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Product review: Rain Collar rain jacket for small dogs

This was an impulse purchase. There was a rack of these folded-up rain jackets near the counter at one of our pet stores, the price was right (about $12), and, frankly, I’m a sucker for gear. Too often, my what-the-heck purchases turn out to be WTF purchases, but not this time.

The Rain Collar folds into its own pouch, which snaps around a leash, or around your dog’s collar. Here it is on Chloe’s leash, just below her snap-on poop bag carrier.

Clearly, I’ve gotten over my dislike of things hanging off of Chloe’s leash

Unfolded, it has a hood and closes under the chin with Velcro tabs. They do not interfere with Chloe’s Easy Walk harness, which hooks in front. There is a slot on top of the neck for those kinds of harnesses, but it needs to be snipped open if you’re going to use it (since it’s half-unsnipped, it doesn’t gape open on dogs whose harness fastens in front).

Two elasticized and fabric-covered straps hold the back end onto your dog’s back legs. I was deeply dubious about this feature, but it works — it’s easy to get her legs through the straps, and they don’t appear to interfere with her gait at all. The jacket comes in black and yellow. Both options have a long reflective strip down the center of the back, and around the edge of the hood.

A muddy and damp-eared Chloe in her Rain Collar rain jacket

The only potential awkwardness about the product is the built-in pouch, which rests like a ruff over the back of your dog’s neck. But then, so does your dog’s hood. In any event, Chloe’s never looked annoyed by the fabric behind her ears.

It should be mentioned, too, that the Rain Collar seems to be water-resistant, rather than water-proof. So far that hasn’t been an issue for us, but I wouldn’t choose this raincoat for a long hike in a downpour.

For Chloe, a rain jacket is crucial. She’s a good-tempered, willing and apparently tireless dog — except when she gets wet. Then she stops in her tracks. Combine that with my inability to remember a raincoat for myself, much less her, and you have a recipe for sorrow. Since we snapped the Rain Collar onto Chloe’s leash, we’ve never been unpleasantly surprised by a change in the weather.

Please note that the jacket is for small dogs only. Chloe can get by with a Medium, and did for quite a while, but the Large seems to fit her better (she’s wearing the Large in the picture above). The XL, the largest size offered, is 2.5″ longer than the Large.