Fall is a beautiful time of year. The leaves are changing, and if you’re not a fan of hot weather, you’re probably relieved by the dropping temperatures. It’s the perfect time for walks with your dog, and with a sweater, rain jacket, and boots, you can do it without a mess, even on wet, muddy days. A dog sweater is perfect for indoor wear as well, right along with a cute little pair of doggie socks. And a Halloween costume adds a splash of seasonal fun!
Dog Sweater Buying Guide
Now that it’s fall, it is the perfect time to buy your dog a warm, comfortable, and adorable sweater! Dog sweaters are great all-purpose garments that are perfect for spring, autumn, and winter. They can be worn indoors or outdoors, and are great when it’s a bit chilly but not cold enough to warrant a dog coat. With a lot of cute choices, it can be tempting to pick the first dog sweater you see, but it’s smart to think before you buy. Remember, your dog is relying on you to choose the best garment.
Should Dogs Wear Clothing?
If you’ve never bought clothing for your dog before, you may wonder if dogs need clothing or should wear it at all. Some people feel that pets shouldn’t wear clothing because clothing is designed for humans. They worry that dogs will find clothing intrusive and uncomfortable. There are some dog that don’t like wearing clothes and never will, and comfort is a very important factor (never force a dog to wear clothing if he absolutely does not want to). But clothing designed for canines is designed to fit comfortably without restricting movement. And some dogs appreciate clothing.
Why buy your dog a sweater? Here are some great reasons:
- Necessary warmth on autumn and winter walks, or even for spending time indoors if your house gets chilly.
- Protect a dog with sensitive skin from excessive sun exposure.
- Dogs with thinning hair can particularly benefit from a dog sweater for warmth and sun protection. Vets may even recommend a dog sweater for a sickly pet.
- It’s fun.
How Dog Sweaters Differ from Human Sweaters
Dogs shouldn’t ever wear clothing designed for humans. It’s unsafe and uncomfortable. Dog sweaters also need to come on and off with ease. So they generally feature a loose, stretchy design with a wide neck. The wide neck also prevents the sweater from hindering the dog’s movement. The most common materials used for these garments is cotton and polyester yarn. Essentially the dog sweater is a tube with wide holes at either end and two holes for the legs.
You will also find dog sweaters which attach with straps instead of being pulled over the head. These are a great alternative if you have a dog that simply will not put up with you putting a sweater on in the traditional way. These are also usually made out of cotton or polyester, and usually look like a knitted rectangle with a belt. The belt typically uses snaps, buttons, or Velcro. Velcro is easy, but keep in mind that it is not as durable as buttons or snaps, and may eventually not work as well over time.
Know Your Dog’s Measurements
Before you shop for a dog sweater or any other clothing for dogs, it is important to size your dog. Dog sweaters are sized from XXS to XL. The measurement is derived mainly from the length of the dog’s torso. You may also need to know your dog’s neck and chest measurements to pick the right sweater. XXS sweaters are designed for dogs about 8 inches long, and XL sweaters are good for big dogs measuring around 24 inches in length. Be sure to measure your dog and check a sizing chart before you shop.
Additional Tips for Buying Dog Sweaters
After you buy a dog sweater, double check to make sure that it will fit your dog. Hold it up and check that it won’t cover your dog’s tail, as this can be very uncomfortable. You want your dog to be able to wag his tail freely. It is also essential, especially with male dogs, to make sure that the bottom edge of a pull on sweater isn’t going to be too tight or long. Ensure that the leg holes are large enough and will not pinch into the legs. If you buy a sweater with a hood, it is best if it can be pulled back (or removed). Hoods can be great for the rain, but they can be restrictive if worn too long, and you never want them to occlude your dog’s eyesight! A hood that restricts vision is an unsafe hood.
Buyers who are new to picking out dog clothes may wonder whether a dog sweater is really necessary. Many dogs appreciate them though because the sweater keeps them warm, dry and cozy. Remember to introduce the new sweater to your dog gradually so he has time to get used to it!