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Do Dogs Really Need Sweaters?

husky hoody blogWith cold winter weather affecting much of the country, some owners might be wondering if their canine companion needs to bundle up before venturing out for a walk.

The answer depends on the dog. If you own a healthy Siberian Husky or another northern breed, it’s probably a safe bet that a doggy jacket isn’t necessary for a quick walk.  However, there are many dogs that could benefit from protection from the elements, including:

  • Elderly dogs
  • Dogs with a chronic illness
  • Small dogs
  • Dogs with a thin body type (e.g., Greyhounds)
  • Short-haired breeds

Basically, any dog that has difficulty retaining heat in its body can benefit from a warm winter coat or sweater. If your home is cold and your dog falls into one of the above categories, you might consider leaving a light sweater on your pet while indoors as well. Whenever purchasing an item of clothing for your dog, think about safety. Make sure it fits well and it doesn’t have any loose pieces that could be a potential choking hazard.

When in doubt, having an extra sweater for your dog around the house during the winter months certainly doesn’t hurt. If nothing else, it will be help keep your dog dry while on a walk, saving the trouble of cleaning up a soaking wet dog once you’ve returned home.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • burl January 21, 2014, 9:45 am

    Why title an article “no dogs really need sweaters” and then go on to explain exactly the opposite ??? How does this make any sense ???

    • VetDepot January 21, 2014, 9:57 am

      Hello. We titled the post “Do Dogs Really Need Sweaters?” and then answered the question in the article. Some dogs do, some dogs don’t. We hope it was informative!

      • dianne mcneely January 27, 2014, 7:58 pm

        it was very informative, as I have a small dog. My husband thinks dogs don’t need sweaters but when she comes in, she is shaking from the cold.

  • Sam January 21, 2014, 11:10 am

    Another reason I like my two white dogs to wear bright-coloured sweaters is so that I can find them in the snow!

    • Melisse January 21, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Good idea! And, it also may help to make them more visible to drivers if they get too close to the road off leash!

  • Penny January 21, 2014, 12:15 pm

    You should also have mentioned that the clothing should be appropriate for the type of weather, just like human garments. Water repellent for rain and snow, a coat that covers the chest and has insulation for extreme cold, and no sweater knit garments for puppies that chew and may ingest strings. It’s not enough to just throw on a sweater. Walking around in a cold, soggy, wet sweater while it’s raining, or one that’s caked with snow, won’t help keep the dog healthy and warm.

    The general rule is that if the owner needs a jacket, the average pet needs one too. That applies to heat on little paws in the summer also. If you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement, your dog shouldn’t either. Paw pads aren’t hoofs.

  • Margaret Scarcille January 13, 2015, 8:11 am

    My little Boston Terrier gets very cold and shivers. His ears shake like
    a leave in the wind because his fur is so thin. He, therefore, needs warm
    coats when we go on our long walks in winter.

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