Cozy coats to protect against the winter wind chill, measuring your pooch up for a sweater to wear on snowy walks and finding cute costumes for Halloween! Shopping for your dog can be great fun.
Jump to Section
Coats for Small Dogs
Your dog might give you a funny look the first time you take him to try out small dog coats. He might give you the eye and appear to be wondering if you haven’t noticed he is, in fact, covered in fur. What your pet doesn’t understand is all the business about how he lives indoors and isn’t accumulated to cold.
He hasn’t been listening to the weather reports and has no idea when the wind chill factor dips low and the cold winter wind starts blowing through his fur he’s going to want to curl up in your pocket. In a nice warm dog coat, he will be protected from icy wind and damp so he can still go about his normal exercise without freezing his little tail off.
The criterion for the best winter coat for your dog depends on several different variables. It needs to be warm enough for the weather in your region, it needs to fit him well, and it must be lightweight enough to suit a toy or small dog without weighing him down.
Warm does not necessarily have to be heavy. Many manufacturers show the same information in the tags of small dog coats you find in winter clothes for humans. There is a listing of different fabrics used and some even list the coats expected ability to minimize moisture and keep in heat. Depending on the breed of dog you have and his ability to withstand the cold you need to find the warmest coat he needs without sacrificing his mobility.
As always, when you are buying something for your dog to wear it is best to take him with you so you can try the coat on him. Even if you do plan on taking him along you should measure your dog anyway so you won’t waste time trying out coats that won’t fit. You will need to know how tall your dog is from paw on the ground up to the shoulder, from the base of his neck to his tail, the circumference of his neck and around his chest.
As you are fitting small dog coats remember to check for roominess in shoulders, around the leg holes, and around his tail. Nothing should pull or bind as this causes your dog discomfort. On the other hand, the coat can’t be too loose since this will allow cold air to reach the dog and if the coat drags the ground it could trip your pet.
There are many different types of coats that fit differently, but still do a great job of keeping your dog warm. There is the poncho type which works great for the dog that doesn’t like anything around his legs, there is warm weather gear very much like your own coat, which has leg holes and keeps the dog warm and dry, even if he sits or lies down. A great type for the older dog is a thick thermal wrap around that covers from shoulder to tail but doesn’t have leg holes he has to climb into which could aggravate his aching joints.
There are so many different options when it comes to small dog coats it really is just a matter of finding the right kind for your dog and for your pocketbook. You will both appreciate this effort later though as you walk along a freezing street both warm and snug in your new winter coats.
Sweaters For Small Dogs
Small dogs living in apartment buildings, homes or townhouses have gotten used to a certain comfort level, just as we humans have. Whether furry or smooth coated by nature they start shivering when the temperatures outside start to dip. They aren’t acclimated to the snow and icy conditions, so they need a little help. This is where cute and snuggly small dog sweaters come in handy. It doesn’t hurt that you four-footed friend can be a walking advertisement for your good taste and favorite things.
To find great dog sweaters, know your dog’s measurements. Use the same type of tape measure you would use to take your own measurements. Just as you would measure your hips for a pair of slacks wrap the tape measure gently around your dog’s chest and then his neck to see what will fit him. Usually, dog sweaters will list the measurements on the tag. Some list weight and height so it is a good idea to have this information handy too.
Once you start looking you will find dog sweaters just about everywhere. Certainly, you will find them in pet stores and shops. If you are just looking for a quick purchase of a warm garment for your pup this is a good place to start. Most places that cater to the small and fur covered don’t mind if you want to bring your pet inside with you, and this way you can try the small dog sweaters out to see whether your dog is better fitted with an xx-small to a medium-small. As a general rule, the xx-small sizes fit teacup Yorkers and Poodles. Some Chihuahuas might be in these sizes, but you also have to consider your dog’s weight so if the pet weighs a few pounds above average it is a great idea to shop with him there to test out the various sizes. It is not a good idea to get sizes that are too big for the dog since this won’t hold his body heat as well, and he might trip if the sweater drags on the ground. Look for a durable and washable fabric that breathes so he won’t get too stuffy.
Once you have an idea of what fits your pet then you can have some fun with small dog sweaters, since they aren’t hard to find. For instance, if you are picking up a school sweater see if they sell dog sweaters too. Many colleges, organizations, and churches have found how much you pet enjoys sporting the same style as you. You can find small dog sweaters almost anywhere, in fact, from large parks you might stop at for vacation to movie studio gift shops there are often many colorful choices of dog sweaters. Keep an eye open and your dog can quickly earn a reputation as a snappy dresser with all the clever dog sweaters you find.
Always look over sweaters carefully before buying them. Make sure there are no leftover pins or broken bits of plastic on any clothing you buy for your dog. Keep the receipt in case you have any problems with the fit or other issues with the sweater.
Shirts For Small Dogs
Your dog is adorable. He or she really doesn’t need anything to complete the picture, but some small dog shirts might just provide a little protection and make your pet the envy of every dog in the park. Small dog t-shirt can be either a fantastic fashion statement or perform a more practical function. While your dog friend is looking quite the fashion plate he or she is getting protection from the sun or a little extra warmth on a chilly day.
If you ever wondered why on a warm day in summer you’ve seen dogs decked out in colorful t-shirt wear their weather savvy owners are on to something. Some dogs like the smooth coated Rat Terrier and his smaller cousin the Toy Fox Terrier does very well in hot weather, but can still get nasty sunburns on their exposed skin, especially around the ears, on their tummies, and the back of the neck. And even the furrier among the pack can still have trouble with the sun, namely, dogs bred for cooler environments like the Westie can also have to suffer from burns on a sunny day. If you are buying small dog t-shirts for sunny days, look for a lightweight breathable fabric similar to the type you would wear on such a day. Should your doggy pal decide to take a quick swim then take off his shirt and wring it out as thoroughly as possible. Work your fingers through your pet’s fur to remove any excess moisture. You can then replace the shirt and just watch to make sure your pet doesn’t show signs of becoming over chilled.
On cooler days a t-shirt can come in handy to keep your furry best friend from getting either too cold or too hot. On days that a real doggy jacket won’t do, a thicker, but still light-weight t-shirt will help hold the dog’s body warmth, while also maintaining your pup’s fashionable image.
Sizing is an important consideration for small dog t-shirts. It needs to be loose enough to be comfortable for the dog. Dogs move about constantly and anything that constricts their movements or, which interferes with their breathing is not in the furry one’s best interest. On the other hand, the shirt should not be so loose it drags on the ground or is so large the poor pooch keeps tripping over it.
Just as with people, sizing is easiest if your dog is within his correct weight for his height. Teacup sized dogs are normally considered as weighing around 5 pounds, so for this tiny pet, look for an XX-Small. The typical breeds that fit a teacup label are the Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, and Yorkie. X-Small size will usually fit those dogs weighing in at about 8-10 pounds such as the Brussels Griffon, English Toy Spaniel, Maltese, and the larger Yorkshire Terriers. Size small regular will normally fit the larger small or toy breeds like the Boston Terrier, and Miniature Pinscher or Pug.
If your doggy is a tad bit stout then order one size above normal for the breed and be prepared to alter the length. Small dogs t-shirts range from designer wear to discount specials so the choice depends on your budget and the dog’s needs.
Costumes For Small Dogs
Your dog loves to be cute. This is the one thing people who only own large breeds sometimes fail to understand. Little dogs seem to be born knowing their edge is in being super adorable, and they go for it. Check out the funny dog costumes in our article here. They will bounce and pose. A Brussels Griffon will give her owner the full effect of her deep brown Brussels’ eyes. A Scottie will stand on her back legs and paw the air with her two front paws as if to say “Look at me!” They know they have got you wrapped around those tiny paws and when you see the wee ones in small dog costumes understand how this would appeal to the itty-bitty showman in their hearts. Most toy and small dogs love being the object of attention and looking sweet.
Small dog costumes need to be comfortable, well fitted and be made of breathable fabric. Before you buy, measure your dog so you know how big the leg and neck holes should be. Also, know the measures around their chest. If you buy small dog costumes mass manufactured at pet stores or shops see if you can’t bring the dog in with you so you can at least hold the costume up to the dog for fitting. If your pet is a few pounds overweight you can go up a size, but be careful the costume might now be too long and put your dog in danger of tripping.
If you buy a handmade costume from a trusted online source or from a friend ask for the exact measurements. The person who made the costumes might have a different idea of what is xx-small or x-small than the manufacturer or name brand from whom you are used to buying. Having the exact measurements helps to prevent misunderstandings that might make you miss that holiday or event you want the costume to be ready for, so use caution.
If the costume has a headpiece make sure the ties or flexi-cord holding it in place doesn’t dig into your pet’s throat and doesn’t pull at the dog’s fur. If there is footwear that goes with the costume turn it inside out if possible to examine it, and if it isn’t flexible enough to turn inside out try to very cautiously probe the inside with your fingers to check for any problems like forgotten pins or broken plastic. Pieces of the plastic binding that held the costume together at the store, for example, can irritate your dog’s skin by rubbing against it while the costume is on.
Your Pomeranian will look great as a little pumpkin for Halloween, and your sky white poodle might enjoy being a little daisy for the day. Rat Terrier pirates are adorable, and Scottie dogs are often proud to wear a kilt. Westies don’t mind donning the highland gear either and a Chihuahua in a tutu is a precious thing to see.
Have the camera out and ready to take pictures since while the dogs love the attention their own span of concentration time is minimal, and they will want to start a new game that might damage the costume. Watch for signs your dog is getting weary of wearing his get up and don’t try to keep the little guys in costume too long. This will keep the game fun and next time the dog will be ready again to wear a new cute costume.