Does My Dog Need a Sweater or Jacket?
You know when it’s sweater weather for yourself, but what about your pup? As the winter months approach, you may wonder “does my dog need a sweater?”
Does my dog need extra clothes?
Large dogs with thick coats are well protected from the cold. However, other types of pups require a little extra warmth and should wear jackets or sweaters when venturing into the cold. If this is your first winter with your pup, you may be asking when does my dog need a sweater? These pups below need extra layers as soon as their pawrents do.
- Teeny tiny short haired breeds, like chihuahuas and pugs. These small pups can’t generate enough body heat to keep themselves warm.
- Dogs that sit low to the ground, like corgis or dachshunds, have bellies that must be protected from brushing against snow and ice.
- Long haired breeds that are groomed to have short hair like poodles. Cutting their hair may reduce the protection of their coats.
- Short haired, slender dogs, like greyhounds and whippets, should also be protected from the cold.
- Senior dogs with arthritis or a weakened immune system should be given winter coats. It becomes harder for them to regulate their body heat as they get older, so even thick-coated older dogs can get chilly!
When temps get too hot or too cold, they can become dangerous for your dog. Follow this guide to learn more about how to keep your pup safe in extreme weather.
Because the pads on dogs’ feet can absorb chemicals (like those used to melt snow), you may also want to get dog booties to protect your pup.
How to measure your dog for a jacket or sweater
Once you’ve determined that your dog does need a jacket or sweater, snag a coat that covers their neck and belly. It’s helpful to pick a waterproof jacket for ultimate weather protection. The winter warmer should extend from the base of Fido’s neck to their tail. It should be short enough on their underbelly to still allow for easy potty breaks. Their coat should fit snugly, but not tight enough to restrict your dog’s movement.
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. Weigh your dog to help determine their correct size. If you’re able, take your dog to the store with you to model the clothes and test them out before buying them. The ideal jacket will have nothing that can be chewed off and swallowed, velcro is usually your best bet.
While this should go without saying, dogs cannot wear pants. Their bodies are built for them and they wouldn’t stay clean for long after the first potty trip.