Dec. 16.2020 | Updated: September 17, 2021

Do Dogs Need Coats?

dog in winter clothes

When you live in a harsh climate where summer alternates with winter, winter clothing becomes a vital part of the closet, for people and dogs.

In this article, we answer the questions: should my dog wear a coat? Do dog sweaters work?

‘Does My Dog Need a Sweater?’

dogs in winter clothes

Dressing your dog in the winter is not a fashion fad. Despite the wool “coat,” pets get cold in cold weather and can catch a cold. Besides, the dog wearing sweater has other, less noticeable at first glance, pluses.

Perhaps some people think that their pet does not need anything, and some people, on the contrary, are sure that their doggie will not survive without stylish overalls. In most cases, if you ask the experts about dogs in coats during the cold season, the answer will be negative.

Most dogs have enough fur to keep them warm outside in the fall and even winter. Still, depending on the type of dog, sometimes a pet could use some clothing.

To understand who needs to be dressed up and when to, let’s break down some myths and misconceptions about dogs wearing sweaters:

Myth #1: Everyone Needs Snow Outfits for Dogs

Actually no. Clothing may be necessary for short-haired dogs, older dogs, or small puppies.

Myth #2: All Dogs Can Get Used to Wearing Clothes

dog in winter coat

The truth is that some dogs aren’t comfortable wearing clothes, and they shouldn’t have to. You can try putting clothes on your dog in the house, a few times, for a short time. If it doesn’t cause discomfort, you can move on, outside.

Myth #3: Large Dogs Don’t Need Winter Clothes

The truth is that not all dogs were bred in cold climates and have thick coats. There are large breeds of dogs that may need coats, so evaluate each dog individually. For example, Greyhounds are sensitive to cold weather, despite their background, and need winter clothing.

Intermediate Conclusions

First of all, you need to dress smooth-haired and short-haired dogs in winter clothes. Size does not matter here, both the tiny Toy Terrier and the large Dalmatian freeze in the same way. If the temperature drops low enough, you should dress the long-haired dog as well, his own “coat” will not save him from the frost during the walk. Well, of course, be sure to insulate all the small dogs of decorative breeds. They are usually very sedentary and quickly freeze to death in cold weather.

There are some other circumstances to consider.

  • The temperature and time spent outdoors. You shouldn’t dress your dog if you go out for 10 minutes.
  • You don’t want to leave clothes on when your pet goes indoors. Animals overheat easily.
  • If you order personalized clothing online, keep in mind that many stores do not allow returns. Measure your pet correctly.

Tips for Choosing Dog Clothes

do dog sweaters work
  • First of all, choose clothes strictly according to size. It is when it will not hinder the pet’s movements or get tangled in his paws.
  • Look at the seams, they should be on the outside. Smooth-haired dogs may get blisters and irritation, while long-haired dogs may get hairballs. It also applies to collars and sleeves that are too tight.
  • You should choose the fasteners according to the length of your pet’s coat. Velcro and zippers are good for smooth-coated dogs, buttons and hooks are better for long-haired ones.
  • Elements of decor should not interfere with the dog’s movement. All sorts of ties, beads, and rhinestones are important for the owner, not for the pet. A dog, for example, may get his claw caught in a tie that is too long and be injured.
  • The material of the clothing should be of high quality. Cheap fabrics will quickly lose their shape, fray, and fade. The material should be pleasant to the touch, dense, stretchy.
  • The seams should be treated with a water-repellent compound for extra protection. In general, clothes should have fewer stitches because they can irritate the dog, and a strong wind will blow through them. Also, look at the quality of the seams – they must be even, without protruding threads.
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