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Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?



The most important areas to measure are around the neck, around the largest part of the chest, and the distance from the neck to the waist. The sweater’s length should end around the waist, leaving the lower bellow free. Knowing your dog’s actual weight will also help you to determine the correct size. If possible, take your dog along to the store with you try the clothes before buying them, as returns are very difficult when it comes to clothing for animals.


It almost goes without saying, but we will mention it anyway, dogs cannot, or should not, wear pants — only sweaters and jackets.


Check especially around the arms (in the "armpit" area) and around the neck to be sure there is freedom of movement, but not too much excess fabric. Also, choose pieces that are easy to put on and take off, nothing you have to pull too tightly over your dog’s head or that cause you or the dog to struggle.


Another important consideration is checking for any additional parts — like zippers, hooks, buttons or tags. The best pieces will have nothing that can be chewed off and swallowed. Some outside jackets are made with hooks to attach a leash to, but they are meant to be worn only under direct supervision and should be removed once the dog is left to her own devices. That is, when you are not directly observing her, such as during sleep/work/other hours.


This may also be the prefect time to take up knitting or crocheting, or to ask Aunt Suzie for an extra gift of her time and talent. And believe us when we tell you that dogs really do not care about the color or style you dress him in either, so go ahead and get (or make) the matching owner-pet-sweater-combos. Your dog will love the attention you show him while putting the clothes on, so just have fun while you stay warm!


Image source: Emery_Way / via Flickr



Comments  5

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  • Puli Coats
    01/30/2012 09:33am


    You have not taken into account in your article, those dogs who have special coats, like the Puli.

    A Puli coat is like a live dustmop. They have long coats and their cords act like raincoats. But the problem with these cords is that they take a long.....and I mean a long...long..long time to dry. If a person has a Puli and they want them to enjoy the snow, then a jumpsuit that covers the legs and the body is great, otherwise you'll have a walking snowman as the snow attaches to the coat. Goes the same for rain.
    So if you want to have a happy Puli, get them a jumpsuit. It works! My Puli loves it!

  • Which one is best choice?
    10/15/2012 02:03pm

    Dog Sweaters, Dog Coats and Dog Jackets all are clothes types which we all probably prefer for winter, but which type is more worth and useful to the puppy?

  • 01/30/2014 04:50pm

    Hi Rekha

    As owner of a small dog with a curly coat and someone with a shopping problem, I've tried several different styles and options, and found that each works for different occasions. if it's just extremely cold, i tend to go for a thicker jacket (he's got a really cute wool blend peacoat that is perfect!) when it's wet out (snow/rain etc) i like to give him something that is both waterproof and covers his stomach. if it doesn't cover his stomach, he kicks water/mud up and it gets all knotted. if we're just hanging around the house and it's cool inside, that's when i'll choose a sweater (or preferably, a fleece or sweatshirt, those are much easier to wash)

    I hope this helps!

  • Dog Clothes can Help
    08/25/2013 11:26am

    Not only can dog clothes such as dog sweaters and dog coats and jackets can help your dog stay warmer when the weather is cold, but also stylish and fashionable pet apparel and dog clothes can be beneficial during summer months as well. Putting a lightweight dog shirt or dress on your dog when taking them outside when the sun is out can prevent sunburn on some dog breeds. I make dog clothing and pet apparel just for all these reasons because I have a small breed maltese dog which doesn't have an undercoat and he does get sunburned. I also sell some of the clothing I make at http://www.whirlydogsupplies.com - Whirly Dog Supplies.
    We love our dogs, and if they don't mind wearing clothes for pets, dress them up. It's fun and it does actually help.

  • Even Big Dogs Need Coats
    11/19/2013 10:29am

    ...when nature doesn't provide them. My house is old and drafty, so warm clothes are a must even indoors. My Great Dane loves the sweatshirt I put on him in the winter. He has a nice custom made dog coat for going places, but his sweatshirt is perfect for laying around the house or playing in the yard. He loves his clothes and collars and car harness and tries to put them on himself. Here's a funny video of what putting a sweatshirt on a frisky Great Dane looks like.