When temperatures dip during the winter months, it can get pretty cold, even in Arizona and especially at night. There’s nothing better than a toasty sweater to get warm. From knits and cotton to V-necks and turtlenecks, there’s so many from which to choose. But wait, what about your dog? Does your furry family member need a sweater? How do you know?
There are tons of cute sweaters and coats for dogs. However, does your dog really need one? It really depends on the dog. “If you are concerned about your dog being cold, there is certainly no harm in putting clothing on him,” according to the article, “Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?” at petMD.com. Dogs do have their own “layering system, but some dogs have lighter layers of fur than others, and some are not genetically suited to the environments in which they find themselves transplanted.”
Typically, it’s the smaller dogs, toy breeds and light bodied breeds with short or thin hair that do well with sweaters, the article said. It makes them feel better when they go out for a potty break or when on a walk. It’s even OK for them to wear around the house.
If you’ll be getting a sweater for your dog, the article offers some things to take into consideration:
• Choose material that is washable and doesn’t itch, such as a cotton or acrylic blend.
• Measure your dog for a good fit that is not too tight or too loose.
• Ensure you measure around the neck, the largest part of the chest, and distance from neck to waist. Make sure to leave the lower belly free.
• Make sure the armpit area and neck is not too tight or too loose.
• The sweater should be easy to put on and take off.
• Be careful of parts such as zippers, buttons, tags and hooks that can pose a danger.
For those dogs who are larger and fit for the colder months, sweaters are typically not necessary. For instance, “if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who’s acclimated to the cold and has the glorious coat common in the Northern breeds, you likely won’t have to invest in canine clothing for walks in the snow,” according to the article, “Do Any Dogs Really Need Sweaters or Coats?” by Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, at Vetstreet.com. Dr. Becker said there are generally three types of dogs who benefit from sweaters or coats:
• Small dogs
• Older dogs or chronically ill dogs or both
• Dogs with a thin body type to include, Greyhounds and Whippets
According to Dr. Becker, these dogs all have a harder time “generating and retaining enough body heat on their own.”
Dogs with arthritis benefit from sweaters and protective clothing making it more easy and comfortable for them. Additionally, according to Dr. Becker, having a coat at home just in case won’t hurt your dog.