If you have been considering a sweater or coat for your dog, but are reticent to be an owner that dresses their pets, know that there are many benefits to winter wear for dogs. In addition to keeping smaller breeds or older dogs warm in damp or chilly weather, the sensation of wearing clothes may calm and console a dog who is anxious or nervous.
Here’s what you should know:
Keep the House Cool
Just as members of your family will add another layer when you turn back the thermostat during wintry weather, a sweater for your dog can help them stay comfortable when you are conserving your energy usage. If your pet is often reluctant to go outside, they may be sensitive or adverse to the colder weather; a sweater or jacket may be helpful to encourage them outdoors to go relieve themselves during winter.
Consider the Breed
Additionally, the size and breed of your dog could dictate whether they will get cold in wintry weather and chilly temperatures. Dogs without a thick coat, such as short hair chis or pinschers, may have difficulty conserving enough heat to stay warm outside. Tiny and toy breeds will benefit from a warm sweater during cooler temperatures, or even in homes that tend to be drafty.
Caring for the Well-Groomed Dog
If you have your pet professionally groomed and short-cropped, like a poodle, put on a sweater to keep them comfortable. They are usually groomed quite close to prevent mats, which may make them more vulnerable to cooler weather.
Also, if your dog has a compromised or weakened immune system due to issues like Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism, put a sweater on to ensure they don’t catch a chill, even when hanging out inside.
Don’t Let Them Overheat
By contrast, some large breeds would be uncomfortable wearing sweaters as it could cause them to overheat. Genetically, their fur keeps them as warm as they need to be; some of those breeds include Saint Bernard, Huskies, and Malamute.
Just Jackets and Sweaters
As for the type of winter wear that your dog should wear, stick to jackets and sweaters. Never put pants or other clothing on your pet- particularly if they will be wearing it unsupervised.
Only choose practical clothing made from quality materials that are natural and that fit well. Don’t choose things that are difficult to put on your pet or that could present a choking hazard of any kind, such as apparel with buttons or bows.
There is no harm in dressing a dog in a comfortable, cotton or wool sweater for winter weather; in fact, it is helpful for reducing stress and keeping smaller breeds warm in cooler temperatures.
Got more pet questions? Reach out to the veterinarian at CVETS in Columbia, SC. This brand new, state of the art Emergency Vet and Surgery center offers patients and pet owners in the area peace of mind and top of the line veterinary service provision.