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Coats or jackets?
  • Do any of you live up North and put coats, jackets, or sweaters on your Shibas? If so, what brands or styles have you found work the best?
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    I'm not really Northy North but I don't think Shibas need coats/jackets/sweaters. They've got the perfect fur-type for cold weather and unless they've got a bad coat, they don't need one. Conker did fine in St. Louis in the winter (snow and ice) and he didn't have any undercoat.
    But if I were to get one for Conker, Ruff Wear is the only brand I'd go for.
    (I do have a pumpkin sweater for Conker but it was a gag thing)
  • bobc33bobc33
    Posts: 287
    I live in Western MA and winters can be quite cold. I've been amazed at just how thick a Shiba undercoat is. It can be below zero and windy and Scout will sit out front totally exposed for an hour or more. That is about the limit I'll let her stay out in that weather but it doesn't seem to bother her at all, and if left up to her she would stay out longer.
    Posts: 1507
    In New York City with snow cover all last winter I only used a jacket with Penny when she was a puppy and not for too long. Her undercoat was not fully grown in (sort of bare bellied). My Shiba thrive in the cold.
  • What about boots then, do any of you use those?
  • We live in Baltimore, MD and the past few winters have been brutal with major snow accumulations and low temps. I only used a coat on Ginger when she was a puppy and it was her first winter. Now if we let her, she'd play all day out in the snow. As far as boots go, I don't think I could get them on Ginger and if I could, I definitely think she would have a Shiba-tanrum! Are you worried about the salt on the roads and sidewalks? Just be sure to wipe paws when you come back in from a walk.
  • Usually people use Musher's Secret instead of boots. Supposedly it works great and I've heard some complain about boots falling off.

    Since multiple people here have mentioned using coats for their dogs when they were puppies, I figure I'll ask: do you think a coat is necessary when they're a puppy or just a precaution?
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2011-11-27 20:05:55
    Posts: 1507
    Penny had a bare belly so I used it until she had a more protective undercoat.


    I use Mushers secret for snow and ice and hot pavement in the summer.
  • My male would scream from the cold snow on his feet last winter but my female was fine, so I'm just trying to be proactive this year for his sake.
  • I don't think they need anything, unless they have a puppy coat, or are shaved or something. Their coat is pretty thick. I live in the mountains in NM, and we get decent snow, and it's been as cold as 0, though usually it's just in the 20s and 30s in the winter. My dogs seem pretty happy outside in the snow--the Shibas love snow, except Toby doesn't like wet snow on his feet.

    My Akita is hot most of the time, and now that it's colder, he seems to really enjoy laying outside on the deck in the cold.

  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Again I'd probably go with Ruff Wear is Musher's Secret didn't help. (You think I might be a bit biased here? Heh.) You can successfully train most dogs to put up with boots if you do it slowly with lots of bribes. If you get some, don't just put them on and watch your Shiba walk around all funny. First get his feet used to being touched (if he isn't already) then put a boot on, treat, take it off, treat, rinse and repeat until he's fine with them. It can take a day or several weeks depending on the dog.
  • We are in Wisconsin and have been looking for coats for Saki mainly because last winter her under belly would get snow balls/ice pellets, but most of the coats we are finding her don't cover her belly. So we are now thinking of using a tshirt. She really doesn't need it for the cold because she loves when the weather gets cold and it snows.
    Deb and Jeff, Appleton, WI
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya lives in Indiana and she loves the deep snow and weather when it's 35F or during blizzard she wants to play not pee or poo.. >.<<br />
    Musher's secret or boots to protect against salt since that hurts the dogs paws plus ice can too.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • I don't use a coat on Rubee, I think it's probably a nice relief to go out in the cold with as thick and long as her coat is. The new puppy, Firefox, gets a coat because she shivers like crazy. Melon occasionally wears a little hoodie when it's really cold, but also because she seems to have a non-existent undercoat and she also shivers. @Losech, you said Conker didn't have an undercoat? Did he ever grow one? Melon has an undercoat around her neck, she has a very plush feel there and I can see the grey fur when I pet her, but everywhere else is just topcoat. I can see right to her skin...

    Anyway. Melon and Firefox gets coats, but more so because they shiver. If they didn't shiver, I wouldn't coat them. Plus, Firefox LOVES the snow. She puts her nose in it and makes a little pile and kicks it everywhere and has a blast, until she runs to me shivering. She probably won't get another coat when she grows out of this one, though.

    I use Muttluks boots when I feel I have to and they stay on pretty well. My apartment complex seems to think its a good idea to completely COVER the stairs in de-icer - I literally cannot see the stairs for all the salt right now. So they get boots because of that.

    If you want something that covers her belly, Ruff Wear and Fido Fleece (and others, I'm sure) make these fleece jackets that cover the belly and would repel snow and wetness better than just a t-shirt. They're designed a lot like a t-shirt though, they don't have the velcro strap. I'd think that a t-shirt would get soaked pretty quickly and then cling to her belly. They sell Fido Fleece at a little pet store by my house and I was actually going to buy one for Firefox until I saw a different one I liked better, which is by All Star Dogs. It has the velcro that goes across the chest and around the belly, but the belly strap is way thicker than most, so it also covers the majority of Firefox's belly.

  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    @Angelofmusic720 Yes, he grew it back. He'd shed it all out in the middle of winter and it took a couple weeks to grow back, so it was somewhat odd for a bit there.
  • Our guys have coats and t shirts and sweaters and costumes but its mostly for our amusement. If we take them out in the snow we'll throw one on Tanuki, his fur accumulates ice balls, and it's easier to dress him rather than have to melt them off when we come back in
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    @shimaurashibalover92 OMG that picture is ADORABLE!! They are so freaking cute!
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • ha my dog will not move with a sweater or jacket on. His favorite treats didn't help at all. He'd just sit and give me a really mad stare. haa
    In terms of boots, I have actually been meaning to ask the same question.
    I live in NY and I've lived in the same neighborhood for over 5 years now and I've noticed that every winter…light or heavy snow, the amount of salt poured outside everywhere is really excessive…which is safe for me and the people in the neighborhood but not for pets. I was or wipe his feet every time we come back home from a walk because he likes to jump on my bed and play and its basically his "castle" throughout the day until I go to sleep. But I wanna know peoples experience w boots on their shibas. RuffWear seems worth it, pricey but I don't mind if I know that it works on another shiba before I get one for jasper.
    Posts: 1507
    Jasper, I use Mushers Secret. It protects my Shibas feet from salt and ice build up. If your Shiba does not like coats I can imagine he will not like boots either.
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2011-12-18 10:59:52
  • Our experience is the same as Jasper's--Ponta freezes up when we put his raincoat on. He'll barely budge, and trying to take him outside is kind of futile.
  • Most Shibas don't like harness/clothes/boots naturally, so you need to train your dog first before you put it on.

    Break it down into smaller steps. For example, with a harness, start by showing your dog the harness and treat. As he gets more comfortable with the sight of the harness, have the harness touches his head lightly and treat before putting it away. Then you slide the harness over his head and treat and take the harness off. You can then increase the time the harness stays on him and eventually be able to buckle up and leave the harness on.

    These steps I listed are just examples. Change them to fit your dog's needs/reactions to the new item.

    Break it down and take it slow. Create positive association of the new item with your dog. If it is not working for you, then it means you are going too fast and you need to break it down into smaller steps.
  • Toby loves wearing things. I discovered this when he was badly injured and had to wear a cone and bandages and I had to have creative methods of keeping up the bandages on his legs (socks with a little "belt" around his waist to keep them up). You would think it would be a pretty bad experience overall, but once he was feeling a little better, he pranced around in his "outfit" and ever since then, he prances and dances when I put anything on him, regardless of how ridiculous it might be.

    He's silly sometimes. :)

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