Do dogs need sweaters? LoveKnitting investigates dog coats
The subject of sweaters and dog coats is hotly contested among dog trainers, dog owners, and veterinarians. To knit, or not to knit? LoveKnitting investigates: do dogs need sweaters?
According to this article by PetMD, deciding if your dog needs a winter coat depends on the breed. It’s true that some dog trainers have publicly denounced the practice of dressing your dog up in elaborate costumes, and it’s also true that most vets agree on one thing: long haired ”northern” dogs don’t need dog coats.
Breeds like the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky, and the Bernese Mountain Dog are bred to adapt to cold weather with their fluffy coats. Putting these long haired pups into a sweater could cause them to overheat or feel generally uncomfortable. Still, many veterinarians agree that you probably know your dog better than a stranger – if your dog shies away from taking walks when it’s cold or seems to be shivering, a dog coat for your dog might be a good choice.
Short haired dogs, like Jack Russels, Pinschers, Dobermans, and others, can definitely benefit from a dog coat. Their fur isn’t adapted to freezing temperatures, and these canines might be more comfortable with a snuggly sweater when the thermometer drops.
So, do dogs need dog coats?
Answer: it depends. Short-haired dogs usually benefit from winter coats while long-haired dogs can happily romp through the snow without a worry. Elderly and sickly dogs or puppies might also benefit from wearing a sweater when puddles freeze over in the winter. To be 100% sure what your dog needs, talk to your veterinarian – they will be more than happy to advise you on what kind of protection (if any) your dog needs in the winter.
Keep in mind that some dogs, even the ones who hate the cold, might take offense to wearing a coat. In this case, perhaps shorter walks are in the cards until the ground thaws in the spring. Again, ask your vet if you’re unsure!
Decided that your dog does need a sweater? Click here to check out our top 5 free dog coat patterns for beginners!
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Last updated: October 5th, 2015.