Just like humans, pets can feel the changes in the weather, and this can affect their health and happiness. The best way to ensure they stay at a comfortable temperature is to provide them with a coat or 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, coat, hat or shoes.

Breed

While the majority of dogs and cats are endowed 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.

Even though many cities in Australia have a reputation for heat, most still go through temperature changes that can make most dogs and cats feel uncomfortably cold. There are also some breeds of dogs and cats that have difficulty retaining heat.

Dogs susceptible to cold

Little dogs, for instance Chihuahuas, Chinese Cresteds, Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, Toy Spaniels amd 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.

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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 feel the cold all throughout the year, not just in winter.

Age

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. 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

Pets who suffer from arthritis 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.

What kind of jumper?

Petbarn stocks a wide range of clothing for dogs and cats, including weatherproof gear, Weatherbeetas, knits, coats and reflective, high-visibility gear. Visit your nearest Petbarn store to see the full range.