Survey Reveals Pint-Sized Pups Receive Most Protection in Frigid Temps

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Petplan pet insurance says while over 70 percent of pet parents dress their pets, breeds under 25 pounds fare best

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Seventy two percent of pet parents said they dress their pets when the temperatures dip.

A whopping 72 percent of pet parents surveyed said they dress their pets when temperatures dip.

Most pet parents take special precautions to keep pets safe during extreme temperatures, according to a recent Responsible Pet Parenting Survey* from Petplan pet insurance. A whopping 72 percent of 4,492 respondents said they dress their pets when temperatures dip.

Of that number, Petplan found that small dogs under 25 pounds are most likely to be dressed by their pet parents during wicked winter temps — 88 percent of their pet parents reported bundling pups up for the cold.

Medium-sized pets (26–60 lbs.) fared second best — 62 percent of their parents offer protection from frost.

And it seems big dogs get left out in the cold — less than half (47 percent) of pet parents to dogs over 60 pounds dress their pet.

“I’m thrilled to see so many pet parents considering their pet’s well-being during winter weather,” says Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board Member Dr. Ernie Ward. “For years, veterinarians have been trying to spread the awareness that if you’re cold, they’re cold. That message seems to have hit home, along with the guidelines for how cold is too cold for individual pets. Typically, the smaller the dog, the more protection he needs, so these numbers show that responsible pet parents are paying attention.”

Of the pet parents who reported dressing their pets, 82% start bundling up their pups when temperatures drop below 50˚F. Overall, more women reported taking precautions with winter weather than men, with 73 percent of female respondents saying they dress their pets for the cold, versus 66% of male survey participants. The sex of the pet has little effect on their decision; 70 percent of male dogs and 73 percent of female dogs are dressed when temperatures tank.

Besides the size of the dog, the biggest factor in whether pet parents saw fit to use coats in the cold was where the survey participants live. The vast majority — 83 percent — of the pet owners dressing their pets live in urban or suburban communities. Meanwhile, just 17 percent of rural-dwelling pet parents reported protecting pets with coats in the cold.

“It’s interesting to see the different factors that may influence a pet parent’s decision to dress their pet for winter weather,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “But before we go congratulating urban and suburbanites, or scolding dog owners in the country, it’s important to remember that other considerations could be at play. Rural dog owners may choose larger, heartier working breeds like the Alaskan Malamute or Bernese Mountain Dog, or their pets may spend more time outdoors than their city counterparts, making them better acclimated to seasonal temperatures. That said, as a suburban mother to an English Toy Spaniel and a Weimaraner, who religiously dresses her pups in the winter, I’ll gladly accept an extra pat on the back.”

For more results from Petplan’s Responsible Pet Parenting Survey, contact Greg Wiley at And for more information about seasonal safety, plus pet health tips and expert veterinary advice, point your paws to

*The Responsible Pet Parenting Survey was issued on Dec. 28, 2017 to Petplan policyholders across North America.


Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service that operates 24 hours a day, every day.

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.

Petplan policies are underwritten in the U.S. by XL Specialty Insurance Company and in Canada by XL Specialty Insurance Company-Canadian Branch. The company is rated A+ by S&P (2018). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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