The 10 Best Dog Sweaters

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This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Although pooches have fur, not all are suited to cold climates, and sometimes we give them such short hairdos that they need a little extra warmth from a jacket. Even when temperature isn't a concern, pups just look so cute in dog sweaters, that it's hard not to dress them up sometimes. We found canine coats that are fashionable, comfortable, and should stand up to wear and tear. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Ruffwear Climate Changer

2. Fitwarm Knitted Jacket

3. Blueberry Pet Nordic Fair Isle Snowflake

Editor's Notes

May 01, 2020:

Some want a sweater to keep their furry family member warm in cold weather, while others just need something lightweight for the occasional chill, and others still are just looking to up Fido's fashion game. With this in mind, we made sure to collect dog sweaters that would appeal to each of those needs.

When it comes to keeping your animal from shivering, the Chilly Dog Boyfriend has you covered, as its made entirely of cozy wool. Once equipped with a wardrobe like that, if you just add a heater to your pup's dog house, he should be set for the winter. With a waterproof exterior and thick, warm interior, the Zack & Zoey Nor'easter is also a smart pick for harsh weather. The Fashion Pet Arctic had material that was too bulky while not providing much protection against the elements, so it had to go.

Pets can be hesitant to wear clothing as it is, so any feature that makes a sweater easy to put on and keep on a dog is a plus. For that reason, we like the Ellie Dog Wear Adventure ELD-h005 and the Ruffwear Climate Changer, both of which have full-length zippers. We removed the Gooby Padded Cold Weather Vest as its zipper gets stuck too often.

It's so important that your pooch is comfortable in its outfit, so we appreciate that the Fitwarm Knitted Jacket has roomy armholes, and the Gooby Pullover is soft and stretchy. The Kurgo Loft lost its place because, even though there's no one dog sweater that suits all perfectly, it had an awkward design that fits most breeds in an uncomfortable way.

Special Honors

Supreme Paw Supply Fur Baby Coffee Dog Sweater If your dog is a fashionista who likes to wear designer names just like its owner, the Supreme Paw Supply Fur Baby Coffee Dog Sweater, with its imitation Fendi logo all over it, is a good pick. Made from wool, it should provide plenty of warmth, and it's available in six sizes to fit small and medium canines.

Naked Cashmere Tie Dye Dog Sweater If you're looking to spoil your pup while keeping him warm, the Naked Cashmere Tie Dye Dog Sweater, made of 100-percent cashmere and featuring a nine-gauge knit, should meet your needs. It has a stylish turtleneck collar and ribbed trim, as well as its playful namesake pattern. An opening is conveniently placed at the neck for a leash.

4. Ruffwear Overcoat

5. Ellie Dog Wear Adventure ELD-h005

6. Zack & Zoey Nor'easter

7. Chilly Dog Boyfriend

8. Gooby Pullover

9. Zack & Zoey Basic Hoodie

10. Stinky G Aran

Fashion Or Necessity?

Finally, sweaters can be used for decorative and celebratory purposes during Halloween and the Christmas holidays.

Some people might be inclined to think that clothing a pet is done simply for display or as a cute gimmick, so owners can follow a trend of celebrities outfitting their small Chihuahuas with pink clothes and shiny collars. But the fact of the matter is that, while there is an element of fashion to articles of clothing for animals, they also serve a functional purpose by helping to protect your furry friend who may be vulnerable to sudden changes in weather.

Depending on the size and breed of dog wearing the sweater, it serves several benefits. If a dog's natural coat is particularly thin or short, then a sweater is a good idea to help keep them warm when walking in the cold. A dog's normal temperature typically ranges between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the animal could survive outdoors without a sweater for a certain period of time, outfitting them with one certainly isn't a bad idea when it comes to preventing excessive loss of body heat or hypothermia in such harsh conditions. Aging canines and those with compromised immune systems or diseases impairing hair growth also benefit from wearing sweaters. Finally, sweaters can be used for decorative and celebratory purposes during Halloween and the Christmas holidays.

Considering a canine's overall shape and anatomy, dog sweaters are typically loose and flexible, making them easy to slide over a dog's head and body. Common production materials include cotton, polyester, and fleece. Sweaters are usually tube-shaped with a wide neck hole and two additional holes for a dog's legs. Some are equipped with straps that fold under the animal's chest and secure with Velcro, buttons, or snaps. The sweaters also come in a variety of sizes based on the length of the animal's torso.

Outfitting Your Pooch

Choosing a sweater for your pup involves several considerations. First, one must make a choice about the materials that will make the dog most comfortable. Granted, this may take some trial and error, but in particularly cold weather, acrylic and fleece are excellent alternatives to scratchy and heavy wool.

If you think you'll be walking your dog on rainy days, there are hooded options available, as well.

Next comes sizing. This is a crucial step in the process, since dog breeds are unique in terms of their physical characteristics. Ensuring the dog will not have his freedom of movement constricted by neck or leg holes that are too narrow is an important thing to keep in mind. Spend some time measuring your dog's neck, chest, legs, shoulders, and overall length. Once you have these values, it will make the process of finding the right size much easier than if you were to go into your purchase blind.

Be aware that Fido will eventually get his sweater dirty. Dogs have a lot of energy and can be quite messy, which is all the more reason to invest in something that's relatively easy to clean and is ideally machine-washable. Also, keep in mind that the sweater can help protect the animal from some of the mud and other elements of the outdoors that would otherwise find their way into that shiny white fur coat. The sweater won't prevent a mess indefinitely, but it can certainly help minimize the consequences of your furry child's love affair with the dirt or getting soaked in the rain.

If you think you'll be walking your dog on rainy days, there are hooded options available, as well. Reflective striping can also be beneficial for walking in the dark. Some dog sweaters are also reversible in design, with different patterns on each side. Given their availability in so many bright colors and styles, it's really up to personal preference how you decide to match your sweater of choice with your dog's natural coloration.

Adorning Pets Through The Ages

While pet fashion has become a popular trend in modern times, the concept of clothing dogs has quite a long history. The dog collar, for example, was one of the first decorative articles of clothing that humans used to outfit their pets. This practice dates back nearly 12,000 years. The ancient Egyptians revered the dog as a hunter and protector of the home, using the collar as both a tool for restraint and a status symbol.

This fashion trend continued to evolve from ancient times through the royal courts of Europe in the 1400s, with dog clothing becoming more sophisticated.

This fashion trend continued to evolve from ancient times through the royal courts of Europe in the 1400s, with dog clothing becoming more sophisticated. Objects of adornment included a wide variety of collars, jewels, and coats. Louis XI of France is said to have outfitted his beloved pet, Cher Ami, in a scarlet velvet collar with pearls and rubies. By the time of the Renaissance, dogs were no longer just a royal luxury. They became affordable to the middle class, with accessories that included leashes and name tags being made from more common materials.

By the 1800s, the popularity of dog clothing branched out to include the production of sweaters and coats, as well as boutiques that were specifically dedicated to canine fashion.

By the beginning of the 21st century, both the internet and mass production of coats and sweaters allowed the dog fashion industry to explode on the scene, making it supremely easy to find that perfect holiday sweater for one's poodle or a coat to protect Fido from the elements. The popularity of this trend still remains strong today.

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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