Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dog Sweaters

Sweater Dog

Their Origins

Dogs first started wearing clothing in King Arthur's time in Britain (around 520 A.D.). Since knights had put coverings on their horses to protect them from their elements, they had the same idea for their dogs since they would travel with them. Now, you normally see them dressed up for fashion, some do dress up their dogs for warmth.

I never thought much about dog sweaters until Elvis joined my family. Elvis was a Rhodesian Ridgeback that my brother had picked up from a local breeder. Since Elvis was a short haired dog, he would need a sweater in the winter to protect him against the harsh winter elements. We always picked up a knit sweater from Pet Supplies Plus every season. It really made a difference with Elvis too. You could tell from looking at him that he didn't mind wearing the sweater at all. He has since passed but I will always remember how much sweaters helped him through our rough winters.

Dog Sweater Breeds

If you live in a cold weather climate and have a short-haired dog, if your dog falls into one of these breeds, you may want to get them a sweater for winter. Most of these dogs have short hair and/or thin skin. However, some short-haired dogs have a dense enough coat. If that's the case, you probably won't need a sweater for them. Here are some dog breeds that can fall into this category:

  • Basenjis

  • Chihuahuas

  • Chinese Crested

  • Dalmations

  • Dachshunds

  • Great Danes

  • Greyhounds

  • Italian Greyhounds

  • Weinmaraners

  • Xoloitzcuintle(Mexican Hairless Dog)

  • Yorkshire Terriers

What to look for

When you are looking for a good sweater for a dog, you want to find one in a knit that doesn't shed much fibers. If you have a dog with allergies, you will want to check the fabric contents to make sure it doesn't aggravate their allergies. Measuring a dog is important. The best fit for a dog sweater is by measuring the largest diameter of the chest area. Some packaged sweaters will give you a breed size, others will give a measurement in inches so it's always good to measure beforehand. Most sweaters are priced starting at $10.00. If you love to knit, you can make your own. There is a very good resource at this site.

Where To Get One

Chilly Dog
Pet Supplies Plus

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Acc essory of the Week: Dog Raincoat

Do any of you use sweaters for your dog?


  1. How 'bout Pugs? I think I recall Danish having to use a sweater occasionally with her late, lamented Dudley...

  2. It depends on the dog. Pugs have really coarse hair. If it seems like they get cold easily then definitely. I would also say if it's an older dog, that's a yes for sure since older dogs immune systems weaken with age.



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