Dogs get cold, just like us.  During the winter small dogs especially are susceptible to the cold.  Of course, some smaller breeds, such as border terriers can stay warm with their own fur.  They curl up into a ball and can enjoy almost any temperature.  Let’s take a look at why your dog might need a sweater.

For dogs with short hair such as toy dogs, they aren’t able to regulate their own temperatures as well during the cold days.  They need a little bit of help.  Naturally these toy dogs don’t belong in the colder climates.

dog in blanket

During the cold weather, sweaters and other cold weather gear can help your dog stay healthy and warm.

Short hair isn’t the only reason that a dog might need warm clothes.


As a dog gets older many of the different bodily functions start to have issues.  It isn’t uncommon for dogs to get colder quickly.  Circulation problems, hair loss, reduced eating, and more leads to older dogs having trouble with the cold.  As you notice your dog starting to get older, it is time to start considering cold weather clothes.

There are a wide variety of diseases that prevent dogs from being able to provide the amount of heat that they need.  Cushing’s Disease is one example of this.  Hypothyroidism is another example.  Just like with humans, diseases can affect how a dog’s system can control its functions.

Yet another reason to get your dog a warm outfit is that you trim and/or style their hair.  When a dog does not have the normal amount of fur that they rely on, they can’t withstand the temperature as well as their breed is supposed to.  For example, if you shave your poodle, they might need extra warmth during the winter.

A key thing to look for is your dog shivering when you go outside.  If you hold your hand on your dog you should be able to tell if they are shivering.

In most cases when you get home, your dog’s sweater should be removed.  Inside the house, the temperature is typically too hot for your dog to wear a sweater.  Warm dog outfits are not designed to be used to change the appearance of your dog.  The real purpose is to help them when they can’t help themselves.

The one time that it is okay to have your dog in a sweater inside is if you don’t use heat.  A current trend around the world is to leave the heat off so that you can save money.  While most of us wear extra clothes if we leave the heat off, how many of us have our dogs wear clothes?

Our dogs need to be warm too!

How do you pick out warm attire for your dog?

Here are a few tips about dog coats in general.

You might have to go into having your dog wear clothes slowly.  The best time to get a dog used to clothes is when they are only a puppy.  Wearing clothes is a learned behavior.  Rewarding your dog can help to make them more comfortable with wearing a sweater.

You will want at least two different sets of cold weather apparel for your dog.  One will be the everyday coat that your dog wears.  The other is for the wet days.  Just like coats for humans, they make waterproof coats for your dogs.  The added protection helps to keep them warm from the water.

Avoid dog clothes of any kind that contain small parts that your dog may be tempted to eat and choke on.  That means zippers, balls, buttons, or other such items.

Having a healthy dog is one of the most important things in any pet owner’s life.  When your dog is having trouble, many owners feel it too.  As it should be, we form strong bonds with our pets.  Keeping our dogs warm when they need it helps to protect them.

Consider getting warm dog outfits for the winter.