Which dog sweaters are best?
In the colder seasons, you may notice your dog shaking and shivering. Even though our canine companions are covered in fur, they too sometimes need the extra warmth of clothing. A dog sweater not only keeps your pal insulated but can also be a fashion statement.
There are lots of styles of dog sweaters to choose from on the market, from utilitarian to high fashion. You’ll also need to take in other considerations like size and harness compatibility before buying. Our shopping guide has you covered with everything you need to know, plus we’re offering a short list of favorites at the end, including our top pick, the Blueberry Pet hooded pullover, which will keep your best friend warm and fashionable.
What to know before you buy a dog sweater
Styles of dog sweaters
Knit sweaters are the classic style of dog sweaters that look like miniature versions of their human counterparts. Knit fabric has a looser weave, so it’s breathable while still being warm. Cable knit or classic knit sweater styles are easy to find.
Hoodies feature a hood that’s more fashionable than functional, although they do add some warmth around the neck area. Typically hoodies are made of sweatshirt material, which is easy to get on and off a canine buddy. Velcro and zipper fasteners are common on this style and also make it less stressful for nervous or arthritic dogs.
Fleece is a superior option for warmth. This synthetic polyester material mimics the warmth of wool without the itchiness. It feels plush and soft against the body and is also easy to get on and off your pup.
Christmas sweaters are a substyle of classic knit sweaters that have Christmas-themed designs like snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas trees, and reindeer. Since the holiday falls in a winter month, this is a popular, festive look for dog sweaters.
Many brands only make dog sweaters for small dogs, which means sizing can get a bit skewed. For example, an XL size you’d expect to fit a large breed, like a mastiff, is actually more appropriate for a French bulldog. The best way to determine the right size for your dog is to consult the sizing chart and take your dog’s measurements.
A too-tight dog sweater can uncomfortably rub or dig into your dog, in particular under the front legs. Zippers, buckles, or buttons can leave indentation marks on your dog when he or she lies down. Pay close attention to signs that a new sweater is uncomfortable or even hurting your dog. In general, dog sweaters shouldn’t be left on 24/7.
Knitted dog sweaters are sometimes made from wool, a very warm material, but more often made from acrylic. Acrylic isn’t as warm but easier to care for and less expensive. Hoodies are made from cotton, cotton blends, or polyester — all washable materials. Fleece is a polyester material that also can be thrown in the washing machine.
One complication with dog sweaters is harness or leash compatibility. Some sweaters for small dogs feature a sewn-in D-ring to which you can attach a leash. However, if your dog pulls a lot this can rip out. Other sweaters provide a slit through which you can pull a leash if your dog is wearing a harness underneath the sweater. Some dog owners simply put the harness on over the sweater, avoiding the issue altogether.
Colors and prints
Dog sweaters come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and prints. Solid colors and color-block styles are widely available. To add personal style, you can select plaid, polka dot, hearts, stars, or all sorts of patterns/prints offered by various manufacturers.
How much you can expect to spend on a dog sweater
Dog sweaters start at $10 and go up to $50. For higher quality or larger sizes, expect to pay $30 or more.
Dog sweater FAQ
Q. Can I machine wash and dry my dog sweater?
A. Most dog sweaters are designed to be machine washable. Just as you would check the care instructions for a regular sweater, be sure to read the tag for correct care of your dog sweater. While some can be tumble dried, many models need to be air dried.
Q. How do I know if my dog needs a sweater?
A. Signs that your dog may need a sweater are shivering or shaking, burrowing under blankets, or hanging out near a radiator or heat source. Dog sweaters are appropriate for wear indoors on cold days.
What are the best dog sweaters to buy?
Top dog sweater
Our take: A stylish hoodie made from sweater material that’s both warm and cute.
What we like: Attractive color-block design. Acrylic material is soft and stretchy. Features a leash opening. Several size options fitting up to a 29-inch chest.
What we dislike: Not ideal for long-bodied dog breeds like Dachshunds.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Top dog sweater for the money
Our take: Riffing on the famous athletic brand Adidas, this sporty “Adidog” hoodie is affordable and cozy.
What we like: Soft, warm cotton material is versatile for different weather conditions. Cute color options and lots of sizes to choose from. Machine washable.
What we dislike: Small fit. Going up a size or even two may be necessary.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: A classic and cheerful holiday sweater for the Christmas season.
What we like: Features a festive red-and-white reindeer design. Runs in sizes XS to XXL, which fits up to a 26-inch chest. Affordable.
What we dislike: Acrylic material feels a bit thin and is prone to tear.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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