While it may seem strange to some people to put clothes on their pets, others seem to enjoy the chance to dress up their furry friends, and it is all just a case of observation when it comes to keeping your pet comfortable.

As the weather cools down, certain breeds will be able to adapt to keep themselves from freezing over the Winter months. These breeds include Huskies, Malamutes, Saint Bernards and German Shepherds. These dogs have an “under coat” or “double coat” that becomes thicker as temperatures drop and insulates their body warmth to keep them from getting too cold. Other breeds, like toy breeds, dogs with thinner or single-coat fur (Greyhounds, Whippits and Chihuahuas), and older dogs, are unable to adapt and will most likely need the help of a nice thick jacket when the days get too brisk.

Here are some signs that your dog will benefit from a jacket:

• He is reluctant to go outside when it is cold
• He curls up into a ball, possibly hiding his nose under a paw
• He shivers or is tense
• He has trouble settling on cold nights (only sleeps when wrapped in a blanket)

There are a variety of dog jackets available online and in stores. Look for one that is suitable for your pet by checking thickness, if it is machine washable, if it is waterproof and by measuring your pet before you buy. Sizes can change across ranges, so a “Large” doesn’t necessarily always fit a big dog. If the fit isn’t right it can restrict your dog’s movement or drag on the ground and become caught in things. The best way to check is to measure the length of your dog’s torso from nape to base of the tail, then around the neck, chest and waist to stop pinching.

Remember, using any item of clothing on your fur friend requires supervision. It can be dangerous to leave a jacket on unattended as your pet can dangerously overheat.