Aug 30, 2023
The 8 Best Dog Jackets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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PEOPLE Tested, Dog Approved
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We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
People / Veronica Vivona
Whether you let your dog sleep in the bed or give them yummy treats throughout the day, there are countless ways to spoil your pet to make cool seasons a little more fun — and that includes apparel. Dog jackets are not only a fashionable accessory for your furry friend, they can also be practical outerwear for certain dogs (more on that below).
While looking adorable is a top priority, Veterinarian director at Senior Tail Waggers Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, tells PEOPLE the material and fit also makes a huge difference: “You should ensure that the jacket is made from soft, breathable material and that it fits your dog appropriately so that it does not rub, chafe, or restrict the dog’s movement.”
We brought our high testing standards home to see how our real dogs felt about 18 top-rated dog jackets by looking at the level of comfort, overall design, quality, and value. As dog parents ourselves, we wanted to test real-life considerations, like how easy it is to get the jacket on your dog. We also evaluated the fit, whether the material or fasteners bothered our dogs, and how well the dog jacket functioned with a harness or collar on actual walks.
Read on for the best dog jackets PEOPLE (and our dogs) Tested.
A dog who’s usually anti-apparel didn’t fuss when she wore this jacket
Material is easy to clean even after rainy, muddy encounters
Silhouette fits well without restricting movement on walks
One of the pricier options on our list, but not a dealbreaker considering quality
This Little Beast jacket proved quite popular with our furry tester, Miss Ophelia. While this dog has worn winter apparel before (and wasn’t a huge fan), she didn’t seem to mind this vest and actually looked more comfortable while wearing it — she didn’t slide across the wall like she does when wearing her other coat (due to static, itchiness, or other elements of discomfort).
The Little Beast vest’s design is quite stylish, with five color options (four of which are reversible), and a well-fitted silhouette that doesn’t restrict movement. It was super simple to put the jacket on Ophelia, and it has a tie on the end to help tighten the fit for a more snug feel. The puffer material is made of 100 percent polyester with a nylon exterior: durable and water-resistant materials that are known to last and will keep your pup warm. Just be sure to machine wash this vest on a cold, gentle cycle to extend its lifespan (making sure to fasten the velcro closure before washing).
The value is evident with this vest, which mimics human outerwear our team would be glad to own ourselves. It’s easy for your dog to wear on walks without restriction or discomfort, and will hold up over time with its durable material and reversible colors for added flair. Ophelia was a big fan, and so are we — especially for a dog that needs an extra winter layer but doesn’t love restrictive clothing.
Price at time of publish: $88
Sizes: XS–XXL | Material: Nylon shell, polyester padding | Style: Reversible puffer vest | Colors: 5 | Water-Resistant: Yes
People / Maria Bouselli
People / Maria Bouselli
People / Maria Bouselli
The most affordable option on our list, but still high value
There’s a zipper opening to feed harness rings through for dogs that wear harnesses on walks
The design is super easy to get on and off even the squirmiest dogs
If your dog has an extra fluffy coat, the sizing doesn’t accommodate that, so you should size up
We loved the design of this dog coat and so did our canines. It has velcro around the neck and under the belly which keeps it on securely but is easy to dress your dog in. There’s also a super functional two-way zippered opening for a harness clip. Plus, the soft fleece interior and smooth polyester exterior are reversible, so you can style it whichever way suits your fancy. In terms of fit, our teammate’s dog is a fluffy boy, and as such, the jacket was a bit tight around his torso. On the other hand, the arm and neck holes were quite spacious.
This particular pooch isn’t a huge fan of jackets and often tries to take them off, but this one held him securely with large, strong velcro sections. (Just be sure to check that longer fur doesn’t get caught in the velcro when fitting the jacket on your dog.) We loved the fleece interior, which is sure to keep your dog warm in even the coldest climates, and we also loved how easily it works with a harness underneath. Considering the price, user-friendly and comfortable design, and mobility of this jacket, it’s an easy “add to cart” for us.
Price at time of publish: $19.99–$29.99
Sizes: XS–3XL | Material: Quilted fleece and polyester | Style: Sleeveless jacket | Colors: 12 | Water-Resistant: Yes
People / Jake Green
Heavy, durable material that’s water-resistant and reflective for rain and night walks
Sturdy clip fasteners that go over the material so there’s no risk of clipping your dog’s fur
The design allows for an adjustable fit since many dog bodies differ even among “size” or “breed” standards
We couldn’t find any cons during testing, so we think the cost is worth the investment
It was hard to find any cons with this dog jacket, which is why we think it would make a great investment if you can swing the cost. From its durable, yet soft material that’s waterproof and won’t fade over time to adjustable sizing so you can fit it snugly to your dog’s proportions, this dog jacket is the crème de la crème. Plus, our dog wasn’t bothered wearing it at all while walking.
We found the design to be extremely comfortable for our dog because it didn’t cut into its skin, and it was completely adjustable for a perfect fit. There’s a long flap that goes under the dog’s belly and helps ensure that your dog stays cozy even on the longest winter walks. We noticed high-quality stitching and sturdy velcro fasteners to keep the jacket in place even on rowdy dogs. The jacket is easy for pet parents to put on and take off of their dog, and it’s quite stylish once in place. Though a little pricey, we think the cost is justified given the quality of this dog jacket; it will most certainly last for years to come due to its high quality and functionality.
Price at time of publish: $79 -$105.11
Sizes: 8–35 inches | Material: Houndtex coating | Style: Hooded parka | Colors: 4 | Water-Resistant: Yes
It has a step-in design, which can be great for older dogs with limited mobility, as well as squirmy dogs
If your dog dislikes their harness, this padded puffer can actually replace it
There’s a safety lining along the closure to keep your dog’s fur from getting caught in the zipper
The volume of puff limited our dog’s mobility slightly on the first walk (but she soon adapted, so this wasn’t an issue long-term)
If you’re looking for a level of puff that will keep your dog warm in the coldest climates, this padded vest ought to do the trick. It’s so puffy, it actually interfered slightly with our dog’s natural gait; though after a few walks with it, this wasn’t an issue. We were dazzled by how easy it is to put on your dog, considering the unique back-closure design. You just let them step into it (almost like a harness) and then zip it behind their back. And there’s a safety flap to prevent any fur from getting caught in the zipper — a huge bonus for long-haired breeds — and it blocks the zipper from rubbing against your dog’s back while they walk.
The biggest benefit of this padded vest is you can replace your dog’s harness with it during cold months because it comes with two D rings to clip the leash to. And for added warmth, there’s a soft fleece lining that will keep your puppy's belly and entire torso cozy. The outside is a more durable and waterproof nylon that successfully repelled water when we poured water on it to test resistance. Since it’s so easy to put on and doubles as a harness, this puffer vest is a huge timesaver before heading out on a walk. When you consider all the qualities and the decently low price, this dog jacket is clearly a winner.
Price at time of publish: $34.50
Sizes: XS–XL | Material: Fleece lining, nylon exterior | Style: Padded vest | Colors: 12 | Water-Resistant: TK
People / Anna Mejorada
People / Anna Mejorada
People / Anna Mejorada
Fleece is a lot more malleable than tougher materials like nylon and polyester, so it’s usually more comfortable for your pet
The numbered sizing allows for a better fit on your dog compared to general sizing
The zipper was tough to get started but moved easily once it caught
It didn’t seem to be super water-resistant; fleece absorbs water on rainy walks and takes a while to dry
If your pup could use a fuzzy fleece to get them through the season, this piece from Wagwear is a stylish and easy-to-wear option. In terms of sizing, we loved that it’s super specific with measurements rather than generalized sizing, so it’s made to fit your dog perfectly. It’s not too loose or too snug, and since this teammate’s dog, a Goldendoodle who doesn’t like wearing jackets, seemed to be fine wearing this one, we’ll count that as a big win.
The design is super user-friendly — easy to get on and off your dog. Our only word of caution is that the zipper is tough to get started, depending on how your dog is sitting while you fasten it. Once the dog shifted a little, we were able to zip up the jacket without issue. In regards to mobility, this jacket didn’t restrict movement on our walks at all. And being fleece, it’s not surprising that it absorbed water during our test rather than repelling it. But for an everyday winter jacket (rainy days aside), this isn’t a huge dealbreaker. It was a little pricey, but it has a really fun design, and it even has a side pocket for spare treats, baggies, or whatever else you might want to carry with you on your walks.
Price at time of publish: $75
Sizes: 8–24 inches | Material: Fleece | Style: Zippered fleece | Colors: 3 | Water-Resistant: No
People / Veronica Vivona
It has a water-resistant, ripstop material so even if your dog chews on it, it won’t be as susceptible to tears
There’s a zippered opening for harness rings so your dog can comfortably wear one underneath the jacket
The design doesn’t restrict movement, and the velcro fasteners are easy to adjust
The neck hole isn’t adjustable and was a little tight on the large dog that tried this one
A vest is an apparel staple for your pet — it provides an extra layer of warmth on days you’d rather be inside (having spent many a cold morning at the dog park, we know this feeling well). For the most part, we loved the fit of the Kurgo Loft Jacket. It uses velcro fasteners, so it’s easy to adjust where needed. The only exception is the neck hole, which doesn’t have much give, so you should be extra mindful when ordering the size.
Our dog who tested this vest (a 10-pound Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for size reference) really seemed to like wearing it. She didn’t show any signs of irritation like trying to gnaw, pull, or scratch it. It’s also super easy to put on your dog, and the plush filling provides warmth but isn’t so bulky as to get in the way of their movement when walking or playing outside. Over the course of testing this vest, it’s been washed several times via laundry machines and has held up without loose strings, fading color, or other issues. It’s also shown durability on many walks and dog playdates. Considering the price and fun color options, we think this is a great everyday dog jacket.
Price at time of publish: $24.79 (orig. $39.99)
Sizes: XS–L | Material: Ripstop material | Style: Fleece coat | Colors: 9 | Water-Resistant: Yes
Can comfortably fit a harness underneath due to slightly oversized fit of the jacket
Cozy and durable material that wicked away water in our tests and during rainy walks
The tummy section velcro was a little overbearing on our dog
Not the easiest to get on and off your dog, especially if they don’t stand statue-still while fastening the velcro
If you want your dog to look sleek and sophisticated, this hooded dog jacket might just call your name. It mimics a small parka and comes in green, gray, maroon, and black, with a faux fur hood. (This jacket is made without any animal products: no fur, no down, no leather.) We noticed the jacket was a touch big on our dog, which worked out because we walk him with a harness and there was plenty of room for it underneath — plus a slit to pull the rings through. One hiccup we noticed is there are about 10 inches of velcro that go down the torso section, which makes this jacket quite secure, but it’s also not the easiest to get your dog in and out of.
During walks, our dog didn’t seem to mind the jacket at all, though he pushed the hood back off of his head (we think he might be more amenable to it when it’s raining or snowing). The jacket has a great design with a soft fleece material inside, as well as two pockets on the back of the jacket for anything you might want to carry on your walks. It’s super water-resistant which we tested via pouring water on it as well as taking several walks in the rain. Overall, we think this is a durable and comfortable jacket that will last a long time. Plus, our dog really liked it!
Price at time of publish: $38.05
Sizes: 10–28 inches | Material: Water-resistant cotton, soft fleece inside | Style: Hooded parka | Colors: 4 | Water-Resistant: Yes
People / Jennifer May
People / Jennifer May
People / Jennifer May
The material itself is highly waterproof and the parts of our dog that were covered with the jacket were bone dry after a walk in the rain
The size guide proved accurate, as the jacket hugged our dog perfectly with no gaps or loose sections
It has a thoughtful design with hidden fasteners to reduce chance of snapping your dog’s fur
The jacket doesn’t have a hood or any leg coverage so parts of your dog will get wet on rainy walks
We were surprised when our puppy, who avidly chews on bandanas, made no fuss about this dog jacket. He didn’t seem to mind wearing it at all, and it fit him beautifully (we used the size guide online to select one that would fit). Our team also appreciated the thoughtful design, with details like fastener buckles underneath flaps to keep them hidden. These also reduce the chance of getting our puppy’s fur stuck in the buckles. Plus, there’s a harness slit so you can clip a leash through the back of the jacket for easy access, and elastic leg loops to keep it in place.
Though it is a little pricey, and the jacket doesn’t cover the dog’s head or legs (there’s no hood), it’s super water-resistant and honestly looked adorable when worn by our dog. We would not recommend this for a day spent in the rain since your dog’s head and legs will likely get drenched, but for a little walk in the rain, this jacket is perfect. On our rainy day walks, everywhere the jacket covered our dog was completely dry when we arrived home. In this case, we think the price is worth it.
Price at time of publish: $99.95
Sizes: XXS–XL | Material: Polyester | Style: Jacket | Colors: 2 | Water-Resistant: Yes
Buying apparel for a dog means considering the shape and size of their body and how active they are. Some dog jackets use standard sizes like XS–XL, which is fine if you use the size guides to determine where your dog fits in that range. The only issue with standard sizing is parts of the clothing might fit better than others — as our dog encountered with the neck hole on the Kurgo Loft Jacket. With numeral sizing, you can get a little more precise with measurements and find a better fit, like we found with the excellent fit of the Wagwear Fleece Zippy.
Another consideration is whether your dog wears a harness when walking. A lot of dog jackets are designed with a slit behind the neck area for you to clip the leash to a harness underneath, like the ThinkPet Cold Weather Dog Coat. So, you might want to size up to ensure the jacket and harness fit well together and won’t limit mobility by being too tight.
The material of a dog jacket determines its durability (during playtime, walks, and daily activity), its resistance to rain, and how easily it can be cleaned — all factors that will contribute to longevity. Not to mention, certain fabrics can cause irritation and itchiness and should be avoided for your dog. “If a dog is to wear clothing, I prefer soft cotton fleece that has some stretch to it,” says Dr. Whittenburg. “This fabric is breathable, soft, and allows for more natural movement.” That said, fleece is a super warm material, so it might cause some long-haired dogs to run too hot when wearing it.
“The only exception to [my suggestion of fleece] would be situations where the dog may get wet, and a waterproof material might be more appropriate,” she adds. Most dog jackets are made from a version of polyester or nylon, both water-resistant materials that are easily washed. And just like for humans, cotton is also a comfortable option for your canine, so the Canada Pooch Winter Dog Coat could be a good choice. And when it comes to fasteners, Dr. Whittenburg says velcro is “easier and quicker to secure than buckles” and can be especially “helpful, as dogs tend to be squirmy.”
Keep in mind, some dogs have natural coats built in — and thick ones at that. Dogs with long, thick coats are bred for cold climates, and they don’t need dog jackets (nor will they want to wear them). A few examples might be Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees, etc. Meanwhile, short-haired dogs like Labs, French Bulldogs, Beagles, and Pitbulls might greatly benefit from an extra layer of warmth in the winter. So keep your dog’s fur type in mind when choosing what kind of jacket you purchase. Long-haired dogs like Golden Retrievers might also get their fur stuck in certain zippers or velcro closures, so safety features like what the Gooby Padded Vest has in place could be useful.
We put these dog jackets to the test, deferring to the only critics who matter here: our dogs. Looking at the construction and design of each jacket, we considered if the fasteners were high quality (velcro, snap, or other) and if the fabric seemed comfortable and durable. Then we put the jackets on our dogs, testing how easy (or difficult, in some cases) it was to dress our furry pals. We looked at the overall fit (too snug, too loose, or just right?), whether our pups seemed comfortable (no signs of itching, chewing on the material, or other irritated behavior), and if the fasteners felt secure when the dog wore the jacket.
For good measure, we took the test to the streets, putting on our dogs’ normal collars or harnesses with the jackets on top, and then walking our dogs for at least 15 minutes. Our team considered how the jackets fit when the dog was moving (especially over a harness), and whether the fasteners stayed secure the whole time. We also looked at whether the jackets actually seemed to keep our dogs warm by looking for any signs of shivering if cold or panting if overheated. Another important factor is if a jacket limits mobility or gets in the way when the dog relieves itself.
Upon return home, we considered the ease of jacket removal, as well as the durability and water resistance of the material. Our team poured water over the jacket to see how the water reacted with the material (whether running off immediately or absorbing into the jacket). We repeated this whole process on six or so walks to get the full picture of each jacket’s functionality.
With any type of dog apparel, you want to make sure it doesn’t cut under their legs and restrict movement. It’s also important that it’s comfortable to wear, otherwise your dog might resort to chewing or gnawing on it. The best way to ensure a good fit is to take your dog’s measurements and then use the sizing guide for that specific jacket to find the right size.
Light compression, similar to the sensation of a hug, is a known calming solution for anxious dogs, which is why you see things like thunder jackets and other vests and apparel designed to help with anxiety. “Some dogs very much enjoy wearing clothes and may absolutely feel comfort when wearing a jacket,” says Dr. Whittenburg. “This is very individual to the particular dog, however.”
Since dogs can’t verbally tell us if something is uncomfortable, Dr. Whittenburg says to look for behavioral signs of discomfort. “Some dogs do not care for wearing clothes and forcing them to do so can cause stress and anxiety,” she says. “Dogs wearing jackets should also be monitored at all times to avoid overheating. Dogs cannot sweat and may overheat more easily than humans.” She also recommends speaking to your veterinarian first if your dog has anxiety because “there are many remedies that will likely be more effective,” such as a calming dog bed.
In almost all cases, the harness should go underneath a dog jacket. This is why many jackets have a small opening to feed the harness loops through it so you can connect the leash for walks.
Madison Yauger is a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who’s tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources. She’s previously covered many different pet topics, including training and behavior. For this story, she spoke to the Veterinarian director at Senior Tail Waggers Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, in addition to heavily researching the market of dog jackets and consulting our tested insights, as well as her own golden retriever, Stevie, who has high standards for all dog-related goods.
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