The 10 Best Dog Sweaters
10. Zack & Zoey Nor'easter
- reflective stripe for safety
- cute paw print detailing
- no harness or leash slits
|Brand||Zack & Zoey|
|Model||UM210 20 43|
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
9. Anima Dog Bomber Jacket
- satin outer over polyester interior
- patriotic us flag patch
- paws can get tangled in the sleeves
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
8. AKC Reversible Cozy
- very soft and comfortable
- easy to loop your leash through it
- for small breeds only
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. Gooby Pull Over Vest
- available in eight colors
- protects the dog's entire body
- sizing runs a little big
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
6. Fashion Pet Arctic Coat
- rubber paw print patch
- has an opening for leash attachments
- not for use in wet weather
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Stinky G
- covers entire back of dog
- no way to pin the hood back
- too long for short-legged dogs
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
4. Ruffwear Climate Changer
- slim profile design
- comes in 3 different colors
- loop for attaching a light
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
3. Gooby Padded Cold Weather Vest
- multiple d-rings on the back
- fur guard zipper won't pull hairs
- snap button at the top of the zipper
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. Kurgo Loft
- made from microtomic ripstop nylon
- reflective material around zipper
- lightweight but still warm
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Ruffwear K-9 Utility Overcoat
- allows a full range of motion
- easy to adjust to dog's size
- can place a harness over it
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Fashion Or Necessity?
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.
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. 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.