One of my first experiences as a dog owner was walking my new puppy in a park and being approached by a random person who asked me, “Shouldn’t your dog be wearing a sweater?” I stared at the woman like she had two heads. “No, she’s a dog,” I responded. “She’s fine.” At the time I thought only crazy dog people dressed their dogs in clothes. But little did I know, that random person was right. Forget the anthropomorphic cute factor; the cold, hard truth is that most dogs do need jackets. But it depends on the type of dog. According to PetMD, small dogs and short-haired dogs (like French Bulldogs and Chihuahuas) always need winter gear because they get colder easily. You can also add short-legged breeds like Dachshunds and Corgis to that list, since their stomachs are closer to the ground and more likely to brush against the snow.And because they have weaker immune systems, it’s a good idea to suit up older dogs, too. Senior dogs, dogs with illnesses, or dogs who suffer from kidney or heart issues should always wear a jacket or sweater during the colder months to protect them from hypothermia.

Same goes for puppies. However, large breeds that don’t have thin, short-haired coats do not need jackets. Siberian Huskies, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds — these dogs have coats biologically designed to keep them warm in the winter, and an additional jacket or sweater will only add to their discomfort. But regardless of your dog’s size or age, when dressing your dog in a jacket, make sure to watch their behavior for signs of overheating. These signs can be excessive panting, scratching at the clothing, or just a general lack of enthusiasm when the jacket is on. It’s also a good idea to stick to jackets that are zipper-less, windproof and water resistent to keep your pup dry and warm in the snowy months. With these tips in mind, your dog is guaranteed to stay comfy and warm all winter long.

Skip to content