It’s a nice, crisp autumn day. It’s Perfect for a walk down the street. So, you grab the perfect fall jacket and your dog’s leash. Then it comes to mind… knitted dog sweaters. Does my dog need a sweater? Of course! Dogs need clothes too! Especially if your dog is a little smaller with thinner fur. Shivering pups is a real thing, so go ahead and take a look at what you can do to make that walk in the brisk morning daylight just as delightful for your little walking buddy. Here’s what you need to know!
Does Your Dog Need A Sweater?
The first thing to know is that while most dogs would love to be your fashionista, not all dogs need sweaters to keep them warm. Certain breeds are more suited to sweaters, especially those with thin or short fur, or the smaller dogs and older dogs with weaker immune systems. Dogs with thin or short fur and a thinner frame have a difficult time physically keeping themselves warm, even curling up in a ball won’t do the trick. Compare a Chihuahua or Greyhound with a Siberian Husky or Saint Bernard. Some dogs are simply adapted to colder weather conditions than others. And, if your pup is a bit of a senior, you’ll probably be doing her a favor when she wants to relieve herself in a snowy yard. Dogs with weaker immune systems, and those that have diseases which impair hair growth, need more than just their own fur jacket to stay warm.
Dogs need sweaters when they have a more difficult time maintaining a stable body temperature on their own. Just like humans, they get cold when they don’t wear enough layers in cooler temperatures. If your dog gets wet from rain or snow, the risk is even greater for more severe issues like hypothermia. There are some signs to look out for when your dog needs a sweater. Sometimes it’s very obvious because they will shiver or tremble, and maybe even whimper. Other times, you’ll have to feel their ears or body. If they feel cold, your dog is too cold. Dogs will also move more slowly, appear hunched over, and keep the tail close. If he starts to seek shelter while walking, or appears to be limping, you bet even his paws are cold! If not taken care of, your pup may start showing signs of hypothermia: being very sleepy, moving clumsily, having difficulty breathing, and barely moving.
What to Consider When Buying A Sweater
When you go to pick out your dog’s sweater, you’ll want to look at the size, thickness, and comfort, and also for the ability for the dog to relieve (especially) himself.
The size of the sweater is important for how the sweater will fit your dog. You’ll want to measure her to find the proper fit, making sure that the measuring tape is loose not tight. You’ll measure across her back, then from the base of her tail to the base of her neck, then you’ll measure around the broadest part of her chest. You’ll also measure around the base of her neck. Keep in mind the sweater should be comfortable around her neck and the leg holes should not be too restricting. Once the sweater is on, let your pup walk around to try it out.
The thickness of your dog’s sweater should depend on how cold your dog tends to get. A thicker sweater will protect more against the wind and cold temperatures while a thinner sweater might breathe a bit more.
Comfort is an important element to consider and is ensured by a proper fit and certain materials. Just as wool may cause you to itch, certain materials may not be so kind if your dog is sensitive.
The Top 5 Knitted Dog Sweater Reviews
Take a look at several knitted dog sweaters to get you started!
Chilly Dog Boyfriend Dog Sweater
Buy now from Amazon
This sweater comes in eight sizes (XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL), fits 60-80 pound dogs, and is made from 100% wool and organic plant dyes. For approximately $35, people rated it a 4.4 out of 5 stars. Most people agreed the sweater fits their dog perfectly, some did not even measure their dog before purchasing a specific size. A 90lb doberman with sensitive skin loved the sweater, but was a little cold in the dead of winter, although the owner believes in 30 degrees the sweater would be wonderful. Another owner found the yarn to be too scratchy for sensitive skin.
Blueberry Pet Warm Fleece Twist Cable Knitted Pull Over Hooded Dog Sweater
Buy now from Amazon
This sweater comes in five sizes (10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 20”) and is made out of 100% acrylic yarn with fleece lining. At around $25, this sweater also has 4.4 out of 5 stars. A beagle found it very warm, and a 14-year old bull terrier no longer shivers when he wears it. One reviewer recommended being careful while measuring for the right size, another loved the comfort of the on/off pullover style. Overall, most people loved that the sweater was very thick, comfortable, and warm.
Blueberry Pet Winter Symphony Color-block Unisex Designer Dog Sweater or Dog Hoodie
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For around $25, this knitted dog sweater comes in five sizes (10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 20”) and is made out of 100% acrylic material. Also a 4.4 out of 5 star sweater, an American Pitt Bull Terrier found it a solid purchase. A yorkie also loved it. A French bulldog found the sweater to be perfect for moderate to chilly days and a toy poodle says it fits perfectly. Overall, people were slightly concerned that the colors did not resemble what was shown online, but the handle for the leash was a plus.
Crochet Dog Argyle Sweater Knitted for Small Doggie Puppy Cat Small
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This sweater comes in only one size and costs approximately $10. The sweater is a turtleneck made out of 100% acrylic. Reviewers agreed on a 4.6 out of 5 star review. A 12lb Chihuahua loved the sweater, although some other customers found the sizes to run either too big or too small. A Boston Terrier found the sweater to be very warm. Although several customers did not like that there was no handle for a leash, others found the sweater beautiful and fashionable.
Knitted Braid Plait Turtleneck Sweater Knitwear Outerwear for Dogs & Cats
Buy now from Amazon
This sweater comes in six sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL) for approximately $10. It is also made out of 100% acrylic yarn. For 4.3 out of 5 stars, several cats loved the sweater, especially when they had to be shaved and it was winter time. Some pet owners did not recommend the sweater for male dogs though because the sweater went back too far. A majority of customers found the sweater satisfactory for cats who would scratch their undersides too much, or who had biting problems due to an infection.
DIY Knitted Dog Sweaters
Want to knit your dog’s sweater? It’s not as difficult as you may believe! As with any project, you’ll want to gather your materials then start following the DIY steps.
First, you’ll measure your little model to create a couple rectangles. Measure from the beginning of his underbelly on one side, over his back to the beginning of his underbelly on the other side to get the width of the first rectangle. Then measure from the base of his tail to the base of his neck to get the length. And knit!
For the second rectangle, measure his underbelly from the inside of one leg to the inside of the other leg. This is the width of the second rectangle. The length of this rectangle will be half the length of your first rectangle. Knit and then sew your first two rectangles together.
Now you’re going to fit the sweater on your puppy model and measure the between the two sides where the sweater reaches the neck. The length of this will be 1/5 of the length of the first rectangle. Once you knit this, sew it to the rest of your sweater. If you wish, you can decorate your sweater with different color yarn or buttons!
If you want, you could follow a knitted dog sweater pattern. There are plenty of patterns online for free with instructions on how to follow them.
While dog sweaters are definitely very fashionable, many dogs do get very cold either indoors or outside in the colder months. Figuring out which dog sweater will best meet your dog’s needs is very important and should not be taken too lightly. Once your dog finds a style he or she likes and your dog is happily warm, the both of you can enjoy a walk on a wintry day!