Winter keeps getting closer and closer, and with temperatures slowly dropping, we want to make sure we are properly taking care of our furry friends. As a result, it is common to see dogs of all sizes and breeds wearing colorful sweaters during the holidays. Whether they look cute or not, you should take a moment to ask yourself a quite important question. Do dogs need a sweater for the winter? The answer, of course, might vary, depending on many different situations.
The very first thing we need to think about is the size and breed of our dog. We should also consider the age of our dog and their current health condition. The weather and temperature outside will also play an important role to decide whether dogs need a sweater or not. Then, you’ll be able to decide what kind of sweater would be best for your dog.
Size and Breed
One of the most important aspects to consider when deciding whether dogs need a sweater or not is their size and breed. Smaller dogs might have more difficulties when trying to retain body heat. Also, if our dog has short hair or comes from warmer climates, a sweater might be ideal. So, if we have Chinese crested dogs, chihuahuas, pugs, Italian greyhounds, and the like, wearing a sweater when they are outside wouldn’t hurt them.
On the other hand, larger dogs with long hair or thick coats are more prepared to endure cold weathers. Therefore, such breeds wouldn’t really need a sweater to make it through the winter. Breeds like Alaskan malamutes and huskies, Labrador and Golden retrievers, Chow Chows, etcetera, should do well without needing a sweater.
Age and Health Condition
Another aspect we need to keep in mind when deciding whether dogs need a sweater or not is their age. Just as small dogs do, elder dogs tend to have a hard time generating and retaining enough body heat. So, getting the extra help of a sweater to stay warm when outdoors will most likely be appreciated. Depending on the weather, we might want to consider leaving the sweater on while inside, too.
Also, the health condition of our dog will definitely play a significant role in winter clothing for our furry friends. If our dog suffers from arthritis or a weakened immune system, even if they have a thick coat, cold temperatures might not be their favorite. In these cases, getting a sweater for our senior dogs shouldn’t be a problem.
Last but not least, we need to keep in mind the temperature both outside and inside our homes. If we already decided that the best would be to get a sweater for our dog, we also need to think when and where they will wear it. For temperatures above 40° or 50°, dogs of any size wouldn’t really need a coat or sweater to stay warm. However, if the temperature drops below 40°, we might want to put a sweater on, depending on our dog’s size and breed.
When going outdoors, we also need to consider how long we’ll be out with our dogs. If we’re letting them out for brief periods, a sweater wouldn’t be that necessary. If we’re taking them out for a couple of hours, though, the cold weather might make them feel uncomfortable.
Also, remember to take the sweater off your furry friend when you are inside. Dogs tend to overheat quite easily when wearing clothes. This can also cause chafing and skin irritation, so they should wear sweaters only when they’re outside unless your vet says otherwise.