How to find a cool dog shirt
If you just started looking in the quest for the best dog shirts, you may have a surprise. You probably realized by now that the best shirts for dogs are not easy to come across. However, there are certain general rules that need to be followed when looking at dog shirts reviews, such as the material the shirt is made of, its design and its dimension.
Out of all the models that you may find for sale, you should be looking for a material that your dog will feel comfortable in, which – unfortunately – is not a one-size-fits-all type of solution. Depending on the breed, dog products tend to differ, as the animals’ needs are also different. Before making a final dog sweater comparison, you should first make sure that your pet’s fur is suited for a type of fabric, such as wool or cotton.
Generally, dogs with longer and thicker fur yarns are more resistant to the cold season, from the low temperatures to the merciless wind, which means they don’t need very thick pieces of clothing. On the opposite pole, dogs with very short hair may need an extra layer of fabric to ensure their full protection. Depending on the season, the choices you make might also vary.
How we choose the coolest dog shirts
Choosing the best shirts for our furry friends is not as easy as it may seem at first sight. Because we’ve got your animal’s best interest in mind, we’ve put together a list of the most important things you should be looking for before actually purchasing a cool shirt for your pet.
Dog breeds and climate conditions
As if choosing between the thousands of models out there wasn’t complicated enough, another factor that should weigh in your decision is your dog’s breed. As you probably know, every furry animal has its own protective shield, in the form of thermo-insulated sebum.
Because dogs weren’t always domestic animals, and their ancestors, the wolves, used to be deprived of any kind of comfort, these animals developed their own natural protective mechanisms, and the sebum secreted by their skin is one of these evolutionary adjustments.
However, because now we mostly keep our dogs indoors, their mechanisms aren’t as powerful as they once were, not to mention the dog breeds humans obtained through inbreeding for the sole purpose of keeping people company (such as the French Bulldog). Depending on the type of breed your dog is, its needs may be particularly different from other breeds out there.
Cold isn’t the only reason why dog owners decide to buy shirts for their pets. Because some dog breeds originate from cold places (such as the Husky), some dogs need an extra layer of thermal insulating clothes during the summer, as well.
Although most of the dog breeds should be kept in climate conditions similar to the ones from the places they originate from, experts have only recently taken this into account in a more serious manner. If you are the owner of a dog that originates from a completely different climate area, the first aspect to consider before buying a cool shirt is your animal’s needs, depending on the season.
Additionally, among the dogs that most need shirts, especially during the cold season, the following are on the top of the list: dogs with thin body types such as the greyhounds, older pets regardless of their breeds and smaller breeds, regardless of their age.
Type of fabric
Once you’ve established your pet’s needs in terms of general climate conditions, you should take the following step and focus on the kind of material. Generally, dogs with very long and thick fur rarely need something to protect them from the cold (and certainly not wool!), while smaller dogs with slim and tiny fur yarns would rather need a thicker fabric.
The first kind of dogs, however, would rather need a very thin shirt that could offer them the thermal protection they need, without adding an extra layer of fur. Additionally, these kinds of dogs may need a similar kind of shirt during the hot days of summer as well, especially since they are more sensitive to elevated temperatures.
If you’ve decided that wool is the way to go, maybe you should take a second and consider the kind of texture you are going after. If your dog has a very sensitive skin, an abrasive texture from a wool shirt could cause irritation or a dermal issue. On the contrary, if your dog breed has a strong skin, it can put on a shirt with a more abrasive texture, which will stimulate its circulation, like a soft massage.
If you live in a region with intense winds, the generic shirt should have an outer layer that is both waterproof and windproof, doubled by an inner layer that is either lambskin or fleece (the lambskin-fleece combination can protect your animal during the very cold days, as well). If the shirt is merely a raincoat, the season is the one weighing in the decision: a raincoat for the spring and early autumn can be only waterproof, while rain combined with low temperatures calls for the first type of shirt.
No two dogs are the same. Besides the fact that within the same breed a difference up to 22 lbs (10 kg) is considered normal, other weight differences generally appear between adolescent and adult dogs, females and males and adult and old dogs. Due to these differences, it is important to make sure that when you purchase a shirt for your pet, it can fit it without any issues.
Some of the most important areas where measurements should be taken, at least approximately, are the animal’s back (the top line), neck and chest (girth).
When measuring your dog, you should make sure you take a margin of error of 5 percent of the animal’s total weight (or measurement). This is vital when buying shirts for another season, as animals have their natural cycles and either lose or put on some weight depending on the season.