Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?
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Thread: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

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    Member Juniper's mom's Avatar
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    Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I was reading this article:

    http://www.petfinder.com/pet-health/...-pet-tips.html

    And I have to say, finding it a little bit hysterical about dogs and cold weather.

    "Never let your dog run in snow, he may lose his scent."

    I have a medium haired dog (she has some shepherd in her), who would die if we put any sort of clothing on her. I mean, she gets paralyzed and can't move. We live in NYC, where it's unlikely to dip any lower than the teens, worst case scenario.

    Apart from very small dogs, who I imagine might have trouble with the cold, I wonder about most other dogs sporting clothing for short walks. It seems like a very anthropomorphizing thing to do -- imagining that because we wear coats, our dogs might also need them.

    I mean, I remember reading White Fang and Call of the Wild. Dogs have instinctual ways of dealing with the cold without having to stop in doggy J Crew, right?

    Am I crazy? Dog sweaters -- yay or nay?

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    It depends on the dog, the weather, what you're doing, and how long you're out there.

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    Senior Member RoughCollie's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I think it depends on the dog and on the weather. Aidan has a single coat. When it is cold and/or rainy, he wears either a sweater or an insulated, waterproof winter coat. He won't get off the front porch without it if he needs it.

    When we had our collie, he did not need a coat, rain or snow. He had a double coat and the fur layer never got wet. I bought him a raincoat once, and he had it off in about 2 seconds. He didn't need it anyway.
    Aidan is a 3 year old, 50 lb., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    My two little white dogs in my signature have single coats ... you can see their pink skin through their fur. The smallest one, Leeo would literally fall down and not get up if he does not have a sweater on in the snow. If I were not there he would probably have frozen to death as a pup.

    OOOPS ..... almost forgot the proof ............

    Last edited by Abbylynn; 01-05-2012 at 12:38 PM.


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    Senior Member PatchworkRobot's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I'm rarely a fan of dog clothes (though sometimes I see someone and their dog in petsmart and just have to go "D'AWWWWE") but they do have their place. For example, when it gets below 50 degrees out my boy starts shivering if he's outside for more than 5 minutes. Therefore, he has a jacket. He also has jammies because I keep the house cold at night and when I took him out of the crate in the morning his ears would be cold. He LOVES the jammies and will now bring them to me, drop them in my lap, and stare at me expectantly until I put them on him.


    Holy jammies, Batman!

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    Super Moderator Kuma'sMom's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I was reading this article:

    http://www.petfinder.com/pet-health/...-pet-tips.html

    And I have to say, finding it a little bit hysterical about dogs and cold weather.

    "Never let your dog run in snow, he may lose his scent."

    I have a medium haired dog (she has some shepherd in her), who would die if we put any sort of clothing on her. I mean, she gets paralyzed and can't move. We live in NYC, where it's unlikely to dip any lower than the teens, worst case scenario.

    Apart from very small dogs, who I imagine might have trouble with the cold, I wonder about most other dogs sporting clothing for short walks. It seems like a very anthropomorphizing thing to do -- imagining that because we wear coats, our dogs might also need them.

    I mean, I remember reading White Fang and Call of the Wild. Dogs have instinctual ways of dealing with the cold without having to stop in doggy J Crew, right?

    Am I crazy? Dog sweaters -- yay or nay?
    I'm just wondering why you care so much about what other people do with their dogs, provided they are loved and well cared for.

    For the record, Kuma can NOT handle the cold weather without at least a sweater, and on most winter days, a sweater AND a jacket, and often boots as well. He loves his clothes, but they ARE a necessity through the winter.

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    Senior Member Active Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Depends on the dog, Miko could care less if he is in cold weather. Ava on the other hand was FREEZING when we went camping, she was shivering all the time. We literally had to put her in the sleeping bag, she chose to stay there all night because she knew if she didn't she would be cold.

    I also would like to suggest that white fang and call of the wild the dogs were double coated dogs such as husky mixes. Ava for example has a medium coat that is single coated. She has no insulation. I am sure she would survive in the cold, but I would rather her be comfortable and able to enjoy herself, instead of freezing her butt off. There are also dogs such as pit bulls that have anything but a winter friendly coat, dogs that are native to an area are generally prepared to endure the weather. Such as Siberians/Mals for the arctic or Saluki/Basenjis for the desert. They would not have been bred the way they had if their environment was different. Today things are a bit different and we have dogs in environments they weren't bred to inhabit, that's not to say there is anything wrong with that, its just sometimes you have to adjust thing to make it work.

    Now I am not a fan of putting high heels on Chis but hey thats just me, I also find tutus to be a bit excessive if the owner is doing it as if their dog is an accessory.
    Last edited by Active Dog; 01-04-2012 at 10:40 PM.

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    PatchworkRobot - OMG! ....I LOVE those jammies!!!


    ~While you were busy judging others your closet door came open and a lot of skeletons fell out.~

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    Senior Member lauren17's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    It really depends on the dog. Of my two little dogs ( shih tzu mix and a maltese mix) one doesn't seem to mind the cold and the other is absolutely miserable in the winter without a sweater. Both dogs are the same size and have similar coats but Preston just seems to get cold easier. My larger dogs don't have a problem but they also have nice thick double coats to keep them warm without needing a sweater.

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    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Also, it doesn't just apply to small. Short coated breeds are very susceptible to the cold. We've been putting a sweat shirt on a Pit at work because her fur is SO short and it's cold out. Roll around in the snow in your bare skin.

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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I live in Canada. It gets cold here. The local humane society recommends dogs with short fur wear coats in winter. I judge my dog's need for coat and booties day to day. We've had unseasonably warm weather here lately. I haven't been putting either on him lately, but for anything more than a quick pee on colder days, he dons the full gear. He also usually wears a reflective vest in the early morning and late evening walks because we have few street-lights around here. I want to get him a better coat with the reflective gear built in.

    Some dogs are made for cold climates, some aren't. The decision to don a coat and booties should be based on your dog, your climate and how long you plan to be out.

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    Senior Member AussieNerdQueen's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    My chihuahuas harness is a little dress.
    Winnie the Chihuahua, heart dog
    Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea ~ Robert. A. Heinlein
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    Senior Member TheBearCat's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I want those jammies!
    My only issues with clothing is if they make movement difficult and the dog uncomfortable.
    Once it hits the 20's and 30's, like today, Andy wears his sweater. He's a short coated dog with very thin hair on his extremities and virtually none on his underbelly. It's a simple article of clothing, it does not constrict his movement in any way and he doesn't mind it. If he's being sent out on a potty break, I don't bother but I guarantee you he will race into the house once he's done. If he's spending extended time outdoors, then he will definitely be wearing it.
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    Senior Member Active Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Ava in my sweater on the camping trip, the morning was probably in the 30s


    Miko clearly not bothered by the weather in the least.

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    Senior Member jersey_gray's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I got my Chihuahua a sweater but she HATES it so I only put it on her if it gets really, really cold. I think at four pounds she should have something for the cold, apparently she doesn't think so. My twenty pound Terrier/Chi cross would love a sweater, should get him one-he burrows under the covers (or laundry pile) every chance he gets. He's extremely short-coated, like a Dobie or a smooth-coated Dachschund. The Chi's coat is actually pretty thick. The Lab of course doesn't get any clothing. She's got plenty of coat to keep her warm.

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    Senior Member Freya's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    I live in canada. Its pretty cold here. i got sweaters for all three of my dogs. I might even get boots because when were outside and its super cold. they will start picking up their paws and cry, I rush them inside right away. we try again later on in the day when its not as cold

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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    My dogs have lots of coats and sweaters, for obvious reasons. Sometimes we even dress them in layers.

    Not all dogs were bred to be weatherproof, especially when you're talking about the toy breeds.

    "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~Roger Caras

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    Member Discodobe's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper's mom View Post
    I was reading this article:

    http://www.petfinder.com/pet-health/...-pet-tips.html

    And I have to say, finding it a little bit hysterical about dogs and cold weather.

    "Never let your dog run in snow, he may lose his scent."

    I have a medium haired dog (she has some shepherd in her), who would die if we put any sort of clothing on her. I mean, she gets paralyzed and can't move. We live in NYC, where it's unlikely to dip any lower than the teens, worst case scenario.

    Apart from very small dogs, who I imagine might have trouble with the cold, I wonder about most other dogs sporting clothing for short walks. It seems like a very anthropomorphizing thing to do -- imagining that because we wear coats, our dogs might also need them.

    I mean, I remember reading White Fang and Call of the Wild. Dogs have instinctual ways of dealing with the cold without having to stop in doggy J Crew, right?

    Am I crazy? Dog sweaters -- yay or nay?

    Yay!

    If it's a single/short coat breed, especially one with little body fat, then yes I really do think they need a coat. Lottie our Doberman wears a coat in the winter when she goes out, if she is running around being very active she doesn't need it, but when she is just walking around outside during the day, she does feel the cold.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Tankstar's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Some breeds just dont have the coat made for the winter.

    I put a jacket on my beagle when its really cold. Such as the -20C it was yesterday. He would freeze in those temps. He still needs walks. so thats how he gets them. I have seen him sit and shiver in +5c so if he is cold then, he would be very cold yesterday.

    My other dog has a double coat, but I still watch him. If he seems cold, we go inside, or Ill buy him a jacket next too. which I doubt ill need, but he is a older dog, so I watch him closley.

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    Junior Member BikerMama's Avatar
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    Re: Do dogs *really* need to wear sweaters?

    Mikko and Rowdy don't seem to mind the cold here. Granted, living in Dallas can't compare to the northern states, Canada, etc., but we do have winter. They love to be outside as long as we'll let them; they don't shiver; they don't seem to feel cold at all.

    Rascal, on the other hand... very short coat... feels the cold, and hates it. He wears sweaters a lot!! and fleeces....

    Bella wears her share of sweaters, too. I figure next winter her coat will be all grown in and she won't need it... but she's so stinkin' cute in them. And I admit, she has some dresses, too. Hey, she's my only girl.... give a mama a break.

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