What are Dog Sweaters?

dog wearing green sweater

Dog sweaters are a popular form of pet apparel that can be both useful and fashionable. They can be especially useful for short-haired, elderly, and small dogs, who may not be able to keep themselves warm effectively during chilly temperatures. The sweaters are available in many styles, sizes, and fabrics, including woolfleececotton, and even cashmere. Originally designed to keep pets protected from the elements, this and other pet apparel are now quite trendy.

A comfortable fit and ease of getting on and off are important features to look for in a sweater for a dog. The animal’s weight, measurements, and physique are all important to take into account for a good fit. For body length, pet owners should measure their dog from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. Neck, chest, and leg length measurements are also important, with the chest measurement ultimately being the deciding factor for a correct fit. In general, it is better for a sweater to be slightly large than too snug.

When purchasing a dog sweater, shoppers should check to see that the neck and leg openings are sufficient to allow free movement. Some have sleeves for all four legs; others fit only over the front legs. Similar to the human’s version, a dog cardigan features a zipper, which can be helpful when dressing the dog. Sleeveless sweaters are easier to get on and off, but don’t provide as much warmth as sleeved versions.

pomeranian dog wearing pink sweater

For warmth, pet owners can look for dog sweaters that are made of wool and fit over all four legs. Construction quality is as important as price, and shoppers should look for soft and sturdy materials. They should check any zippers or other fastener attachments to ensure that they will not get caught in the pet’s fur.

Some dog sweaters feature hoods or turtlenecks, and many are decorated with bows, attached necklaces, or printed logos. Other varieties resemble a shirt/vest combo and some include matching hats. They may be hand or machine washable, so consumers should check the manufacturer’s label before buying.

Custom designed dog sweaters are often hand knitted or crocheted. Seasonal and holiday sweaters are available, as well as ones made in lighter weight fabrics, such as cotton, for spring temperatures. Some even convert from a sweater to a raincoat for extra functionality. They come in a variety of price ranges, from economical to haute couture. More choices are available for toy and miniature breed dogs, but several online pet businesses also feature pet apparel for large breeds.

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