Whenever I’m asked this question, I personally always say, “yes” because there’s nothing I love more than a dog wearing clothes! I figured I should probably cite some other sources, since some are growing suspect of my assessment of dogs needing clothing.
Dogs who need coats:
- Short hair/thin coat-Dogs with little hair (short coats) have less insulation than larger fluffier breed dogs so they need a little extra help when it comes to keeping warm in the winter. Most Toy breeds benefit from having coats in the winter and even during the fall. If you want to put them in full seasonal gear year round…you won’t hear any complaints from me!
- Elderly dogs-Older dogs can have weaker immune systems and benefit from having extra warmth in the winter. A coat may also help with joint pain that can be worsened by cold temperatures.
- Thin dogs with short hair-Obviously, the “need” for clothing depends on the breed and size dog you have. While it would be adorable, I don’t recommend dressing your Alaskan Malamute in a puffy winter coat, they will be extremely uncomfortable and will overheat quickly, as they have their own puffy coats and built in fluff to keep them warm. Thin dogs like Greyhounds and Whippets have nearly no body fat to insulate their temperature and get very cold in the winter.
Getting the right fit:
Dog clothing isn’t one size fits all, so obtaining your dogs measurements is key in finding a coat that’s the proper fit. Measure your dogs neck, chest and waist to assure the best fit. If you’re looking for full coverage measure the length of the spine. You want the coat or sweater to be fitted and not dragging on the ground, as that has the potential to be dangerous when your dog is running and playing.
Consider the tolerance your dog has for clothing and how patient they’ll be while dressing and undressing. If you don’t want to deal with putting two (or four) big paws through arm holes like a people sweater and pulling it over their head, look for something with a Velcro closure. The Velcro generally allows for a nice quick dressing and undressing process and is less stressful for the dog.
There are coats that are water proof, some have extra warmth, some are merely fashionable…so do your research before you purchase. Also consider the fabric it’s made out of, if it will irritate your dogs skin, will be easy to wash and dry, etc.
So there you have it…now, shows us your dogs in clothes!