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Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?

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!

Related:
5 Ways to Keep Pets Warm in Winter
Tips for Walking Pets in Winter
Does Your Dog Need Boots? DIY Dog Booties!
Cute Pics of Pets in Sweaters

Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter? originally appeared on petMD.com

Read more: Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, , ,

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit petMD.com.

241 comments

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3:44PM PDT on Mar 29, 2015

--->tion! Geesh...really? They cut off the last 4 letters of a word? LMBO! I find that extremely humorous! Sorry, just had to say that.....(I'm TRULY sitting here Laughing My Butt Off - that's for those who don't know what those letters mean - I don't use the "common" term, if you gate my drift of the word I'm referring to....)

3:40PM PDT on Mar 29, 2015

I have a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix "doggie-daughter" and I decided, even before cold weather got here, I'd get something to put on her during the Winter months. However, looking and finding the "right" one can be frustrating; the suggestions in this article of measuring your pet are excellent! I didn't measure mine but I did take her to a place where she COULD go in and try on different ones sweaters or coats, whichever (PetSmart). They had a sale on most of their outer wear for dogs so the choice was much easier.

While you may thing the word Chihuahua means "smaller" (LOL), that's not always the case. Plus, as I have found in my older years, most clothing is not true to size any longer anyway!! That goes for animal clothing as well as human! She only weights less than 8 pounds; yet she couldn't fit into a "small"....so we had to go with "medium", which I found a bit strange! I chose a pull-over sweater as opposed to the coats with velcro and other sorts of fasteners. It's easy on and easy off which is what you want if you want your pet to stay in one place while you try to "dress" him or her.

Excellent article; thank you so much for sharing this. As a matter of fact, I had forgotten about it since I had "bookmarked" it. Today, I'm going through some thing I had bookmarked and found this so I decided I'd re-read it....good thing because I found that I made the right choice in my "baby's" winter wear!

Thanks again for sharing this valuable pet informa

6:44PM PST on Jan 15, 2014

Thank you for this article. My husband makes fun of my putting a coat on our 8 year old, 13lb. dachshund / Chihuahua mix when she goes out on the coldest winter days. His comment is "but she's wearing a fur coat". My reply is that he also has a "fur" coat but I don't make him go outside without an extra coat ;-} !

Even with a coat she makes very short work of her "potty break" especially this winter when it's been unusually cold.

9:37AM PST on Jan 8, 2014

Cool stuff

7:37AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

animals in clothes seems ridiculous. really

10:12AM PDT on Oct 22, 2012

Yes especially if they are going out for a walk or to play!! My pit bulls are sold muscle & they get cold & yes, they wear boots because their feet tend to get cold faster obviously.

10:39AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

I have to say that this article covered this issue well. If you own a small toy breed dog and live in central Canada in the winter, you will understand the need for a doggie sweater or jacket. My dog is a chihuahua cross, genetically meant for the hot weather in Mexico. She loves the heat and loves to sunbath. During the colder months, she shivers from the cold, even in the house. My dog will sleep under the blankets, on my bed, to keep warm, so, it only seems reasonable to say that she does need a sweater to brave the winter elements outside. Come -20 Celsius, if there is snow or ice, my dog can no longer walk on the ground...This is when the boots come out, either that or she remains indoors and suffers without her beloved daily walks. When -30 Celsius hits, if she wants to go out for a walk, she gets bundled up in full on winter snow gear, just like I would with a child. There is nothing cruel about keeping your children dressed warm for the winter, why is it considered cruel to dress a breed of dog who isn't built for this kind of climate?

12:41PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

3:26PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

I think it terrible to put clothes on dogs! My bigger dogs need no coats and the smaller only stay out for a short while .. first sign of a shiver they are back inside ...

2:34PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Mrs S. i agree with you...

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