go-to coat source is Voyagers K9 Apparel in Minnesota. Voyagers makes custom fit coats for greyhounds, whippets, and a number of other breeds so the coat you get will fit your dog. They can even whip up custom coats for your mixed-breed and do custom colours to suit your university or favourite sports team! The prices and quality are excellent, and they all wash up very well if your dogs happen to get muddy like mine. The only downside if you live in the UK is the cost of shipping from the US.

In the UK, there are good choices and brands of custom fit coats for greyhounds, lurchers, whippets, and the like. When I first got Angus, I ordered him a raincoat from GreytSweaters who make custom fit coats for greyhounds and whippets. His is a really bright orange colour you can see from a distance (important when your dog’s natural colouring is cammo), trimmed nicely, and very well made overall. The only thing that’s a bit tough is that because Angus is a very “thick” muscular dog, the neck on the coat could be about 1-2″ wider. For a normal greyhound, it should be fine.

 

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GreytSweaters orange raincoat

 

AK Creations makes lovely custom-fit winter coats, raincoats, and housecoats for greyhounds in a variety of colour options. For standard sized dogs, if you want a coat that can handle the brambles and wet of a countryside walk, I’d chose Barbour. Their dog coats are made from the same waxed canvas as the coat in your closet, so you know it will last season after season. Again, value for money. Mine have their coats and barring some weird accident, they should last for years and years.

And because it gets darker sooner, don’t forget to clip a blinking light to your dog’s collar and/or leash for evening walks! Most can be found cheap for under £5 at the local pet shop or outdoor store. Use them year after year as they only take cheap watch batteries. A safety yellow or hunter orange vest is also a good idea if you’re out in the countryside for daytime walks! The fit on the vests doesn’t have to be perfect as long as your dog can be spotted in the distance; they normally come in stretchy lycra or mesh material with or without velcro closures.

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