Do dogs need coats?

BISMARCK, N.D. (CNN) -- With temperatures dropping well below freezing in some parts of the country, many dog owners are wondering what they need to do to protect their furry friends from the cold.

Long hair, short hair, big, small, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. But when temperatures drop into the teens all dogs get cold.

"He's been wearing different coats and walking gear since he was a baby and we usually do walk every morning but once it gets below 20 degrees we are pretty much inside," said dog owner Lori Goodman.

Is this something that is necessary or is it a fashion statement?

"I don't know that it's absolutely necessary for most pets. I think more pets are comfortable with short fur breeds with those sweaters," said Jerry Buchholz, Bismarck Animal Hospital.

Goodman says she notices a difference when she puts on Oliver's coat.

"I think he sees a difference. I think he's more likely to just stay out and play and not shake and not be so cold," said Goodman.

Some owners also try to put on little booties for extra protection.

"People use ice melters you know to keep their sidewalks free of ice in the winter time and as you take your dog walking be sure when you do get home that you wipe those feet thoroughly even if you rinse with a little warm water," said Buchholz.

"He's terrible with those and goes crazy and flips them off so some people can get their dogs to wear those but he says he's not doing that," said Goodman.
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