- We consulted five professional dog walkers to find out what’s most important in a dog raincoat.
- According to our experts, the best dog raincoats have belly coverage and put function over style.
- The best dog raincoat overall is the durable, well-fitting Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket.
Many dogs hate rain. Even those with fur thick enough to protect them from stinging cold rain hate the stuff, let alone those with little to no fur. In my decade of experience as a professional dog trainer, I’ve found a raincoat is a necessity for getting many a dog out for a walk on rainy days and saving them from total wet-dog misery.
To learn about what features to look for in a dog raincoat, we went straight to the professional dog walkers who spend their days in weather of all types. With their preferences and criteria in mind, we came up with a list of 11 jackets to test. Our choice for best overall dog raincoat, the Ruffwear Sun Shower Rain Jacket, not only provides waterproof coverage for the whole body, its nylon exterior helps to prevent mud from collecting on its surface.
Here are the best dog raincoats in 2021
- Best dog raincoat overall: Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat
- Best budget dog raincoat: Blueberry Pet’s Two-Legged Reflective Dog Raincoat
- Best dog raincoat for small breeds: Canada Pooch Torrential Tracker Raincoat
- Best dog raincoat for freezing rain: Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat
- Best dog raincoat for wet outdoor adventures: Hurtta Monsoon Coat
Updated on 3/26/2021: We rewrote this guide after extensive research, expert interviews, and testing.
The Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat has all of the features a dog needs to stay dry and none of the less-functional features they don’t.
Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective piping for visibility, mud repellent, multiple sizes, machine washable
Cons: Harness must be worn over the jacket, limited color options
The vest-style Ruffwear Sun Shower Dog Raincoat keeps dogs dry in both summer showers and winter storms.
Two of the experts we consulted — Fern De Santos, owner of A Dog’s Life HTX in Houston, and Matthew Condrin, owner of Urban Canines in San Francisco — love Ruffwear’s canine apparel. Our testing confirmed its quality.
The Sun Shower has a number of elements De Santos looks for in a dog rain jacket. First off, the lightweight jacket is unlined and uninsulated, so it can be worn in warm weather or layered with a sweater in colder temperatures. The vest-style raincoat slips over the head and buckles on either side of the belly, providing good coverage from puddle splashes and mud. It also has a wide collar and reflective piping to keep pups visible in low light.
In our cleaning test, the Sun Shower did better than most in preventing mud from clinging to the exterior fabric. When machine washed and hung to dry, it came out completely clean.
The only thing we don’t like is that there’s no hole at the back to attach a leash or harness. It is low profile enough, however, to put a harness on over top.
While it’s not as affordable as some of the jackets we considered, the Sun Shower is a great price for the quality and durability Ruffwear is known for.
The best budget raincoat
The affordable Blueberry Pet Two-Legged Reflective Dog Raincoat has significant belly coverage and reflective piping to keep your pup dry and visible in wet weather.
Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective piping for visibility, four points of adjustment, mud repellent, comes with carry sack, multiple sizes
Cons: Hooded, dogs who are sensitive to handling may have difficulty with fitted legs, handwash only, limited color options
Blueberry Pet’s Two-Legged Reflective Dog Raincoat is proof that excellent canine rain gear doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This lightweight polyester jacket repelled mud better than all but one of the other raincoats we tested.
It protects a dog’s undercarriage, including the front legs and chest, a feature most of the walkers look for. It also comes in a four-legged version, which may be better for extremely wet climates or dogs who need extra warmth.
This raincoat fastens from neck to ribs with a Velcro closure and has four points of drawstring adjustment. Its hood may seem functional, but it’s something our experts avoid. “They annoy the dogs by sometimes covering their eyes and interfere with leashing — plus they rarely stay up,” said Condrin.
The Blueberry Pet Raincoat also has reflective piping and accents, a hole at the back for attaching a leash to a harness, and elastic straps that can be used to keep the end of the jacket in place while walking. We found it wiped completely clean just using a dry cloth. After handwashing, it dried quickly and looked brand new. When not in use, it can be packed into its drawstring stuff sack and stashed away.
The best raincoat for small breeds
The Torrential Tracker’s size range, combined with a slim fit and a soft lining, make this the ideal rain jacket to keep little dogs from getting soaked.
Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective trim for visibility, comes in 11 sizes, machine washable
Cons: Runs a little small, collects mud easily, only two colors available
Finding a raincoat that fits a small dog without overwhelming them with too much fabric can be a challenge. But at Canada Pooch, where the Torrential Tracker Raincoat is made in sizes as short as 7 inches long, the science of canine apparel is an art.
The Torrential Tracker is made from a slick waterproof polyester reminiscent of classic, ducky-yellow children’s rain gear. It has holes for the front legs and a double Velcro closure that runs from chest to ribs, a feature that Leah King, owner of Happy Tramps in San Francisco prefers. “Velcro closures at the neck and chest make it easy to get a custom fit and to take the jacket on and off without sliding anything over their head,” she said.
An expandable collar can provide extra coverage for the back of the neck. Inside, the jacket’s soft fabric lining helps keep a pup toasty in cold weather. The material is less breathable than some of the raincoats we considered and may be a bit warm for summer storms.
The jacket also has a hole at the back for connecting a leash to a harness and two small pockets at the hind end for stashing poop bags or an ID. The lower portion of the jacket is trimmed in reflective piping. The Torrential Tracker is machine washable, which is ideal since mud spread on it quite easily.
While the length of the jacket we tested is as advertised, it has a tighter fit than other jackets of the same size. If you have a dog with a broad chest or who’s packing some extra pounds, definitely size up.
The best raincoat for freezing rain
With its highly functional design, the fleece-lined Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat will protect dogs of all shapes and sizes from cold, wind, and rain.
Pros: Waterproof, reflective trim for visibility, fleece lined, multiple sizes and color options, machine washable, dryer-safe
Cons: Partial belly coverage, harness must be worn over the jacket, collects mud easily
When rain comes with a healthy dose of wind and cold, the fleece-lined Teckelklub Winter Trench Waterproof Dog Coat keeps dogs not just dry, but warm too.
King is a fan of the Teckelklub Winter Trench, which has a simple wraparound design with a broad collar. The jacket fastens with Velcro at the neck and with a wide strap under the belly. While that’s the only belly coverage it provides, it is a good option for sensitive dogs because it does not need to be slipped over the head or legs. “Some jackets have a pullover design and many dogs are not comfortable putting them on,” explained Jeff Chebul, owner of Ranger’s Squadron in San Francisco.
The raincoat is made from 100% waterproof nylon and the entire perimeter is trimmed in 3M reflective piping. It does not have a hole at the back for attaching a leash to a harness, but the jacket is slim-fitting enough for one to be worn on top.
Although this raincoat collected a significant amount of mud, it easily wiped clean, and after machine washing and hanging it to dry, it came out looking brand new. It will also stand up to machine drying in low heat.
It can be embroidered with a monogram or your dog’s name or phone number for an additional $15.
The best raincoat for wet outdoor adventures
The Hurtta Monsoon Coat provides full coverage and freedom of movement for all-day adventures in the rain.
Pros: Waterproof, significant belly coverage, reflective trim for visibility, three points of adjustability, many sizes, machine washable
Cons: Limited color options
Hurtta’s Monsoon Coat will keep weekend warriors comfortable and dry no matter what the weather has in store. The brand is expert at producing jackets that won’t compromise movement or weigh down an athletic pup.
The Monsoon Coat has the most coverage of any of the raincoats we tested, with the exception of the brand’s Rain Blocker, and the collar is built with a flexible rain trap that prevents water from seeping in. Drawstrings adjust the fit at the collar, shoulders, and hips. The wraparound buckle design allows adjustment around the belly and elastic leg loops at the back end hold the jacket in place. While getting the jacket properly fitted can be a bit of a hassle, De Santos said it’s worth it for the great coverage.
This jacket has reflective accents from head to tail and a covered loop for attaching a leash to a harness worn underneath. It did a good job repelling mud and cleaned up well with machine washing and air-drying. It also comes in four colors, including an ECO version made from soft recycled material.
With far more coverage than our overall best pick, the Ruffwear Sun Shower, the Monsoon Coat will keep a dog’s entire torso dry even after multiple hours hiking in the rain without restricting movement. While this jacket is among the most expensive we tested, it’s extremely durable and likely to last a lifetime.
What else we considered
With the help of the professional dog walkers we consulted, we narrowed down the crowded field of dog raincoats to to 11 options. Here’s why six of them failed to make the cut:
RC Pets Packable Rain Poncho: Fontaine likes pairing this affordable, lightweight rain poncho with a doggy sweater for cool, wet weather. It performed well in our tests, drying more quickly and collecting mud less easily than most other brands. It was its lack of belly coverage, that kept it from the top spot in our budget raincoat category.
Pepper Pet Wear Basset Hound Dog Raincoat: This customizable rain jacket is meant for dogs with unique proportions such as long bodies and broad chests. The custom design and high-quality fabrics made this one of the two most expensive jackets we tested. Unfortunately, the jacket didn’t quite fit when it arrived, but the brand will make additional alterations free of charge.
Wildebeest All Weather Dog Jacket: Although attractively designed and lined with soft microfleece, this jacket was not completely waterproof and had minimal belly coverage. In our soak test, water seeped through a strip of webbing that runs along the spine and moistened the interior lining.
Ruffwear Vert Dog Jacket: This is another great rain jacket by Ruffwear. The fit is similar to the Ruffwear Sun Shower but with the addition of warm fleece lining, a leash hole, and elastic loops for the back legs. But the Vert is significantly more expensive than our other fleece-lined option, the Teckelklub Winter Trench, and it requires slipping the jacket over the head, which may trouble handling-sensitive dogs.
Hurtta Rain Blocker ECO Raincoat: This waterproof jacket made from recycled plastic bottles provides excellent coverage of the chest, belly, and front legs and comes in 10 sizes with several points of adjustment. Its design, which includes leg holes and a long zipper down the side, made it a major challenge to get on and off.
Kurgo Portsmouth Foul Weather Rain Jacket: I liked the design of Kurgo’s rain jacket which, like Ruffwear’s Sun Shower, is a vest style with buckles on either side of the belly. But by the end of the testing period this jacket had gone from looking brand new to shabby.
What we are looking forward to
Some of the raincoats identified by our experts or in our research as possible contenders for this guide did not arrive in time to be included. We look forward to testing the following jackets in the future.
WeatherBeeta 300D Deluxe Reflective Jacket: This waterproof jacket wraps around the chest and belly to protect a dog from water and mud. It comes in 12 sizes, from 10- to 32-inches long, and two bright colors accented with reflective material.
Petcee Waterproof Dog Jacket: This ultra-affordable raincoat is lined with fleece and covers both the chest and belly. Built-in elastic helps to assure the right fit in 13 sizes.
How we tested
We tested 11 different raincoats based on recommendations from professional dog walkers. The jackets were provided as review samples by their manufacturers, with the exception of the Blueberry Pet, Canada Pooch, Pepper Pet, Wildebeest, and Teckelclub coats, which Insider purchased.
Due to dry weather and COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to test these jackets on dogs of multiple shapes and sizes in real rainy weather. Instead, I came up with a few tests to simulate the rainy conditions.
Fit test: I was able to verify the measurements of each by assessing their length from shoulder to tail and their girth, the width of the jacket at the chest’s widest point. I took note of any jackets that differed from their advertised size or that appeared to fit more tightly than expected.
Soak test: The soak test illustrated how each raincoat would stand up under heavy rain. Using leftover two-by-fours, we constructed a wooden dog with a belly 13 inches off the ground and a length of 20 inches. When Woody was ready, I wrapped a dry towel around its belly and dressed it in each jacket. I sprinkled the dog and raincoat with water from a hose for two minutes, then carefully removed the jacket to look for any spots where the water had seeped through. I also checked the interior lining of the jacket to see if moisture had penetrated without actually wetting the towel.
Cleaning test: The cleaning test had three parts. First, I wiped a handful of mud on the exterior of each jacket and let it dry overnight. Next, I attempted to wipe off the mud using a clean, dry cloth. Finally, I washed the raincoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, looking for any stains or other changes in the material.
How to fit your dog for a raincoat
Dogs come in so many different shapes and sizes that fitting one for a raincoat can be a lengthy process of trial and error. Since there’s no such thing as universal sizing, what one brand considers a small could easily be considered large by a competitor. So what’s the best way to get the right fit? Grab a measuring tape and follow our instructions.
Length: The primary dimension used to determine the size of a raincoat is the length of a dog’s back. Measure your dog from top of tail to shoulder blades while they are standing in a relaxed position. If your measurement falls between sizes, size up. Some brands may recommend a specific size for certain breeds. This may be helpful, but don’t go by their suggestions alone as sizes can vary among a single breed.
Chest girth: Dog raincoats are also commonly measured by chest girth. This is an important figure to get right because many jackets are not adjustable around the chest. That’s doubly true if you have a broad- or barrel-chested pup. To get this figure, measure the circumference of your dog’s chest while they are standing in a relaxed position, wrapping the tape right behind the legs at the chest’s widest point. If your dog’s chest girth falls between sizes, choose the larger option, especially if your dog does a lot of running and jumping. A highly active dog may benefit from a jacket that is an inch or two wider than their actual measurement because it will allow their front legs more freedom of movement.
Neck girth: To make sure your jacket won’t be too tight around the neck, measure around the thickest part right below the collar. This is particularly important if the coat’s neck does not have an adjustable opening. When in doubt, size up!
Drop: Occasionally brands offer a drop measurement to help you get the right fit. The drop is how low a jacket hangs on a dog’s body and legs. Too long and it may restrict movement; too short, your pup may end up wet by the end of a walk. Your dog’s raincoat should extend no more than halfway down the leg. To figure out how a jacket will lay on your dog, compare half its width to the distance between the top of your dog’s tail to the ankle of their hind leg just above the paw.
How do you walk your dog on a rainy day?
If your dog hates to leave the house when the rain starts to fall, these tips for wet-weather walking will make sure you get their most important daily needs met.
Get the right gear.
Make rainy day walks more enjoyable by getting your pup the right gear to keep them dry. A properly fitted raincoat that covers both the chest and belly will prevent your dog from splashing water against the most sensitive parts of their body. If your dog has sensitive paws, you may also want to consider getting them a set of dog boots.
Unless the forecast calls for extreme weather, most rainy days have at least a couple of periods in which showers slow to a sprinkle. Use a weather tracking app or website to help you predict when a storm will lighten up.
Encourage, don’t force.
Even if you have the right rain gear for your pup, they may still avoid the rain at all costs. These dogs will likely require an extra incentive. Before getting ready to go, stuff your pockets full of treats and begin offering them before you’ve stepped out the door. If putting on rain gear predicts that treats will follow, your dog will be more likely to allow you to get them dressed. Use your treats to entice your dog out the door instead of forcing them to go out into the rain, which will only make them more frightened and stressed-out.
Play the Find It game.
Once outside, keep the treats flowing. Try encouraging your dog to walk with the Find It game. Throw a treat a few feet in front of your dog and say “Find It” in a happy tone of voice. Let them gobble up the treat then throw your next one, repeating the phrase. Play the game as much as necessary during the walk to get your pup’s mind off of the water falling from the sky.
Don’t expect a regular walk.
Even with plenty of treats and encouragement, dogs who really hate the rain aren’t likely to want to stay outdoors for long. If they go potty and then refuse to go any farther, that’s okay. Bring them back inside and make up the missed exercise with play or training indoors. Read more on backup plans below.
Stick to quiet streets.
On rainy days, when cars zoom through puddles, the busier the street, the louder it will be. And the more noise, the more frightened your dog is likely to feel — not to mention all that potential for being splashed by passing vehicles. When it’s raining, stick to quieter streets where there is less noise and where it is less likely you and your dog will get soaked.
Avoid walking at night.
It can be a huge challenge for drivers to see dogs on dark, wet nights. When it’s raining, stay safe by taking your daily walks before the sun sets. If you must go out in the rain at night, stick to well-lit areas and avoid busy streets.
Have a backup plan.
If your dog refuses to walk in the rain, you’ll need a backup plan to get their daily exercise and toileting needs met. Both training and play inside the home is a good alternative and can include multiple 5-to-10 minute training sessions, games of hide-and-seek, indoor fetch with a soft toy, and mental stimulation via puzzle toys. For the latter, you may have to get creative. Try a fresh grass indoor potty or select a sheltered location immediately outside your home where your dog can quickly do their business, then come back inside.
Be gentle with post-walk drying.
Whether you’ve managed to get your dog out on a long walk or a short one, it’s likely that their paws, head, and belly will need a bit of toweling off. Unfortunately, these are also some of the most sensitive parts of a dog’s body. Unless you have a dog that loves to be wrapped up in a towel, be gentle and go slow when wiping them down. It may help to ask them to lay down so you can easily access their paws without knocking them off balance. Reward them for each body part you towel off. Each foot earns one treat, each ear earns another, and the belly gets two. Don’t be surprised if your dog gets the zoomies after being dried off. It’s a natural release of pent-up energy that commonly occurs after a stressful experience.
Who we consulted
To come up with the selections for this guide, we consulted with five professional dog walkers. Each answered questions via email or instant messenger between September 2020 and February 2021. Our experts include: