Puppy Couture or Necessity: Does your Dog Really Need that Sweater?

Some might think that putting clothes on your pet is a little on the extravagant side, but many veterinarians do recommend that certain types of dogs bundle up during the winter months. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a dog’s size and ability to keep in body heat affect body temperature- making some dogs more at risk for hypothermia than others. For this reason, a sweater is sometimes recommended to help sustain a healthy body temperature.

A dog’s normal body temperature is about 101 degrees. If that temperature drops five or six degrees, a dog can experience low blood pressure and kidney damage. In extreme cases, a drop in temperature can decrease the blood flow to vital organs and lead to hypothermia.

Dogs most at risk are small, short-haired, and have a low activity level. Some breeds at risk are the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Miniature Pincher, and Bichon Frise. Owners with senior or ailing dogs of any breed or size should also take caution in climates with cold weather.

So if your dog falls into one of these categories or just doesn’t seem to be a fan of chilly temperatures, don’t hesitate to invest in that doggy sweater for winter walks.