Learning About the Boxer Dog Breed

Should Dogs Wear Clothing In Cold Weather?

by Leslie Gibson

You may wonder if your dog should wear some type of clothing in the winter. Clothing may be more helpful for a dog than most people realize and could guard against frostbite and hypothermia. However, there are also some times when you should refrain from dressing up your beloved pet. Here are some reasons why you might want to dress up your dog and when you should let them go unclothed.

When Are Jackets and Sweaters Beneficial?

Most animals are well-equipped for the outdoors, provided that they are acclimated and have the proper amount of fur. However, sometimes adding a sweater is helpful in the following situations.

You Have a Small Dog

Small dogs tend to lose body heat faster than larger dogs.

Your Dog Is Shaved or Has Very Short Hair

Extremely short or sparse hair is not as insulating as long hair.

Your Area Is Experiencing a Severe Cold Snap

Most dogs are fine with average winter temperatures, but adding a bit of clothing during those extremely cold times can help keep their body temperatures stable.

Your Dog Tolerates Clothing Well

Dogs that like or at least tolerate or ignore clothing are less likely to rip it off their bodies.

You Are Available to Supervise Your Pet

Dogs may choke or get a limb caught in straps and ties, so supervision and quick rescue are important.

When Should You Ditch the Dog Clothing?

Of course, there are certain situations where you should probably not dress up your dog in any type of clothing for more than a few minutes. Here are some situations where you might want to think twice about dressing up your dog.

Your Area Is Experiencing Hot Temperatures

Dogs quickly overheat when air temperatures are high, and clothing traps in body heat.

Your Dog Has a Lot of Fur

Thick, rich fur protects your dog from the cold and may also be helpful when the weather is warm, especially if your dog is double-coated.

Your Dog Stays Indoors

The temperatures inside your home are usually sufficient to keep your dog warm.

Your Dog Doesn't Like Clothing

Never force a dog to wear clothing if they clearly hate it because they may injure themselves when they try to get out of it.

Do not rely on clothing to keep your dog totally warm all the time. Limit time outdoors in extremely cold and windy weather to prevent hypothermia. If you notice that your dog is acting ill after spending time out in the cold or is showing signs of frostbite on exposed areas, then bring them to an animal hospital to be checked out.

For more information, contact a resource like the Center-Sinai Animal Hospital.