Does my dog need a jumper?
Whether or not your pet actually needs a jumper depends entirely on their breed, age, health and lifestyle. In the cold months of the year, most pets will find some benefit in wearing a jumper or coat.
While the majority of dogs and cats are covered with lustrous fur coats, it’s worth remembering that some have lighter layers of fur than others. This is largely determined by the animal’s genetics and where its forebears lived. Of course, since domesticating these animals, they often find themselves in environments that they are not genetically suited to.
Not all dogs like, or need, an extra layer in winter, but choosing the right winter coat or winter clothes, might make all the difference on a super-chilly morning. Just make sure you do your research, look at the materials in each product and find something which makes your dog’s winter adventures a little more comfortable.
Dogs susceptible to cold
Little dogs, for instance Chihuahuas, Chinese Cresteds, Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, Toy Spaniels and Pugs may feel the colder temperatures more acutely.
Lean and short-haired dogs, such as American Pit Bull Terriers, Bulldogs, Boxers, Beagles, Greyhounds, Whippets, Pointers and Pinscher, and hairless breeds don’t have a furry coat to protect them, so you’ll need to provide them with warm dog clothing.
Cats susceptible to cold
Growing a winter coat, or an undercoat, is a natural instinct for cats. However, cats such as the Cornish Rex and Sphynx don’t grow an undercoat and can feel the cold all throughout the year, not just in winter.
Puppies and kittens shouldn’t go outside in the extreme cold, as they don’t have the fat, metabolism or fur coat to sustain their body temperature. If you do take them outside, to the toilet for instance, a jumper or coat is a good option. Be aware that adults of some more sensitive breeds may be reluctant to toilet outside if the grass is cold and wet. A portable indoor toilet may be a good option here. Older pets, particularly those with chronic illness, are also good candidates for jumpers as they tend to be more at risk in cold weather.
Health and lifestyle
Your pet’s general health can also determine whether they need a winter sweater. Dogs who are elderly or sick are generally more sensitive to the cold and may require more insulation. If you pet suffer from arthritis, they may benefit from wearing a jumper, as the additional warmth can help prevent their joints from getting stiff and sore. Jumpers are also beneficial in providing extra warmth for animals suffering from diseases that impair hair growth like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. Use with caution in long haired dogs as coats can make them more prone to matting.
The amount of time you spend outside, and the activity level of your dog will also make a difference. For instance, a dog who is playing and racing around at full speed will stay warmer than a dog going on a leisurely walk. It can be hard to tell when your pet is feeling the cold, and unfortunately, they can’t tell us in so many words. To find out how to tell if your pet is feeling the cold and needs a jumper to keep warm, click here.
What kind of jumper?
Our stores stock a wide range of clothing for dogs and cats, including weatherproof gear, Weatherbeetas, knits, coats and reflective, high-visibility gear. Visit your nearest Animates store to see the full range.