Doggy sweaters aren’t all for fashion—some pups really do need that extra layer of warmth to get through cooler weather in comfort. Here are some factors to consider when entering fall with your pup.

WHO NEEDS A SWEATER?

Plenty of dogs are well-equipped for cold weather. Large breeds like Siberian Huskies, St. Bernards, or German Shepherds are built for cold climates. A sweater could make these breeds uncomfortably warm!

But some dogs have much lighter coats, or are genetically suited to warmer climates—leaving them unable to tolerate cold as well as others. Dogs with short, thin hair—like the Chihuahua, Greyhound, and many terrier and pinscher breeds—love an extra layer.

Breeds that are low to the ground—like toy breeds, Dachshunds, and Corgis—should bundle up as well. All that cold air radiating from the ground is enough to make anyone shiver!

Even your dog’s age can make a difference. Many puppies are happier in sweaters. Older dogs, especially those with weaker immune systems, need an extra layer too.

FIND THE PERFECT SWEATER

A sweater can make your dog look positively dapper. But at the end of the day, your pup isn’t in it for the compliments; he just wanted to play outside a little longer! So, when choosing outerwear, choose function over fashion.

First, consider material. Wool is warm, but it also requires frequent washing to keep clean and could drive your dog nuts if it’s too scratchy. Look for a blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic.

Check for add-ons like zippers, hooks, buttons, tags. A quality sweater or jacket should have no pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed. Because even the best of sweaters can snag onto something, keep an eye on your pup when he's wearing one.

Don’t forget to consider fit! A good fit means your dog can’t easily pull the piece off, keeps it from dragging on the ground, and prevents your pup from getting snagged on things!

As a rule of thumb, choose garments that are snug, but not tight, allowing freedom of movement without excess fabric. If your pup seems uncomfortable, it's always best to take the sweater off!

It’s always smart to take your dog with you to try on clothing, as returning dog clothing can be difficult!

Just remember that the perfect sweater is any sweater that keeps your pup warm, safe, and happy! So go ahead and buy you and your pup that matching sweater set! After all, bundling up is more fun together!