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Do Border Terriers Need Coats in Winter?

Are you wondering if your border terrier needs a coat in the winter? Maybe you’re new to owning a small dog or are just curious as to what the added responsibilities and costs of owning a small dog such as a border terrier would be.

Well, then this article might be just what you’re looking for. 

Here I’m going to talk about a few of the instances in which you might want to buy a coat for Fido this Christmas. Border terriers might need a coat during the wintertime depending on where you live, fur length, duration of time outdoors, and travel.

Why Border Terriers Would Need A Coat In Winter

There are a few different reasons your border terrier might need a coat this coming cold-weather season. Still, this dog breed tends to handle cold weather temperatures much better than many other small dog breeds.

Ultimately, it is going to come down to whether you think your border terrier would benefit from a small coat in cold temperatures.

Reason #1 Where You Live

This is going to be a big deciding factor in whether your border terrier needs a coat in the wintertime. Different places have different climates and winter can look very different, and your dog will definitely respond to the climate accordingly. 

Mild Winters

If you live in a warmer climate with mild winters, your border terrier will most likely not need a winter coat. Their fur is often thick enough to keep them warm through mild winters.

Harsh Winters

If you live in a climate that is going to have rough winters such as northern areas in the US, Canada, or other countries where there is a great deal of snowfall and below-freezing temperatures, having a coat for your border terrier when taking them outside is highly recommended. Your dog may love to play in the snow, but you want to keep them warm while they do so.

Being a small dog, they can cool down quickly and feel the cold just like we can, so keep that in mind when letting a border terrier out in freezing temps.

Reason #2 Fur Coat Length

Fur length is another factor in whether your border terrier needs a winter coat. Border terriers have wirehair that continuously grows versus short-hair dogs that shed a lot. This means that your border terrier’s hair length could determine if you want to get them a winter coat or not.


If you are going to keep your border terrier’s hair trimmed and/or short, you may need to buy them a winter coat. Since they have less hair to keep them warm, your pooch might need that extra warmth while he’s outside on those cold weather days.


Your border terrier is less likely to need a coat in the wintertime if their hair is grown out longer. Having longer hair when it’s cooler out makes it easier for your dog to stay warm when outside in snow or below-freezing temperatures.

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Advice For Border Terrier Fur Coat Care

Advice for Border Terrier Fur Coat Care

Some advice for transitioning your border terrier from warm to cool weather would be to keep your dog’s hair short in the warm months, but let it start to grow out as cold weather starts to approach. 

Reason #3 Time Spent Outdoors

Another thing to think about when considering buying a coat for Fido is how long you plan for your dog to be outside. If you are simply letting them out for short walks or potty breaks, your border terrier’s fur should keep them warm enough.

However, if you are planning longer outdoor activities such as hiking, long walks, or long durations of play outside, we would recommend getting a coat to keep them warm.

Reason #4: Travel

It is important to consider buying a coat for your border terrier if you are from a warm or mild climate and are traveling somewhere cold. Your dog will not be used to the cooler climates and a coat will help greatly in keeping your pooch warm and cozy while in an unfamiliar place.

So, if you are heading from sunny Florida to chilly Minnesota to see family for the holidays make packing your dog a coat a priority.

Reason #5: Internal Temperature

Combining all these reasons will lead us to this last and most important reason that your border terrier would need a coat in the wintertime. Keeping your dog’s internal temperature regulated is the biggest concern when deciding to buy them a winter coat.

This is why you will need to take into consideration the climate your dog is used to, the air temperature outside, and the duration of time spent outside. Dogs, like you or me, can get hypothermia and the last thing you want is for your border terrier to end up with that.

Look for signs such as shivering, slow movements, or lack of energy when gauging how your dog is handling the cold.

Border Terrier’s Undercoat

Your border terrier, like most other dog breeds, has an undercoat. This is exactly what it sounds like a second coat of fur underneath the one you generally see.

This coat of fur is used to keep your dog cool in summer and warm in the winter. This is generally what is referred to when we say dogs grow a thicker coat of fur in the winter–it is this second layer bulking up to keep your furry buddy warm. 

Border terriers typically have a good undercoat of fur that will keep them warm during the wintertime. This is why in most cases a winter coat for border terriers is recommended and not necessarily required.

Still, it is good to keep in mind activities’ severity to cold and the duration you will be taking your dog on when deciding if they do or do not need a winter coat. Your dog’s undercoat can only keep them warm for so long, so it is important to keep that in mind when having your dog outside for long periods.

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Factors to Look for in a Good Canine Coat

It is important to get your border terrier a good coat and not something just for looks. The main priority is keeping your dog warm and not just how adorable they look in their new attire. (Even if they do look just too cute in their new jacket!)

Factor #1 Warmth

When shopping for a winter coat the first thing you’re going to want to consider is warmth. This is the main goal of the coat so making sure you have something with fur or down feathers inside is going to be best.

Consider if you’d buy the same type of coat for yourself when picking out one for your border terrier.

Factor #2 Coverage

Finding a coat that covers the majority of your dog’s body is also going to be a high priority when deciding what to buy. You want to make sure as much of their skin is covered as possible to keep them warm.

Factor #3 Water Resistant

This is not the priority when buying a winter jacket for your border terrier, but it is definitely something to consider. You do not want to get a thin sweater that is going to get soaked in rain or snow.

Instead, make sure you purchase something such as polyurethane laminate or thermoplastic polyurethane. This will keep your pooch warm and dry while he’s outside frolicking.

Also, Consider Booties!

Your border terriers’ paws can easily crack, chafe, and chap while outdoors for long periods. Dry paws can be uncomfortable and even painful depending on severity.

While out winter coat shopping for your canine, consider picking up some booties as well to protect your dog’s paws from the cold, especially if you plan to have them outside for long periods.

No Coats Indoors

It is important to remember that you are buying this coat for your dog to keep them warm when they are outside in harsh temperatures. Once returning to the warmth of the indoors it is essential to remove your dog’s coat as they can very quickly become overheated. 

No Coats Indoors

Getting Your Border Terrier A Coat For Winter

There are many things to consider when deciding to get your border terrier a coat for the winter. It is encouraged in many instances to get your furry friend something to keep him warm while outside for long durations or when traveling but is not necessary in all instances.

We hope this article helped you decide if a coat is right for your border terrier.