Now that the rainy days of autumn have arrived, I keep seeing dogs in dog raincoats. Yesterday I counted four urban dogs trotting about the streets of Hampstead showing off their wet-weather gear and two decked out on the Heath.
Last year I went through a period of zipping Teddy into what I considered a stylish doggy waterproof. I thought it might be a neat way to avoid washing him after our daily wet and muddy Heath walks. Teddy thought otherwise. He hated his rustling jacket and refused to budge while wearing it. (See the photo of him sporting said item in A Schnauzer Spooked, and you might agree with my husband: Teddy felt it damaged his street cred.)
But it has got me thinking. Does a hairy dog like Teddy need a raincoat? The temperature has not yet properly dropped in London but it is wet. Teddy shivers even after he’s been washed in perfectly warm water, so how thoroughly should I be drying him after he’s been drenched in a downpour?
“It’s not a problem for dogs to get wet,” says vet Rodney Zasman. “After a good shake they soon dry off.’ He points out that some breeds, like Labradors and other Retrievers, have ‘waterproof’ coats that are well-suited to wet conditions. Regardless, though, he says, “I would always dry a dog after it is wet. It just helps the body temperature to return to normal quicker.”
So, we’ll say no to the raincoat, but put a towel by the front door. Teddy (and his finely tuned sartorial senses) will be pleased.