Does My Dog Need a Sweater to Survive the Pittsburgh Winter?

February 4, 2018


The short answer is: it depends on the breed.


It’s sweater season! While doggie sweaters and coats are beyond cute, not every pup needs an extra layer of warmth to make it through the winter months. The Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard and German Shepherd will be uncomfortable wearing a sweater or jacket, and may overheat.  On the other hand, some dog breeds are simply not suited for freezing temperatures or snow.


Smaller dogs, toy breeds, and breeds that naturally have very short coats can benefit from a warm sweater or coat. The Chihuahua, Greyhound, and many terrier and pinscher breeds are good examples of dogs that need a little extra insulation. Short-legged breeds like Dachshunds and Corgis can benefit too since their stomachs are closer to the ground. Senior dogs with weaker immune systems will also appreciate an extra source of warmth.


Whether your dog sports a sweater to do his business, go on walks or simply stay cozy indoors, fit and comfort are crucial.  Don’t buy on cuteness alone.  It’s important to shop smart and consider the following before making your final purchase:

  • A good blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic will be less itchy against your pup’s skin.

  • Waterproof apparel is key to keeping your fur baby dry and warm.

  • The sweater or coat should adequately cover the neck and belly, and provide neck-to-tail protection.

  • Pay attention to where any straps, tags or snaps will lay against your dog’s coat to prevent unnecessary skin irritation.

  • The fit should be snug (but not tight) so that it doesn’t drag on the ground or get snagged on anything during normal movement or potty breaks.

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