dog and cat sleeping together wearing sweaters

Should dogs wear sweaters?

When you layer sweaters and jackets to combat the cold weather, do you wonder if your pets might want their own warm clothing too? In some climates, bundling up your pooch might be a good idea when headed out on your walks! There are things to be careful about when dressing up your pets. With proper precautions, pet clothes can be a fun experience for all.

Why Should Dogs Wear Clothes?

Different breeds thrive in different climate types, whether that be warmer or colder weather. If you have a short haired dog out in the snow, chances are they might prefer some warm layers to protect their bodies from those cold elements! Not all animals will tolerate clothing, and if they don’t want to wear something you should not push them to wear it. There are special circumstances where your pets will need to wear some type of covering due to illness or injury, but those cases should always be under instruction of a veterinarian. Wearing clothing might be a good alternative to a cone of shame!

dog in sweaters look fat

How Should You Dress Your Pet?

If you’ve decided to try dressing up your pets in some pet clothing, there are a few things you will want to look out for! First off, evaluate the weather and the type of fur of your pet. The last thing you want to do is cause your friend to overheat! You might want to consider waterproof material if there will be rain.

The next thing you want to check is how the clothing fits your pet. Ensure pet clothing is snug enough to prevent your pet from getting tangled. Make sure legs and mouths cannot get caught on your pet’s new outfit. You also want it to be loose enough that they can move freely without developing sores or otherwise causing discomfort. If the clothing were to get caught on something, would your pet be able to break free? It is a good idea not to leave your pets unattended if they are wearing clothing to prevent accidents!

In Conclusion

If you want your dog or cat to wear clothing, and the weather is suitable for such a venture, then go ahead and give it a try! Only use positive reinforcement, as you want clothing to be a positive experience. Make sure that safety overrides all fashionable goals. Don’t force your pets to wear clothes if they don’t enjoy them!

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9 thoughts on “Should dogs wear sweaters?

  1. Susan

    Do you think it woud be ok to leav a sweater on my Boxer during the day while I’m at work? She always is trying to get under the throw blanket i leave on her bed because she is cold?

    1. Rachel Long Post author

      Hi Susan!

      If the sweater fits her well, I think it would probably be fine! I will leave sweaters on my dog, Thanos, all day long sometimes and he only seems happy about it. He is of course with me the entire time though. I would observe her wearing the sweater for awhile until you are confident that it is comfortable before leaving it on for the day.


    2. James

      I would go with an extra throw before leaving a dog unattended with a sweater,
      particularly if the dog is out of a crate. My experience with active terrier breeds and sweaters is that those little boogers like to get under furniture and look for who knows what…they’re terriers and there is alway some pretend little prey under things. Anyway, I noticed a lot of fraying and pulled stitches a couple of decades back and started paying more attention. I have seen a dog get a stitch in her sweater caught on a tack or staple under an upholstered piece of furniture and get all wrapped up in the 20 feet of yarn that she dragged to another room.

  2. Carolyn

    Susan – I have two Boxers who burrow under sheets, not because they are cold but they just like burrowing.
    I keep a sheet on my couch because the dogs are on the couch all the time (sheet on top of other protective layers – waterproof mattress protector, slipcover). Sometimes they stop burrowing with their heads covered and the other end exposed, sometimes all covered with their heads out. If there is a sheet or blanket left on the floor, they’ll burrow under, or bunch it up to make a nest.
    They do wear rain coats or fleece jackets when needed on our daily walks. The first time I put a coat on them (adopted from SPCA at ages 7 and 8 years), they resisted, but since then they readily accept a coat as part of getting ready for a winter walk.

  3. Vickie

    I have two Bichons, that I keep clipped short to simplify grooming.
    Our little boy Toby will go get his sweater and bring it to us to put on him. If he wants it on he will fight us when we try to take it off.
    His sister (and littermate) will allow us grudgingly to put her sweater on for walks when it is cold and wait by the door for us to take it back off once we get home.
    Yes we have strange dogs…

  4. MARY

    We have 3 shih tzu and 1 chihuahua. They will actually go to the basket where we store their sweaters and bring them to us. Usually it’s a sign they want to be taken to the park but they all love to be dressed up.