How To Know When To Dress Your Dog (4 Criteria You Should follow)

Harvoola Italian Greyhound Jumper

Look at this dog in a coat!” – this is casual phrase I catch when walking my Italian greyhounds in a cold weather. Dog in clothes is still something unexpected for some people but essential for small, short-hair breeds like Italian Greyhounds or Whippets.

If you own a doggo, I bet you know that. But there is a question that keeps bugging me – do I overdress my iggies? Or – should I dress them warmer today? When should I start dressing them up & then it’s too warm?

How to spot this perfect balance between happy, healthy & warm dog?

Have the same dilemmas? Read on, my friend, I think I got some great answers here.

Back in springtime I have published an article on how to dress your iggy based on different weather conditions and walking types. Check it out here!

Golden rule of #harvoola: make sure the clothing is comfortable and meets the actual weather conditions. 

Harvoola Teddy Vest

If that doesn’t help you (hmm… I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t) here are 4 points to pay attention to when deciding how to dress your dog:

#1 Temperature

There is no common agreement between vets when is it cold enough to start dressing up a dog. I usually start dressing up my dogs when it drops below 15°C degrees and pay attention towards the weather conditions as well (point #2). However, the perceived temperature is more important and that’s where it can get tricky. So if you’re heading for a longer walk yet are not sure if a onesie is enough or a coat is needed as well, put one in your backpack and you’ll be a winner in every situation!

In the same way as we should dress a dog when it’s cold, it is very important not to overdress when it’s warm enough. If your dog gets used to wearing a jumper every day even if it’s only slightly chilly outside, you might have an issue during winter time when it gets very cold.

Harvoola Italian Greyhound Clothes

#2 Weather conditions

Oh, of course it depends on the climate where you live but some things are universal – if it’s a chilly and foggy autumn morning but no rain or wind, put a jacket on. If it’s rainy, your dog’s coat will be saved if covered in a waterproof coat. If it’s chilly & windy, jumper that covers neck and ears is perfect. Have a coat that is windproof? Even better! If it’s summer and it’s warm, you surely don’t need any shirt, yet, if it’s start to rain but is still warm enough, put a thin raincoat on!

#3 Dog’s health

If your doggo is strong & healthy, he will be less sensitive to a cold weather. Don’t get tricked – it doesn’t mean you should keep him undressed when it’s freezing outside. On the other hand, if he had caught a cold, recently had been vaccinated or else, it’s better to be safe than sorry and either to dress up when it’s chilly or limit time spent outdoors.

Italian Greyhound Onesie Striped

#4 Dog’s age

Pay extra attention when you have a puppy or a senior. And that is because they are more sensitive to weather conditions than healthy adults. Dress them more often and warmer. Ah, and here’s an example – imagine you take 3 dogs out for a walk on autumn evening: a puppy, 3 years old and a 12 years old senior. It’s chilly outside but you decide not to dress them up as you’ll walk fast. In a mid-walk it gets really windy and cold. Which of the dogs are most likely to get cold first? Yes – a puppy and a senior. Similar to people, isn't it?


I sometimes think that it would be way easier if every dog came with a manual, including when exactly to dress or undress him :) But… Let’s admit, that would take away the feeling of accomplishment, when seeing your dog happy & healthy.

Stay warm & keep your iggies warm, folks!

And remember, Cold is not a joke.


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