No owner of a dog will like to see its canine sick. Buying a sweater for your dog is one of the ways to keep it safe and comfortable during winter. While others think it’s only little pups that need a sweater, this doesn’t seem right; big dogs also need large dog sweaters that’ll keep them warm and cozy.
Getting a sweater for your big dog is something you want to know better before deciding, to avoid harming your dog.
There are many cheap large dog sweaters available;; choosing the right one is not easy, so here are a few steps to consider before selecting a sweater for your big dog:
Does Your Big Dog Need a Sweater
The first step is to determine whether your big dog needs a sweater.
Most dogs can adjust their body temperature to stay warm during winter. Therefore there’s no need to buy coats for them. Below are some exceptions;
- Short-haired big dogs, especially those with a single coat
- Thin dogs without enough fat to keep them warm
- Big dogs with a weak immune system or medical conditions like arthritis or cancer.
- Big dogs that are too old to keep their body temperature stable.
However, if your big dog has thick hair, enough fat, and an excellent immune system, there’s no need to buy a coat for it.
There’s a popular myth that large dogs don’t need a sweater; contrary to this, there are breeds of large dogs like greyhounds that need cardigans due to their short non-thick hair and little body fat.
Measure Your Dog
To avoid wasting funds on sweaters that don’t fit, first measure your big dog.
When measuring the dog, make it stand up on a flat surface looking straight ahead. Someone can help you by standing in front of it holding its attention while you take the measurement.
Take a measuring tape and follow this guide to measure your dog:
- Measure the widest part of the neck snugly. Lose it lightly that you can fit a finger in between.
- Also measure the back from the base of the neck to the start of the tail.
- You’ll equally want to measure the circumference of your dog’s chest & the widest part of its rib cage while it is standing still.
- For females dogs, measure the narrowest part of the waist, while for males, measure their waist from of their sheath.
- Most big dogs require an XXL size sweater, but it is good to take the exact size.
Make Sure It Fits Properly
When choosing a sweater for your large dog, you need to understand your dog’s good fit to ensure it’s comfortable and warm. When a sweater doesn’t fit your dog, it can suffer from restricted breathing, gets sore spots on the skin, have difficulty going, and its movement could be restricted.
If you observe that your big dog is uncomfortable wearing a cardigan, don’t force it; it might not be the right fit.
Choose a Functional and Comfortable Sweater
A sweater that provides the required comfort is the best for your big dog. This sweater doesn’t cover the genital area to allow the dog to pee easily.
A functional sweater will allow you to attach your dog’s leash or harness easily.
The sweater also allows for easy dressing and undressing. Cardigans with long sleeves are usually not comfortable for big dogs as it will be hard for you to put on and take off due to their broader shoulders and thick chest plus neck.
Choose the Best Material
Before buying clothes for ourselves, we always look for good, durable material. When buying a sweater for your big dog, consider this as it can make a huge difference. Here are some readily available materials plus their pros and cons
- Wool: They are cheap, durable, and keep your fluffy friend warm. They can be itchy and require to be hand washed.
- Fleece layers: These have a warm inner surface to keep your four-legged friend comfortable. They are also water-resistant.
- Acrylic and wool blend: They are soft and easily washable, with both hand and machine. Sweaters made from this blend provide warmth and comfort to dogs.
- Cotton: This is the best natural option to keep your hound warm during extreme winter.
Safety Is crucial
Make sure the sweaters don’t have additional fabric that your canines can easily chew or swallow. These include zippers, hookers, tags, and buttons. To keep your dog safe and avoid choking hazards, make sure:
- It wears sweaters under your supervision only. When you are too busy to supervise, it’s best to leave it without a cardigan.
- Use jackets and cardigans outdoors only; using them indoors can cause overheating.
Follow the Rule of Thumb
Following the thumb rule will let you know the right time to wear a cardigan for your dog. As a general rule, when it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably cold for your Canine. Experts suggest that temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius can cause frostbite and hypothermia in dogs.
Another way to know if your dog needs a sweater is when its body is shivering. Once you see that, please hurry up and dress it in a warm cardigan.
Decide on What Type of Cardigan Your Big Dog Needs
The sweater to buy for your big dog depends on your location and how harsh the weather is. While knitted and fleece sweaters keep your dog warm on a cold day, you need a waterproof coat to protect them from wind, snow, and rain.
During spring and autumn, when the outside is moderately cold, your furry friend needs a hoodie that doesn’t cover the entire back & provides freedom of movement. These hoodies are usually manufactured from cotton knitted fabrics and don’t stick close to the dog’s body like sweaters and jackets.
However, animal welfare experts warn dog owners to be cautious when clothing their canines, as some dogs overheat because they don’t need sweaters. Likewise, others overheat because the cloth is left on them for too long.