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Should Small Dogs Wear Sweaters in the Winter?

Written by Viena
Viena is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Thursday 22 October 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
should small dogs wear sweaters in the winter
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The winter season is approaching fast. You might have wondered if it’s still safe outside alongside your furry pups during the winter, even without wearing small dog sweaters. Remember that not all dogs have enough fur to keep them warm in the winter, especially the young ones. Like us humans, who get cold going outside in chilly weather, your dog may feel the same way. So should small dogs wear sweaters in the winter?

So the question is, “do you need to get winter sweaters for small dogs?” You have to consider first the crucial factors to determine if small dogs should wear sweaters in the winter. Fortunately, there are plenty of winter dog clothes available in the market. You can expect a wide variety of options to choose, from types, styles, and sizes.

Should Small Dogs Wear Sweaters in the Winter?

Younger and smaller dogs will likely require extra protection to keep them warm against the chilly wind outside. That’s why it is a must to let them wear dog winter boots and coats. Consider that they have less body surface and no undercoats. These factors all serve a contributing factor to their struggle in the cold weather.

Plenty of pups have a harder time to retain body heat. That’s why they may need a sweater going out to make them feel just fine for an extended period. If your pet is a short-haired breed or its genes are accustomed initially to warm climates (Chinese Crested, Chihuahua, and Italian Greyhound to state a few), consider getting them dog winter clothes.

A sweater could carry a considerable effect on your small dog’s feeling and well-being. On the contrary, once your pups grow up, they’ll probably develop thicker hair coats. That way, they won’t require additional insulation anymore since their fur is genetically designed to keep them warm from cold temperatures. Dog breeds, such as Chihuahua, Greyhound, other light-skinned and terrier breeds, are a prime example of kinds that would specifically need extra outer insulation.

Should I Make Use of the Sweater Indoors or Outdoors?

Please take note that you only let your pet wear coats and sweaters because it is needed for their insulation. Your dog should not wear an extra shirt when it stays inside the house unless it is cold. It’s because they are prone to overheat, which may lead to your pet’s serious health problems. Remove any wearables from your pet after a walk outside as they are no longer required for insulation. You should only let your pets wear extra clothes if you are with them outdoors. It is not only for insulation, but it also contributes to your pup’s cardio activity and gets the blood running.

Besides, it is also crucial to know the outside temperature and length of time outside. It is one of the keys to determining when it’s necessary or not to let your dog wear a coat. If you’re in a place where the temperature is higher than 45 degrees, your pet won’t need protective clothing. Additionally, if your dog is spending less than ten minutes outside, you won’t need to get a sweater, except when it is freezing.

Apparels will only be fine to wear indoors if your dog can tolerate it. But here’s the catch, you can let them strut lightweight clothes, mainly dog sweatshirts or hoodies. However, it would be best if you were wary from time-to-time. The tendency of overheating may arise around the corner, especially if your house has well-heated ventilation.

Best Materials for Small Dog Sweaters

Choosing the right material on what dog sweaters your pets are going to wear in winter is a pivotal key. It will determine at what state of warmness your dog will be during the wintertime. Sweaters and coats made of wool are one of the most common go-to for pet owners. Owing to the comfort it gives and its stylish features, your pup will look cute. You’ll also keep its warmth through its capability to insulate.

To provide a warmer effect on your pet, you can also choose sweaters that carry thermal insulation barriers. Its primary purpose is to protect your furry friend from extreme cold. However, using wool-made material may require handwashing, and it could also be itchy on some occasions. But there’s no need to worry. There is available stuff like acrylic and wool-blended dog winter coats. Those materials give a soft feeling while also managing to provide the needed warmth.

When you go for a doggy sweater shopping, choose the one that’s easy to wear on and off. Walking your pup should not start by struggling to get your pet dressed. By taking note, you raise your chance to get your dog the best comfort while making them stylish and fashionable.

small dog sweater materials
Choose the best sweater material for your pup!

Tips To Choose The Best Sweater for A Small Dog

Choosing your pup’s clothing may seem simple. However, it would help if you did not get the first cute clothes you see in a pet store. Here are some factors you need to consider when buying sweaters and other clothing for your fur baby.

Measure Thoroughly

Knowing the right measure that perfectly fits your pet is a vital aspect to consider before choosing what sweater your dog will wear in winter. In measuring the most fitting shirt for your furry pal, don’t forget to tally the essential measures. Get the sizes around the neck and the most substantial part of the chest. It will also help if you know the distance from the neck connecting to the waist.

The length of the sweater you should buy must end just around the waist of your pet, leaving the lower bellow free. Knowing your dog’s actual weight beforehand also gives you the advantage of choosing what’s fits your pet with ease. If there’s a chance, it is best to take your pet along to the sweater store. Therefore, you won’t have to contemplate hassle return options if it did not fit.

Cover the Legs

When considering the sweater’s leg portion, make sure leg openings won’t be constrictive, letting your dog have room moving joint. Your dog’s winter coat shouldn’t be tight. Take note that it is vital to see if your puppy’s legs are covered with their new layer. It should have enough area to walk in wherein it should end around their waist. Once you notice your pet lifting their paws or take a sudden pause during walks, it may indicate that their feet are cold. Besides purchasing your lovely fur pal a sweater, consider getting them winter boots to lessen the chances of getting cold.

Consider Attachments

Aside from the major parts of the sweater, it would be best if you didn’t also overlook checking the additional attachments. As much as possible, you should avoid shirts that carry stuff like buttons, zippers, hooks, or tags. Extra parts like these impose a hazard to your pet. And the function of the sweater alike, as your dog may rip those off or even try to ingest them.

Consider the Style

While the material is what matters the most, some pet owners are committed to making their dogs look super cool. In choosing a fashionable sweater look, it is vital to measure first your dog around its neck and rib cage. Doing so means assuring that they will still get a jacket that fits well. While turtlenecks seem eye-pleasing, the thing is, your dog needs more space to breathe. There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep it simple as long as it makes your pet feel at comfort.

Whether Small Dogs Should Wear Sweaters in Winter – FAQ

There might still be more questions in your head that are left unanswered when it comes to getting your pup the best sweaters during the winter. Read on below for more tips on how to select the best winter shirts for your small dogs.

At what temperature should you put a sweater on your dog?

There is not one definite temperature, it depends on your dog’s size, fur insulation, and the outdoor temperature. Remember that a dog’s normal temperature state is between 100.5 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it drops to as low as 95 degrees, your pet may need medical attention, and its life may be at risk. Your dog’s internal thermometer is the most important thing to consider.

Is it okay to leave a sweater on a dog?

It would be best to keep the thermostat at a stable temperature at home instead, in case that you will leave your dog with its sweater on. If your furry pup is prone to overheating, you may want to make them use blankets instead to keep its body warm.

What temperature is too cold for a small dog?

If the temperature fell to lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to be wary and observe your pet’s well-being and focus if signs are showing your dog is feeling too cold. That case applies to dogs of any breed and size when we talk about the cold weather.

Should dogs wear sweaters in bed?

Just as crucial as the precaution when you are leaving your pet alone in the house during the winter, it is also essential to know that it isn’t recommendable to let your dog wear a sweater in bed. You may instead provide them with a blanket to keep them protected.

Every dog owner needs to note that you shouldn’t have to wait for the temperature to drop to a critical level before you decide if you will let your small dogs wear sweaters during the winter. It must be when they are showing signs of being uncomfortable and cold that you should know your furry pup requires extra protection against the cold climate. You should automatically and immediately bring out your pups’ coats if ever the temperature outside went lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

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