Pet Parenting Pet Supplies Dog Sweaters: All You Need To Know About Dog Fashion

Dog Sweaters: All You Need To Know About Dog Fashion

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When you see a dog wearing a sweater it is hard not to feel a pull on the heartstrings. It does not matter if you are looking at small dogs, large dogs, or something in between. A dog hoodie, or a cable knit sweater in cold weather, is endearing.

No matter how magnificent the dog looks you will be wondering whether they should be wearing dog clothes. You will probably want to know where you can get a gift card. Especially if you want to get that awesome machine washable dog coat. Of course, free shipping should be considered an essential part of any dog sweater purchase.

Types of Dog Sweaters Available

Visiting a store and selecting the garment personally is essential. It’s the only way to guarantee you find one that suits you best.

In fact, there is an impressive array of choices of sweaters and dog jackets available. This includes the plaid dog look. But, before you can choose the premium one you need to consider several important factors.

The Material

Wool is one of the most common materials for a dog sweater. It is durable and can be created in a wide variety of colors. However, it is also thick. This makes it great for keeping small dogs, or any dog with a thin coat, warm.

Unfortunately, just as humans can be allergic, some dogs may find wool is itchy. This makes it an uncomfortable choice. In addition, wool dog sweaters will need to be hand-washed to maintain the shape and color, this is likely to be inconvenient.

You may prefer selecting a material that is part wool and part acrylic, these are substantially easier to keep clean and less likely to trigger itchiness in your dog. They will still do an excellent job of keeping your dog warm.

Cotton is also a viable option for a dog sweater, it is light and cool, helping to keep a balance even for larger dogs. Additionally it is easy to clean and durable enough to survive the majority of what your dog can throw at it. Add in the fact it’s machine washable and it’s perfect for dog lovers.


Another important consideration is the size of your dog sweater, it needs to be loose enough to offer comfort but not so loose that the dog can slip out of it.

Before you start measuring make sure you remember that twice is better, and generally more accurate, than once.

The best approach is to measure their neck and their chest at its largest point, you should also measure the length of their back, the room between their front and back legs, and their waist. This is the part that sits just in front of their back legs.

You may not be able to get a perfectly fitting puppy sweater. That’s unless you are making the dog clothes yourself or have a custom tailor to hand. But, this will ensure you do not purchase anything that is too small for your dog.

Remember, if you have a puppy they will be growing continually, this means you will need to re-measure your dog regularly to ensure the clothes continue to fit.

Knowing the sizing will allow you to choose clothes whenever and wherever you see them. Whether you have seen a particularly good bandana or even a bow tie, you will be able to instigate an entire wardrobe of accessories for your best friend, in short, they will look good no matter what the occasion is.

Top Tip: You should always be able to slide two fingers between their collar and their neck.

This ensures the collar is not too tight or loose, the same advice applies to a bandana.

It is also worth being aware that while a dog coat is great, it does not replace the need for a dog harness. This is especially valid if your dog generally registers a need to pull a lot or jumps up at people. A good harness will enable you to have the control you deserve and need when walking them, of course, if your dog is trained properly it should not pull, but we do not all live in a perfect world.

Should Your Dog Be Wearing A Dog Sweater?

White poodle puppy in white sweater. Part of the "Dog Sweaters: All You Need To Know About Dog Fashion" article.
Photo by FLOUFFY on Unsplash

This is a good question and the answer is not clear cut, in part, it depends on the breed of dog you have. Larger dogs, particularly those used to colder climes, are unlikely to need a fleece dog sweater, their thick coats will keep them warm during the colder months. If you put them in a sweater there is a likelihood of them overheating.

That is not to say you cannot put them in a t-shirt, these are generally made from cotton and are fairly light. Your dog can look cool without risking overheating, even in dog pajamas. If you need convincing check out these cute cotton personalized t-shirts to get you started.

However, if you have a larger dog with a thin coat, such as the greyhound, or, even if you have a smaller job, they are more likely to suffer the effects of the cold. In these cases, it is advisable to invest in an array of clothes that will allow your dog to be comfortable in any situation.

Top Tips When Choosing Dog Clothes

It is indifferent whether you have large dogs or small dogs. A substantial need to ensure the clothes are easy to get on and off exists. Of course, you can increase the length of a daily walk by half-an-hour to facilitate the putting on and taking off specific clothes. However, this will be frustrating, your dog will not appreciate this either.

Pay particular attention to the fastenings on your dog clothes. Velcro is viable as it is great for ease of use. Although it will become less adhesive over time.

Buttons represent another good option providing you are confident your dog cannot chew them off. The last thing you want is a trip to the vets to remove a button from the dog’s throat!

Zips are not advisable as they are likely to catch your dog’s hair. This ensures there is nothing else that your dog can chew off. Of particular concern is when you are not looking, It is essential to verify the manufacturer realizes this before you purchase.

Getting The Look

The good news is that your dog is probably not worried about how they look, providing the clothes are helping to keep them warm, the color and style will be unimportant. They simply do not possess fashion sense, that means you can choose the colors, styles, and accessories that you like the most. Just get ready to be stopped frequently by a variety of people, all anxious to comment on your stunning well-dressed, and almost certainly, cute dog.

Clothes To Get You Started

If you are debating where to commence shopping for dog clothes then the following offers should be inspirational, they represent some of the best deals currently available.

The Cotton Sporty Dog Sweater

Available in a range of sizes, this black, grey, or pink personalized cotton sport dog sweater is the perfect option for almost any type of dog. It is cool enough not to overheat dogs with thick coats but still offers enough warmth to keep the smaller dog happy.

Sizes range from XS to 2XL, ensuring you have something for all your dogs.

Minimal sleeves ensure the dog will not get too hot and you can have the name of your dog and your favorite number embroidered on the back of the shirt. This will be visible to everyone while you walk the dog!

Waterproof Winter Jacket

This stylish waterproof and windproof jacket is perfect for any pet dog that lives in colder climes. You will be able to take them out throughout the winter and they will enjoy the experience!

The hole at the head allows you to slip this over their head. Still giving access to the collar for a standard leash. Almost any dog will be able to wear one of these items of clothing.

As well as being available in an array of colors, such as red, blue, pink, and grey, it has a reflective strip on it to help you and your dog be seen on the darkest of nights.

A Dog Dress

Dress your small girl dog up like the princess you know she is, amongst an array of choices are these dresses for a Chihuahua. It is definitely a more up-market selection than the basic dog sweater but, if you want to proudly show off your dog, it presents as the perfect choice for a cold pet winter.

A Little History

You will not be surprised to learn that dog clothes are not a new phenomenon. In fact, it is believed that the Ancient Egyptians decorated the collars of their dogs with drawings. Examples have been found that emphasize the role of the dog, often as a hunting dog or for companionship.

Although dressing dogs in dedicated clothing seem like a more modern achievement, there are examples of dogs dressed in human clothing from the 1900s. In the last 20 years, it has become a very popular pastime and the dog clothing industry has boomed, small breeds are the most commonly dressed up and entire dog shows have been created around the best-dressed dog.

You should note this is different to the standard best breed approach to dog shows, in these shows the dog must resemble a prescribed version of perfect. Dog shows focusing on the best-dressed dogs invite a wide array of applicants and points are gained for how cute they look and how choreographed outfits are, even with the owner.

Assessing if Your Dog Needs A Sweater

In some cases, it can be obvious that your dog will benefit from a sweater or coat. For example, the greyhound that freezes if you take it out in cold weather. But, in other cases, the need is harder to define. Fortunately, this simple guide should help you to decide whether to get a dog sweater.

Small dogs, especially toy and miniature breeds, will usually benefit from a dog sweater. Depending on the temperature they may even want a sweater and a coat! The problem with small dogs and limited hair is that they simply cannot generate enough heat to keep their body warm.

Other dogs that are likely to need a dog sweater are those that are close to the ground. It’s likely that their tummies will brush against the cold ground, helping them to feel the cold. A sweater can prevent this from happening.

Consideration For Long Haired Breeds

It is also worth noting that breeds with long hair that have it clipped short are more prone to feeling the cold. This is probably because their natural protection has been altered by grooming. The potential exists for them to feel the cold more.

We already mentioned short-haired dogs with thin bodies, such as the Greyhound and Whippets. But, you should also consider older dogs. As they age they may suffer from arthritis or a reduced immune system. This will make them feel the cold more and they will be grateful for a good dog sweater.

The key is to watch your dog in the colder weather. If they shake a lot from the cold then they need an extra layer the next time you go out. Hunching with tucked tail, whining, lifting paws from the ground, or a general reluctance to go anywhere are also signs your dog will benefit from a dog sweater.

Deciding your dog will function better with a dog sweater or coat is only the first part of the battle, you also undertake consideration for the style and color that compliments you and your dog in the best possible way. For that please read our article on how to choose the best and the most appropriate dog clothes. 

Final Thoughts

Following this you will have to persuade your dog that it is a good idea. You should convince them its beneficial, to wear a sweater and any other accessories. The best way of implementing this is slowly. Commencement is recommended by slipping the sweater on your dog potentially for just a minute or two.

Achieving happiness with this step will encourage a commitment. Then, do it for a little bit longer on the next occasion. It should take several days before they become completely comfortable wearing dog clothes.

You can select and apply a hat or other accessories simultaneously, or you may find it preferable to do them separately, your decision will be based on your dog, and how positively it reacts to the dog sweater.

Once you have got it to wear one you should not have any issue trying on a variety of different ones, but, continual monitoring is essential to ensure the dog sweater is not causing overheating or other complications.

Finally, a dog sweater, or winter coat, should only be necessary when you go out in the cold, your home probably has a heating system that should be warm enough to keep your dog comfortable, reflecting the guidelines for a dog to only wear a sweater for between 4-8 hours at a time. It should then be removed and their fur ruffled, allowing air to get to their skin, this will help to ensure they do not overheat while staying warm!


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