How to Pick the Right Winter Clothing for Your Dog

With the cold winter weather creeping in, there’s no better time to update your dog’s wardrobe than there is now (although, do you REALLY need an excuse to buy adorable clothing for your pup?).

With so many jerseys, sweatshirts, and jackets to choose from, how do you know which is the right fit for your hound?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing dog clothing in winter.

Do dogs like wearing clothes?

If this is your first time jumping into paw-coutre, you’re probably wondering if your doggo will even LIKE wearing clothes. With brisk winds in the Cape and freezing temperatures in the highveld, it’s a no-brainer that your thin-skinned dog would probably appreciate a nice, warm jacket to ward off the chill.

The only way to know for sure though is to put it on and find out. There are clear indicators that’ll tell you whether your doggo is tolerant of clothing. If your loveable hound is doing all those regular dog things, like jumping on the couch, begging for food and playing, then it’s probably a non-issue.

However, if you’ve put on a jersey and they’re running around, biting, rubbing, or scratching in an attempt to tear it off—that’s a good indicator that they’re uncomfortable. This may be disappointing to hear, but all is not lost. This could be a simple matter of the dog clothing not being the right fit.

Be sure to check whether the jersey or jacket is too tight or restricting. If that’s not the case, then it could either be the material or your hound simply does not enjoy wearing clothes. If it’s the latter, respect your dogs’ wishes and rather wrap them in a cosy blanket to keep them warm.

Which dogs should give clothing a skip?

Many pet parents often wonder if it’s cruel to dress up their pooch. This is entirely dependent on a number of factors.

The fit of the dog clothing

Real talk: The worst thing you can do to your dog is buy clothing that’s too big or too small. If it’s too big, it’ll face the wrath of potty breaks.

If it’s too small, well, that’s just plain uncomfortable. Be a pal and measure your dog’s neck, chest and body in order to get the perfect fit.

Check out our handy infographic that will show you how to do just that:

How to measure your dog like a pro:

Back: Place the tape measure on your dog’s shoulder blades and measure to the base of the tail.
Neck: Measure around the dog’s neck at the widest point where the neck meets the body.
Chest: Place the tape measure on the dog’s shoulder blades and measure right around the chest at the deepest point.

Your dog’s hair length

If your dog is the Queen of Fluff, she’s probably not going to get as cold as Luna the Chiuahaha over there. Fur length definitely plays a huge role when determining whether your dog needs something warm.

A good rule of thumb to follow is: If their hair is short and thin, or if you find them shivering in winter, then a jersey may be the way to go.

The climate

If you live in warmer coastal areas, it might not be necessary to get your doggo any clothing. Be mindful of your area’s biggest weather extremes as well as precipitation when you’re out shopping.  

How to choose the right winter dog clothing

Love this look? Buy it here.

1. Decide on the type of winter dog clothing

Depending on how cold it gets on your side of the world, your dog may need a thick jacket, like this I’m Rebarkable Cape Dog Jacket from Dog’s Life.

Not only does it flaunt velboa faux fur lining and a stylish chequered French terry on the outside but it’s also sleeveless and seamless. Your pooch will be turning heads and keeping it real warm during all those brisk winter walks in the park.

If you live in an area with lots of rain, and you’re worried about that wet dog smell, then try this Urban Paws Giles Puffer Jacket on for size. It’s windproof AND water-resistant, making it the perfect ensemble for those cold and wet days.

When those nights get a bit more than chilly, it’s only fair to slumber party it up with some awesome paw-jamas. These Dog’s Life Cow Spots PJs are built for cuddles on the couch and proudly proclaim “I still live with my parents.”

Made with a soft, fleecy material, they also boast a pouch pocket on the back with a stretchy elastic for easy changing. What’s not to love?

2. Buy dog clothes that are fit for comfort

We can not emphasise this enough: MEASURE YOUR DOGS. It’s the best way to avoid the frustration of having to return your items. And if you can’t measure them, ePETstore welcomes all four leggeds that want to come to the showroom and give us a fashion show.

Beyond getting the right fit, make sure that your dog’s body isn’t too short. The clothing shouldn’t go past the waist or else it might get soiled. Not only that, but it needs to be comfortable for your doggo to do the best thing canines do: Be a dog.

That means zoomies in the garden, slobbering on your arm and going for morning walks should still be easy breezy. What’s more, any clothing you buy should be easy to take on and off and, of course, keep them snug as a bug.

3. Pick something toasty and timeless

No one said being comfortable had to be boring. Your pooch can still rule the winter runway (or should we say paved streets) with this stylish Unicorn Hoodie by Dog’s Life. This magical piece is a firm favourite with our customers, and it’s easy to see why.

This super warm jersey transforms your dog into a magical unicorn and it has two rows of studs to ensure a good fit. Plus, the added hood will keep those little ears warm and out of Old Man Winter’s way.

Wear it on those cool days that make wearing a jacket seem like a bit of an overreaction. Or, just to make your neighbours utterly jealous.

If your dog is more into rugby fields than Hogwarts, then show that team spirit with these doggie ruby jerseys that are made to REP-RE-SENT. Whether you’re rooting for the Stormers, Lions or the Bokke, we won’t judge ;).

4. Get boots that are made for walking

Cold weather doesn’t mean putting exercise on hold. If you’ve got an active doggo, then you can still brace those rocky trails. However, before warming up with a good hike in the mountains, get sturdy boots for your dog’s sensitive paws.

Introducing the Ruffwear Summit Trex Dog Boots. Nancy Sinatra said it best: “These boots are made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do.”

Flaunting a modern grey design, the dog boots are practical as well as stylish. These non-slip, weather-resistant booties are made to withstand any obstacles Mother Nature throws your dog’s way—such as pesticides, extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals.

TIP: Do not force your dog to wear boots as a fashion accessory. Boots should only be worn to protect your pup’s paws during extreme weather conditions or when enduring rough terrain.

Be sure to stock up on these winter essentials to keep your pup safe, cosy and warm. From stylish and warm jerseys and jackets to sturdy outdoor bots, your dog will rule the canine runway this winter.

Dog jerseys are just one of the many ways to keep your hound out of the cold. Here are more tips on how to keep your furry friend nice and toasty this winter.

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