December 17, 2014

To Sweater Or Not To Sweater?

Author: Gail Brasie


The Low Down On Dog Sweaters From Your Professional Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers At Floofins & Company

As another Chicago winter sets in, it’s a good time to ask, does your dog need a coat or sweater when venturing outside in the cold? Oak Park, IL = cold. Oak Brook, IL = Cold. Ask our dog walkers, our service area = cold. While some people think coats or sweaters for dogs are silly-looking, it’s the utility of the garment that’s essential here, and for some breeds winter outerwear is a must.

Some dogs don’t need sweaters or coats—generally, breeds from far northern climates (think Huskies, Malamutes and Labrador Retrievers) are built to withstand colder temperatures, and using a coat or sweater can actually put them at risk of overheating if they’re galloping around outside.

Other breeds definitely do benefit from additional protection against the elements. Small dogs, like Boston Terriers, thin dogs like Greyhounds, and short-haired dogs like Bulldogs and Pit-type dogs aren’t really built for the harsh Chicago winter. Old dogs and dogs who are ill or have medical conditions also need coats to brave the cold, since they may have more difficulty regulating their body temperature.

Clothing for dogs is a booming market, so luckily you should have no trouble finding a style and type to fit your needs. You can find warm fleece styles, quilted styles, rain-resistant styles, and more, as well as knit sweaters and cozy sweatshirts. Because we’re in Chicago, finding coats that are wind- and water-resistant is a huge plus. Several styles have leash-openings too for dogs who wear harnesses to walk, so you can thread the leash through the top of the coat to walk with ease.

You want your dog’s coat to fit snugly so they won’t squirm out of it during a walk, but not so tight it’s uncomfortable for them or restricts their movement. Jot down your dog’s measurements before shopping. Big-box stores have plenty of coats and sweaters on offer, but consider shopping at your local dog boutiques too.

Remember, even with a coat on, your dog’s walks should be shorter in the winter months, and in the case of extreme weather, quick potty breaks outside and lots of cozy indoor playtime.

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