Winter’s chill is back! It’s easy to know when our human children need a jacket, but what about our pets? Is dressing the dog in a sweater a fashion statement or a necessity? After all, they are born wearing fur coats!
Even in warm climates, some dogs will benefit from a doggie sweater or coat. Here are some things to think about when deciding if Fido needs a jacket.
Let’s start with puppies and senior dogs. They have a harder time regulating their body temperature and retaining heat; a sweater may add to their comfort on a walk.
Many dog breeds have very thin or short coats that don’t offer much insulation outdoors. Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, Whippets, and Chinese Crested are a few breeds with very little fur.
Dogs that sit low to the ground tend to get cold faster than larger dogs. Their bellies can get wet in rain or snow, and that cools them off more quickly. Think Dachshunds, toy breeds, or Corgis.
Dogs that usually have long hair but have been clipped may need some extra protection. This includes Poodles, Bichon Frise, or Airedale Terriers.
Additionally, dogs with health issues or weak immune systems may not have the energy to stay toasty outside. Some health problems can cause your pooch to have thinner fur such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Disease.
If it’s damp, windy, or you’re on an extended walk, your dog may need a sweater. If in doubt, start your walk with a sweater and watch for signs of overheating.
Pick out a sweater or jacket that suits your dog and your climate. Make sure it’s washable (some wool sweaters are not) and check how easy it is to get it on your pooch. It should be snug but not tight, and it should never hinder movement.
Get out for some fun walks and make sure everyone is warm and cozy!