Do Corgis Need a Winter Sweater?

Corgi sitting in the cold snow

Do Corgis need a winter sweater, or are they fine without one? It has become increasingly popular lately for people to buy sweaters and coats for their dogs. While some breeds may benefit significantly from having a winter jacket, you may have noticed it to become more and more of a trend no matter which breed people have. Let us take a look at Corgis and see if they are among the breeds that would benefit from having a winter cover. 

Corgis are a double-coated breed. Their thick undercoat and their lighter outer coat will protect them from a multitude of weather conditions. Going outside and playing in the snow for 10-20 minutes at a time, there is little need for any sort of winter jacket or sweater. There are a few exceptions for this, but for the most part, they will be more comfortable without one. 

As a proud Corgi owner myself, I can tell you that they tend to get cold a lot less than many other breeds. While I do own a winter sweater for my Corgi (Mishka), I seldom use it. I keep it more for emergencies, as I said there are a few situations where it would be a good idea to have one available for your little guy (or girl!) 

When Do Corgis Need Winter Coats

corgi sitting on a chair with a warm winter coat on

I can tell you from experience that when I take my Corgi out to potty when it is miserably cold outside, I am always the one that chickens out and wants to go in first. In fact, when there is snow on the ground, it gets even worse. Playing in the snow is one of his favorite things! 

Corgis come equipped with their own winter coat. Their double coat will keep them warm in most situations and is relatively weather resistant. The outer coat is typically coarse and helps to repel water. The undercoat is light and soft. During the spring, Corgis tend to start shedding some of their undercoat to allow them to keep cool during the warmer weather. In the late summer and fall, their undercoat will begin to grow back to help keep them warm in the cold winter months. 

There are a few situations where it may behoove you to have a winter sweater handy for your Corgi:

  •  When they are young – When your Corgi is young, they may not yet have grown in an adequate amount of undercoat to insulate against cold weather properly.
  • When they are wetand it’s cold – While their coats are moderately water-resistant, they are not waterproof. If it is around or below freezing and your Corgi is going to get wet because of standing water or heavy rainfall, a waterproof (or relatively water-resistant) jacket may be a good thing to keep them from getting too soaked and getting cold. 
  • Longer duration of cold – If it is especially cold (below freezing) and you need to be outside for an extended length of time, say an hour or more, you may consider having a coat to help keep them warmer.
  • If you shaved your Corgi – First off, please do not do this. Corgis should never be shaved! But, if you happened to shave your Corgi during the summer to help him stay cooler, and he doesn’t have an ample amount of undercoat that has grown back yet, you may want to consider getting a sweater for him to help him stay warm while outdoors during the winter months. 

For the most part, as long as you did not recently shave your Corgi down, they should be just fine outdoors for 15-20 minutes at a time without any sort of sweater or jacket. If you are taking your Corgi for a walk or jog for more than 15-20 minutes, they should still be fine, as the physical movement will get their blood pumping and help keep them warm. With their cute little legs, they will definitely be getting exercise maintaining speed with you on a jog, just take a look at how many steps it takes for them to keep up with one step of yours! While their bodies should be fine, the parts you will likely want to watch out for getting cold faster are their feet or bellies. 

Do Corgis Need Snow Boots?

If you ever noticed your Corgi start holding their feet off the snow, they are trying to tell you that their paws are getting cold. My Corgi does the same, and this is how he lets me know that he is ready to go in finally from his playtime in the snow. Having some sort of snow boots can help keep your Corgi’s feet from getting cold as quickly, but there are also a few other reasons why you may want to consider them as well.  

If you are walking your Corgi outside during the winter, depending on where you live, you may notice that the sidewalks have a decent amount of salt or deicer on them. The salt, or those chemicals, could wreak havoc on your Corgi’s paws. Having boots on them would help alleviate their paws from drying out or cracking as much. The same goes for playing in the snow, as it can also cause their paws to dry out and crack. 

The biggest issue with boots for Corgis is that because of the shape of their little legs, it can be quite frustrating trying to get a pair of boots to fit them and actually stay on their feet. Personally, I tried out a pair of Muttluks, but they kept slipping off his feet (and he really didn’t like them either.) I have heard that more people have luck getting the disposable Pawz brand on their dogs, but you may want to buy the tool (called Pawz Jawz) to get them on, as it can be tricky otherwise. Although I do have to say that I have not tried the Pawz brand with my Corgi, as he really hates anything being on his feet. One thing to note with this brand is that they are very much meant to be disposable. You will likely get 1-3 uses per boot, and then you will have to replace them as they will start to develop tears in them, negating the protection your dog receives from them. 

If you are in the same boat as I am with my Corgi on boots and want to help protect their pads, you can put a thin layer of Vaseline on their pads before taking them outside. Just be sure to wash any salt or chemicals off their feet when they come back in. If your dog seems to lick the Vaseline off their pads, an excellent alternative would be another type of wax called Mushers Secret. It actually works year-round, and will not leave a greasy residue on your hardwood floors like Vaseline might. Mushers Secret is made out of a food-grade wax, so it is much safer for dogs that tend to lick the Vaseline off their paws. I would suggest the Mushers for a dog over the Vaseline if you have a dog that would lick it off their feet because Vaseline could cause them to get diarrhea if they ingest too much of it. Mushers Secret could cause diarrhea as well, but it usually takes a lot more of it before producing that effect. 

How Cold is Too Cold for a Corgi?

Whether you are talking about a Pembroke Welsh Corgi or a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, even though they are very different breeds and do not share a common ancestor, their coats are relatively the same in terms of protection from the weather. Their coats will allow them to withstand a wide range of hot or cold temperatures due to the two layers present. The “double coat” consists of a fluffy but straighter outer coat and a thick, dense undercoat, which keeps them warm during the winter. 

As to how cold is too cold for a Corgi, that would depend on the amount of time in it as well as whether it is dry or wet weather. Corgis are typically inside dogs and should not be left outdoors in adverse weather for long periods. However, going out long enough to potty or get a little exercise during adversely cold conditions should be fine. As I mentioned earlier in this article, typically, when it is below zero at my house, my Corgi does not seem eager to go back inside nearly as quickly as I do. However, I do not leave him outside for extended durations either. About 10-20 minutes at a time seems to be what he is most comfortable with when it is unusually cold. 

If you have somewhat moist or damp weather conditions with the cold, their coat should still repel enough of the precipitation and keep them relatively warm. You will want to keep a close eye on their feet as their pads may get cold faster. If this is the situation, you can look at what I recommended above on the boots, or just be mindful when they start raising their paws in the air, as that means that their feet are getting cold and it is probably time to head inside.

In extremely wet conditions with cold weather such as standing water, particularly wet snow, or heavy precipitation, they will likely become cold much faster. You will want to let your Corgi outside during weather like this for a shorter amount of time, typically just long enough to use the bathroom and maybe get a little jog around the yard in. Letting them stay out for too long in adverse conditions like this could lead to them getting frostbite. A weather-resistant jacket and boots may help some, but most dog jackets do not cover their belly, head, or ears adequately enough to extend their duration outside too much. If there are more than a couple of inches of snow on the ground, you may want to look at getting a coat that covers their belly/waist area a bit before letting them run around outside in that snow. If your Corgi is a male, I cannot imagine it is enjoyable “dragging a line through the snow,” if you know what I mean. In fact, my Corgi running through more significant amounts of snow has earned me a couple of dirty looks from him over the past few years!

In researching, I found a lot of people saying that Corgis are comfortable in a temperature range of 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit (10-26 Celsius). The upper end I can see with my Corgi is around 85 degrees (29 Celsius) or so. When it gets this warm, my Corgi starts panting a bit faster and needs more water. In the summer, brushing their undercoat out will help them some with the heat. The part I could not see was the low temperature, as my Corgi and several other Corgi owners I have talked to seem to notice little to no difference between 50 (10c) and 35-40 Fahrenheit (1-4c).  

Which Coat Should I Get My Corgi?

As I said above, in most situations, you will not need to get a jacket at all for your Corgi. However, the conditions I mentioned, such as a puppy, wet weather, needing to be outside in the cold longer, or having previously shaved your Corgi, are all excellent reasons for wanting to get a jacket. So which ones do I recommend?

If they are a puppy and have not had a chance for all their undercoat to grow in properly by the time the winter hits, I would recommend just getting a cheaper one that covers a decent amount of their body well. Remember that a Corgi’s belly is the spot on their body that has the least amount of hair, so you’ll want to make sure it is covered as well! The JoyDaog 2  is an affordable choice; it is fleece-lined and will keep your Corgi puppy warm for the winter. Remember that you probably only will need this for one winter, as they will outgrow it. Get one that fits correctly, so they are not tripping over it. For most Corgi puppies, you will want a medium, which is around 15-17 inches (38-43 cm) around the chest. I would personally be worried that a small would not fit. If you wanted this jacket on a more grown-up Corgi, you might want the large size instead. The page has a sizing chart and will let you measure before ordering to make sure it’s the size you need. 

For a warmer, more durable, water-resistant option, I would recommend getting the PetBoBo Jacket. It’s a few dollars more, but is MUCH better made than the JoyDaog brand, and should last a lot longer. However, one thing to note on this brand is that while it is made really well, the sizes tend to run a bit small compared to what you may be used to if you have purchased clothing for your dog before. Be extra sure to check the sizing chart, as you may want to order one size up from the size you have purchased previously of another company’s clothing. If you get this jacket and see that your dog seems to have trouble walking while wearing it, a little trick you may want to try is to roll the sleeves up some. In shorter-legged dogs, like Corgis, that slight difference in the length of the sleeve can make a huge difference in your Corgi’s comfort while walking. 

image of a shaved tri-color corgi

If you need a jacket for your Corgi because you clipped their coat during the summer, I would still recommend going with the PetBoBo from the link above. It will keep your dog warm enough during the winter and is durable enough to last, even if you have a “country dog” that goes running through all kinds of terrain. In the future, though, I would strongly recommend not shaving your Corgi, as their coat helps protect them from heat and cold. Also, once you shave them, their coat may grow back normally, but it is not always a guarantee. If you need to keep your Corgi cooler during the summer, brushing out some of their undercoat and making sure they have access to water, shade, or air conditioning would be ample. 

Whether a Pembroke or a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, they both originated in Wales and are suited for the diverse climate present there. Having a winter jacket for emergencies or extreme conditions can be a good idea. I keep one for my Corgi, even though I rarely need to use it where I currently live. Every now and then, we do get some pretty extreme weather, so it was easy for me to justify getting one for him – especially as affordable as they are!

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I think animals are amazing, I couldn't imagine life without them.