Should Dogs Wear Sweaters in the Winter?

It’s the time of year where many states in America are covered in a stark white winter wonderland. Many pet owners will have dogs that are excited to play in the icy snow. But, even with their fur it can be quite cold. This is the time many owners ask themselves, do I need to put my dog in a sweater? As you continue reading you will understand why it would be a good idea to put a sweater on your dog.

Should Your Dog Wear A Sweater?

The best answer to this question is: it depends on the dog. There are many dogs that are born with an external layering system that makes snow bearable. However, there are also a good amount of dogs that don’t have these extra layers to protect them from the cold. This can make wintertime a dangerous and uncomfortable for your dog.

In order to determine whether or not your dog needs to wear a sweater it’s best to watch them and see how they react to cold weather. If you see your dog physically shivering or avoiding going outside they are probably in need of a sweater. If your dog looks happy and comfortable with no fear of facing the cold they most likely have an outer coat built for colder climates.

Size Matters

Larger dogs with big furry coats would overheat with a sweater so you won’t want to put one on them. To clarify, these large dogs already have fur coats that were made to protect them from the cold. Adding a sweater would cause them to overheat and feel uncomfortable. Breeds that are well equipped for cold temperatures are Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, Saint Bernards, and other large hairy dogs. So, if you have one of these dogs let them frolic about in the snow sweater-free because they’re genetically made to withstand the cold.

Small dogs and old dogs are the ones that are most in need of a sweater during winter weather. These smaller, light-bodied breeds, like chihuahuas,  tend to have short and thin hair coats that make them vulnerable to the cold. A nice sweater will keep them warm and it is overall better for their well-being inside and outside the home in winter. When it comes to older dogs they have weaker immune systems and some have diseases that impair hair growth making it necessary to have a sweater on during the cold months of winter.

Getting the Right Sweater for Your Dog

So, you have decided that your dog needs a sweater? Now you need to make sure you get the right kind of sweater for your dog. Consider the best type of material to get for a sweater. While wool will be a great warm fabric it may also need washing often and can get itchy for your pet. Sweaters with a material blend of wool and cotton will be your best bet for warmth and comfortability.

A photo posted by Nacho (@nacho_man_nyc) on

The next important step of finding the right sweater is to measure your dog for size. It is wise to measure their length, girth, and even their neck size. This is the best way to find a properly fitted sweater. If you don’t use their exact measurements the sweater might end up being too big or too small. A small sweater can be quite uncomfortable for a dog, it will be tight and ride up around their arms. A big sweater has the chance of dragging on the floor making it get dirty quite easily and it could make it difficult for the dog to walk too.

Please note that dogs should NOT wear pants, only sweaters and jackets. Pants will make it extremely difficult for you dog to walk and they get enough warmth from wearing a sweater. It’s also a good idea to get sweaters that are easy to put on and take off. A sweater that’s hard to get on and off will make it much more difficult to take your dog outside for a walk. For the safety of your dog, a sweater that has no additional parts that can be chewed on by your dog is the best choice.

Are boots necessary?

If your dog needs a sweater in cold weather they might also need to wear boots. These boots are needed more when walking your dog in an area that has snow. Snow can easily get stuck to their paws and melt, making it uncomfortable for your dog to walk around. This problem is easily solved by putting boots on their feet. With this is mind, have your dog try the boots on before buying them so you are sure they’re the right fit. Wrong size boots will be uncomfortable and will make walking difficult. While your dog may need some time getting used to wearing boots, it will be well worth the comfort from the cold.

Now that your dog and you are prepared for the cold don’t stay inside! Take them out for a nice walk and be sure to bring some of Crown Products Doggy Poo Disposable Bags so you don’t leave behind any nasty dog presents in the snow.