Does your dog need a sweater?

Yes, it’s cold. On a particularly slow news day, that gets repeated multiple times. Our big dogs with thick coats love this weather! We can’t get them to come in, especially when there’s snow!
Our little dogs, however, are hating life.
Three things affect small dogs’ ability to stay warm: haircoat, surface area, and location.
Most small breed dogs lack thick undercoats despite having long hair. We see a lot of fur and assume they are warm. But think about how easy it is to see the skin on, say, a maltese. The copious hair doesn’t do much for warmth.
Small dogs often have trouble staying warm even inside a heated house. Why? They tend to have a greater surface area in relation to their body mass than big dogs. Larger surface area means more heat dissipation (heat leaving the body). So while a 15 lb dog can generate heat to stay warm as well as a 50 lb dog, the heat just escapes! Combine that with a minimal undercoat, and you have a chilly dog!
Third, your small dog is lower to the ground. If you don’t regularly, lie down on the floor by where your dog hangs out. Is it drafty? Is the wall nearby cold? Does he or she hang out by a heater vent? (Hmmm, why is that!!?)
Sweaters and jackets are not necessarily a fashion statement, but are functional. Finding one that can fit your dog and does not rub the arms or neck can be a project! I can’t tell you how many sweaters I’ve bought and returned. Seriously. I think Petsmart is going to post my photo by the door pretty soon saying “Do not let this woman in!”
In all seriousness, don’t wait to see your dog shiver to realize he or she is cold. How often are you cold and uncomfortable, but not to the point of shivering? Yeah, that’s where your small dog is most of the time these days. If you have a small dog, try a sweater, jacket, or sweatshirt. Even if it takes a few tries.
They’ll thank you for it.
Most of the time.

The Pepperman shows that sweaters don’t have to be froo-froo, but manly men can wear them as well!