How do I know if my dog needs a sweater? A Complete Guide

Why Do People Put Sweaters on Dogs?

Not every dog lover needs to see their pet in a mini sweater, but some people genuinely like sweaters on pets. Those pet owners may be onto something. Often, sweaters aren’t just a fashionable choice; they’re actually also a practical way to keep your pet warm.

How do I know if my dog needs a sweater?

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As temperatures cool down outside, your dog might be less able to keep itself warm. Some hairless or short-coated breeds may get cool more easily and appreciate a sweater for their outdoor trips during winter months.

Dog sweaters can also be a great choice when spending time inside the house. Even if there is heating indoors, dogs can get chilly despite their coats and may be more comfortable with an extra layer or curled up in a thick blanket.

What Kind of Hair Coat Does Your Dog Have?

Dogs with double coats like huskies, Newfoundlands, and Alaskan malamutes dont need sweaters to deal with snow or a walk in cold weather. These dogs evolved in cold climates, and as long as they are healthy, theyll be fine in most cold weather conditions. In fact, many of these northern breed dogs love the cold and are actually more energetic and playful during the winter than they are during the summer. They might even dangerously overheat if you put clothes on them in cold weather. Of course, no dog should be left outside for long periods of time in frigid weather, low wind chills, or a winter storm.

Small dogs are more likely to need extra protection in cold weather than large dogs are. With less body surface, they arent as able to generate and maintain body heat as larger dogs are. Many small dog breeds also have short hair and no double coat, so they dont have the defense against cold that long-haired, double-coated dogs do.

Young dogs and old dogs are more likely to need to wear sweaters during cold weather than healthy adults are. Puppies and old dogs are less able to keep their body temperatures stable. You should consider a sweater or coat for dogs in those life stages, especially short-haired ones.

What Medical Conditions Does Your Dog Have?

A dog with a medical condition like cancer, diabetes, or a heart problem will be less likely to be able to tolerate cold conditions as well as completely healthy dogs can. When a dog has a medical condition, their body is busy maintaining things, and any stressor, including cold, can tumble everything out of balance. Keeping your sick dog warm will help ease the load for all of the bodily systems that are already working harder than normal to keep things stable.

Does Your Dog Really Need A Sweater?

Dogs are equipped with biological coats that typically keep them warm through the winter months. That doesn’t mean all pups are winter-ready though, and it’s important to know if your dog needs an extra layer to stay warm. Today, dog jackets and sweaters serve a practical purpose, but they’re also used to make a fashion statement. In fact, Capital Counselor noted that in 2020, the global pet clothing market was worth $5.1 billion.