Even in San Francisco, some pets live in a colder climate than what their fur can handle to keep them warm. Because of this, sweaters have become quite popular. In many ways, insufficient fur for an animal in some of the Daly City cold, humid temperatures is no different than a human being going outside on a cold night without a coat. Smaller pets, older pets and pets with chronic health conditions seem to have the most difficult time in the cold. Larger dogs with thicker coats might not ever need a sweater, where a Yorkie or a Toy Poodle might. Unfortunately at this San Francisco animal hospital, we see pets who would do better if they wore a sweater.
There are signs to look for to show your pet might be suffering from the cold: is your pet shivering or hesitant to go outside? Just like humans, if your pet looks and acts like he or she is cold, then your pet probably needs some type of warm-covering.
Should this be the case for your pet, how do you know which sweater is best? Here are some tips to help you choose the right covering:
Material – there are many materials to choose from: wool, acrylic, polyester fleece and cotton. Remember, wool can be irritating and must be hand washed.
Size – a pet is more likely to wear a sweater if the sweater is comfortable. Because of this, sweaters are very customized because of a pet’s unusual size and body type. Make sure to take measurements to find a sweater that will be comfortable. The neck, chest and length of animal should be measured. Weighing your dog is helpful also. The length of the sweater should not cover your pet’s back end area. And, leg openings should not be too tight and allow for movement.
Ease of use – again, if a sweater is too hard to get on or uncomfortable to wear, your pet is less likely to wear the sweater.
No zippers, buttons or other loose items – buttons can be eaten and zippers can catch your pet’s skin and be painful. If these are used, be very careful. At the Nor Cal Vet, we are always saddened to see an animal struggling from any type of choking hazard.
Personal flair – here’s where you can add your own flair about San Francisco, Daly City or anything else that you enjoy or care about. And your pet won’t mind. He or she will just be glad you took care of his or her need to be warm.
Once your find the right sweater, be patient as your pet adjusts to wearing this piece of clothing. And, also vital is to never keep your pet’s sweater on too long, for reasons of heat, uncomfortableness and the risk of acquiring a rash.
For more information on selecting the best sweater for your pet or any other questions you might have about your pet and the effects of cold weather, contact Nor Cal Vet today at (415) 413-7363.