Do dogs need winter clothes? While this may at first seem to be a simple concern to dog parents who would laugh at the idea of dressing a dog, there are still many dog owners who have seen their dogs shiver heartbreakingly after exposure to winter temperatures but still hesitate to put clothing on their dogs for fear of what others may say or think. If you are concerned about your dog being cold, and you really should be, there is really no harm in using clothing to keep him warm.
Still tossing around the idea? Here's more to consider. Of course, dogs come equipped with fur which aids in keeping their temperature regulated, but some dogs have a bit lighter layers than other dogs do, and some are not suited to their new home environment where they are brought. Your new family member may actually be very uncomfortable experiencing certain temperatures.
Does Your Dog Need Winter Clothes?
If you dog does not really want to go outside in the snow to relieve herself, then a sweater, coat or jacket can be very helpful during the winter season. Or, if you keep your home’s heat setting on low while using blankets or sweaters for other family members.
Your dog’s breed has a huge impact on how warm he’s able to physically keep himself, age and size can be factors as well. Without a heavy coat, there is only so much your dog can curl up to stay warm. Dogs with short hair and smaller, lighter bodied and toy types really benefit from a dog sweater when going outside as they do not regulate body heat as well as larger breeds. Dog clothing can really make a difference in a dog’s health and wellbeing.
Just because your dog’s fur is short does not make it the only requirement for clothing. Dogs such as poodles who have their fur cut to prevent matted hair can also benefit from a sweater or coat. And, older dogs with a weakened immune system and dogs with diseases that may impair growth such as: Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism usually need more warmth.
Other breeds such as a Siberian husky may not need a sweater and you should definitely monitor your dog to prevent overheating from being too warm for the weather.
Finding a Good Sweater or Jacket
Okay, now you’ve decided to get a sweater for your dog, it’s time to consider material. Wool is very warm and one of the best insulating materials, however, you do need to take into account how often it will be washed, and how comfortable your dog will be due to possible itching. A good blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic may be best.
Also, measure your dog. You measure your own neck, chest and waist before a clothing purchase, measure your dog using the same thought process to get clothing that fits. Yes, you definitely want it to fit. Your dog should to be able to easily pull it off and it should not drag on the ground our get caught in anything during normal motion. Have your dog’s new outfit snug but not tight.