This Thing Rules

Yes, I finally bought a dog jacket

At first I thought it was silly, then I thought it'd be tough to put on, but now my dog is an even bigger adventurer than I am.

After five years of living with a dog, there’s almost no pet product I haven’t purchased. From nail clippers to tick-pulling devices to multiple bottles of dog-safe conditioners, Rue’s arsenal of tools and accessories has swiftly grown to rival my own. At this point, I’m reticent to buy anything but the most necessary of new dog products for her.

But I’m bunkered down in Montreal for the duration of this pandemic-stricken winter, and that means dealing with a climate that rarely goes above freezing and entails snowfall on a near-daily basis. And seeing as the vast majority of my time is spent within the four walls of my apartment, twice-daily dog walks are really one of the only things keeping me sane.

So I finally caved and bought my dog a full snowsuit. I know, I know, it sounds just as unnecessary and ridiculous to me as it does to you — but I’m happy to say I don’t regret the decision even a little.

Rue, enjoying some sniffs, cold snow notwithstanding.

When it comes to dog clothing, a few factors outweigh everything else; topping that list is how difficult it is to force my dog into the garment and, subsequently, how easy it is to slip off. In between, the clothing also needs to fit well enough that it won’t slide off mid-walk. Everything else — aesthetics, price, durability, etc. — comes later.

GF Pet’s snowsuits are almost unbelievably easy to slip on and off. The main body of the coat is secured with two stretchy velcro straps, one that goes around the front and one that latches mid-belly. The pants section — yes, there are pants — are puffy enough that slipping my dog’s back legs into them is easier than fitting into my own jeans. The parts fit together with another strong piece of velcro. I’m not exaggerating when I say it takes less than 15 seconds to put the snowsuit on or take it off. (When Rue isn’t prancing around the apartment playing hard-to-get, that is.)

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I finally caved and bought the snowsuit because my dog is notoriously bad at staying warm. She’s a skinny queen, and her fur is beautiful but not quite suitable for arctic temperatures. I’ve tried a few less-intense coat options in the past, but she’s always ended up shivering before we’d made it more than a couple of blocks. That hasn’t been an issue at all since making the jump to a full snowsuit — miles-long treks through the snow aren’t an issue anymore, thanks to the suit’s thick fleece lining. If it happens to be a bit warmer than usual, I can always do without the pants half of the suit, too.

It’s difficult to say whether or not Rue actually enjoys wearing the snowsuit; most days she’d prefer to traipse around in clothes-less glory, I think, but as far as outwear goes, this snowsuit doesn’t bother her much at all. It’s snug without being restrictive — there are eight different sizes available, which makes finding the right fit a breeze — and a few thoughtful touches really allow her to wear it for long periods without complaining. The knees of the pants are open, for example, so her leg movements are very free. The hood can be pinned back with another strong piece of velcro; with other coats, hoods often proved more annoying than helpful.

And — though I do cringe a bit saying so — Rue looks very cute in her snowsuit. No, it’s not Moncler, but it’s a lot less expensive and much warmer, too. Add a few dollar-store balloons to protect your dog’s paws and you’re ready for just about anything winter can throw your way.