Does My Dog Need A Raincoat?

Night or day, heat or cold, rain or shine — dogs need to go out! While sometimes walks can be delayed for inclement weather, there are days when those sunny skies just never come and you’re left sloshing down the sidewalk with a drenched dog. A dog raincoat can be an essential item to have on hand for keeping your pup dry and protected on rainy days, especially if you live in the stormy Southeast or Pacific Northwest. 

Benefits of Raincoats for Dogs

There are many benefits of having a raincoat or rain jacket for your dog. From keeping them dry and comfortable to keeping your home clean and avoiding that dreaded “wet dog smell” every dog owner is familiar with. Here are some of the benefits of getting your dog a raincoat.

Not having to delay your dog’s walks

As the saying goes “When you gotta go, you gotta go!” and of course, this extends to dogs too. While some dogs are better at holding it for longer periods than others, it’s never good to delay your pet’s potty break for too long. In fact, it can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). Having a doggie raincoat on hand will ensure that you are able to walk your dog no matter the weather. 

Keeping your dog warm, dry, and comfortable

Even in light rain, your dog can quickly become drenched after just a few minutes outside. Depending on their fur type, it can also take hours for them to fully dry. This can be cold and uncomfortable for them. Raincoats can vastly reduce the amount of water that ends up in your dog’s fur and can help keep them warm and comfortable in wet weather.

Keeping your home clean and “wet dog” smells at bay

Every dog owner knows the struggle of dealing with a rainy walk doesn’t just end at the door. As soon as you step inside the house there is a race to get the towel before your dog shakes off or gets the zoomies and spreads that notorious “wet dog” smell all over your home. While a raincoat for dogs won’t completely eliminate this issue — it can drastically reduce it!

Protecting your dog’s ears, skin, and coat

Keeping your dog’s ears, skin, and coat protected is important, especially if they have any sort of allergies or skin conditions. Things like ear infections, dermatitis, and hot spots can be made worse by constantly getting wet. A raincoat can help keep your dog’s ears, skin, and coat protected so you don’t have to sacrifice their exercise just because it’s raining. It will also keep them cleaner in between baths, cutting down on the amount of mud and grime that makes its way into their fur, causing buildup and odors.

More adventures with your four-legged friend

Planning a road trip with your pup? Or taking them hiking, camping, or on other adventures? We all know the weather can change on a dime, especially when you’re up in the mountains or crossing through different climates. Packing some rain gear for dogs can help ensure your pup is “adventure-ready” at all times. Whether your dog needs a quick potty break at a rainy roadside rest stop or you’re halfway through a hike in the mountains when a storm rolls in — you can easily put on their raincoat and carry on with your day.

Safety in low visibility conditions 

Rainfall is often accompanied by darkened skies and distracted drivers. With their bright colors and reflective trim, dog raincoats can help keep your pup safe and visible on their rainy day walk. It’s also easier to keep track of them if you happen to be on an off-leash adventure somewhere. The last thing you want to do is lose sight of your dog in the rain.

But my dog’s coat is naturally waterproof…isn’t it?

While some dog breeds have more water-resistant coats than others, especially those bred for swimming, no dogs are truly waterproof. Let’s explore the different types of dog coats and how they handle water.

Single-coated vs. double-coated dogs

Dogs with a single coat have one layer of fur on their body typically consisting of short, smooth hairs known as guard hairs. Single-coated dogs shed less than double-coated dogs but have a harder time staying warm in cold temperatures. Single-coated dogs include breeds like Boxers, French Bulldogs, and Greyhounds.

Dogs with a double coat have two layers of fur on their body, known as an undercoat and top coat. The undercoat is a softer, denser, fluffier type of fur that serves as insulation while the top coat consists of smoother guard hairs. Double-coated breeds shed more than single-coated breeds but can withstand much cooler temperatures. Double-coated dogs include breeds like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies. 

Both single-coated and double-coated dogs could benefit from the use of a raincoat in inclement weather. Single-coated dogs, while quicker to dry, often get cold faster. Double-coated dogs have more natural protection from the elements but take much longer to dry. 

Short vs. long coats

Coat lengths can vary among dog breeds and typically fall into short, medium, or long categories. Short-haired breeds include Greyhounds and Dobermans, Medium-haired breeds include German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds, and long-haired breeds include Afghan Hounds and Bearded Collies. Some dogs also have short and long-haired variations in the breed such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds

Dogs with all coat lengths can stand to benefit from the protection a raincoat offers. Short-haired breeds tend to get cold quickly in the rain, while long-haired breeds take quite some time to dry and can also be at risk for matting.

Different textures of dog coats

In addition to single vs. double coats and short vs. long hair, texture also plays a role in water tolerance. Dogs can have smooth, wiry, wavy, or curly hair. The majority of dogs fall into the smooth or wavy category. Think of Boxers and Vizslas with smooth coats and Golden Retrievers and Labradors that tend to have that wave pattern down their backs. Curly-haired dogs like Poodles and Portuguese Water Dogs and wiry-haired dogs like Jack Russell Terriers and Schnauzers are less common.

No matter a dog’s coat texture, a raincoat can come in handy to keep their coats clean and dry. Curly-haired dogs in particular can be prone to matting so keeping their coats protected from rain and mud can be helpful. 

Hairless dogs

We’ve covered all different coat and hair types but what about hairless dogs? Yes — they exist! While not as common, there are a few dog breeds with little to no hair including the completely hairless Xoloitzcuintli, the American Hairless Terrier, and the partially haired Chinese Crested. One might think no hair equals no need for a raincoat, but quite the opposite is true. Hairless dogs have little protection against the elements and get cold very quickly. A raincoat is a must-have for hairless dog breeds.

But dogs love the rain…don’t they?

Just like people, dogs have their own unique personalities, likes, and dislikes. Some dogs love water and will gladly spend an afternoon romping around in the rain and playing in puddles. For other dogs, a slight drizzle and the feeling of wet grass on their toes is enough to send them off into hiding for the rest of the day.

While breed can play a role in a dog’s willingness towards water, it’s not always the case. It may be hard to find a Labrador without a love of water but there are certainly a few out there. Dogs are complex creatures so we can’t always assume they will like or dislike anything based on what other dogs do.

But there’s no harm in walking my dog in the rain…right?

There’s an old adage “A little rain never hurt anyone” and while that may be true for most, walking your dog in the rain is not without risk. Prolonged exposure to wet weather, especially cold, wet weather can lead to pneumonia. Dogs prone to skin infections, ear infections, and other dermatological issues can also have their conditions exacerbated by getting wet or sitting around in damp conditions, such as after a walk in the rain. 

To help prevent these types of issues, avoid long walks in cold, wet weather, protect your pet with a raincoat, and thoroughly dry them off with towels after rainy day walks. 

Choosing a Raincoat for Your Dog

When it comes to choosing a raincoat for your dog there’s no shortage of options on the market today, however — not all are created equal! Many raincoats are mass-produced using low-quality materials that are ill-fitting and uncomfortable for your dog. Here’s what to look for to find a quality raincoat that’s well-fitted to your dog, comfortable, and built to last. 


One of the first things you’ll want to look at in a raincoat is what it's made from. A good quality nylon with a waterproof coating is one of the best materials you can find in a rain jacket for dogs. It’s durable, waterproof, easy to clean, and long-lasting. 

Cheaper plastics and vinyls that you’ll find in some rain gear for dogs can be less durable, may rip or leak, or may even have harmful chemicals. Certain materials can also be noisy. Many dogs dislike the “swishing” sounds of walking in a raincoat and the “drip-drop” sounds of falling rain on the jacket. 

Voyagers K9 Apparel Raincoats are made from high-quality Taslan Nylon that is comfortable, durable, waterproof, and quiet. Water and wind are repelled and sounds are dampened so your dog can still enjoy their walk while battling the elements. 


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes so their raincoats should too. Unfortunately, many canine raincoat manufacturers create products based on a simple small, medium, or large size chart, but, of course, dogs are not humans. An English Bulldog and a Viszla can both weigh 50 pounds but have vastly different proportions. 

Ill-fitting raincoats can be too tight in some areas or too loose in others, causing chafing or leaving too much of your dog’s body exposed to the rain. When it comes to finding the right size raincoat for your dog — customizable is the way to go!

Voyagers K9 Apparel Raincoats come in customizable, breed-specific sizes. Whether you need a Chihuahua raincoat or a Great Dane raincoat, you can always make sure your pup has the perfect fit for their rainy day adventures.


It’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable in their raincoat. Dogs can be sensitive to wearing clothes, especially ones that have certain textures and make sounds. If your dog isn’t a fan of wearing their raincoat they may not want to walk in it and that puts a damper on the day for both of you. Choosing quality materials that won’t irritate your dog or make loud sounds and making sure their coat is well-fitted will go a long way in easing your dog into a raincoat. 

The material on the inside of the raincoat can be just as important as the one on the outside when it comes to your dog’s comfort. The inside should be soft and comfortable. As tempting as it is to buy reversible or two-sided raincoats with colorful patterns, these offer no benefit for your dog. In fact, they can feel pretty irritating with the stiff plastic against their body. A better bet is something with a soft interior. 

Voyagers K9 Apparel Raincoats have a soft, breathable, mesh lining that offers comfort on the inside and the ultimate rain protection on the outside. 


A raincoat is a raincoat…right? Not exactly. Some raincoat styles can be better than others, especially when it comes to how they’re worn. Styles that are quick and easy to put on are best. Step-in styles or those with sleeves can be difficult to put on and messy to take off when wet or muddy paws are involved. Some dogs also don’t love their feet being touched and may not be the most cooperative when it comes to wrangling their legs through the sleeves. 

The best dog raincoats go over the body and have straps that are secured under the belly area. This ensures an easy on-and-off and less stress for your pet. Hooded styles are also best to help protect your dog’s ears from the rain. This is especially good for dogs with long, floppy ears that trap water and debris and can be prone to ear infections such as Beagles and Weimaraners.

Voyagers K9 Apparel Raincoats come in an over-the-body style that only takes seconds to put on and take off. They also include an easy-to-roll hood to protect your dog's ears from the elements. 


While they may all look similar, some raincoats have more features than others. There are a few things you’ll want to look for when shopping around to ensure you’re getting the most out of your dog’s raincoat. 

Raincoats that come in bright colors and have reflective details help ensure that your dog stays visible, no matter how rainy or dark it gets. Additionally, slots to attach your dog’s leash are important, and surprisingly, not all raincoats come with them which can mean having to awkwardly run the leash under or around the coat. 

Voyagers K9 Apparel Raincoats come in bright colors, feature reflective piping for safety, and have an opening to easily attach your dog’s leash through. Your dog will be safe, secure, and of course — protected from the rain.

Getting Your Dog Used to Wearing a Raincoat

Once you have your raincoat, now comes the fun part — getting your dog used to it! This is an important step that should not be skipped. Remember that dogs don’t know what a raincoat is and they might not immediately understand that it’s something to help them. 

Many dog owners make the mistake of buying their dog a raincoat, throwing it in the closet, and forgetting about it until it’s needed. Then, one day it’s raining and they need to walk their dog so they grab the coat and try to put it on. Next thing they know, Fido is freaked out, frantically trying to shake the coat off or in the corner with the coat, frozen in fear. This scenario has played out in many dog owner’s homes but there’s an easy way to avoid it. 

It’s not uncommon for a dog to be weary of a raincoat, especially if they’ve never worn one before. It can take a little time, patience, and training to get your four-legged friend used to their new accessory. But once they are, they’ll be all the happier to don their new digs if it means they don’t have to skip walks because it's raining. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your dog used to their raincoat. 

Introduce the raincoat in a non-threatening way

Dogs see the world through their noses, before you go putting a foreign object on their body, they need some time to inspect it. Introduce the raincoat in a non-threatening way by laying it on the floor and allowing your dog some time to sniff it and complete their “inspection.” Pair this process with some positive reinforcement training by praising your dog and giving them treats while they inspect the coat. This helps your dog understand that the coat is a “friend” and not an “enemy.”

You may need to go through this process a few times before moving on, depending on how well your dog reacts. Some dogs will welcome their new raincoat while others may be more reluctant to interact with it at first.

Slowly work their way up to wearing the raincoat

After your dog has been familiarized with the raincoat, slowly work on getting them to wear it. Start by placing it on them gently while giving them treats and work their way up to wearing it around the house for a few minutes at a time. 

You can encourage them to get more comfortable with the coat by giving them a special treat while they are wearing it like doggie ice cream, some pet-safe peanut butter, or a “pupsicle” or frozen stuffed Kong. You can also try giving them their favorite toy to play with while wearing the coat. These tricks can all help desensitize your dog to the raincoat. 

Head outside with the raincoat

Now it’s time to get your dog used to walking with their raincoat on. While you don’t have to wait for a rainy day — do make sure it’s not hot outside. You don’t want your dog to become overheated with the coat on. Not only is this dangerous but it can create a negative association with the coat and setback the training process. 

Start with some shorter walks and see how your dog does. If they seem to enjoy it, you can ramp up to longer walks. If they are hesitant to walk or trying to shake or scratch the coat off, head home and give them a break. You can repeat these steps later and slowly work on their comfort level with the coat. 

Make it routine

Once your dog has fully accepted their raincoat it’s important to keep it routine. This doesn't mean they have to wear it every day but rather continue to incorporate it as needed for rainy day walks and activities. They will begin to build that association themselves. They may even get excited to see it since it will signify they get to go outside. 

If you take your dog hiking, camping, or on other outdoor adventures be sure to bring their raincoat along too. Whenever there might be rain — make their raincoat part of the routine!


Wander in Any Weather 

Whether you have an adventure dog that loves hiking in the woods or a couch potato that prefers short walks around the block in between naps — every dog needs a raincoat.

Voyagers K9 Apparel is here to help every dog always be ready with top-quality, durable, and long-lasting raincoats in customizable, breed-specific sizes. 

In addition to raincoats, you’ll find a wide selection of custom dog apparel for all-weather including winter coats, booties, and tummy warmers so your pup can wander in any weather with Voyagers K9 Apparel!

Leave a comment