Does My Pitbull Need A Winter Coat or Sweater? [Must-Knows]

While the weather does vary depending on where you live, we can all agree that winter is upon us. The temperature has dropped and snow has begun to fall, but does this mean your dog needs a coat or sweater?

While it’s easy to tell that breeds with double-layered coats like Huskies and German Shepherds do well in the winter on their own, it’s harder to tell with breeds that have shorter coats like Pitbulls.

So, does your Pitbull need a winter coat or sweater? Your Pitbull will need a coat or a sweater in the winter. Their lean body mass and short single-layered coat of Pitbulls don’t provide much protection from the cold and Pitbulls will feel the cold when the temperature drops below 40°F (~4.45°C) and will need a sweater or coat in the winter to stay warm.

To understand how does this impacts your dog’s life in the winter and how you can keep them warm, keep reading.

Why do Pitbulls need a winter coat or sweater?

man carrying pitbull in sweater to answer why does my pitbull need a winter coat or sweater

Pitbulls, in general, are not well-suited to handle the cold weather well. I explain this in detail in my guide to why Pitbulls get cold at night here, where I also discuss how to keep your dog warm in the cold weather, but here is the short version anyway (I still recommend checking the article).

In the winter, whether we’re talking about the American Pit Bull Terrier or other types of Pit Bulls like American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bullies, or Staffordshire Bull Terriers, they all require coats. There are a few things to think about when it comes to caring for your Pit Bull in the winter.

Pit Bulls are quite capable of handling most situations in life, but severe winter weather is one area where they are unequipped. The range of temperatures to which a specific Pit Bull breed can survive varies depending on a few factors.

Here are the factors that determine how well your Pitbull can handle the weather:

  • Coat Density and Color
  • Age
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Size

A healthy, young black Pit Bull may withstand the elements better than a white, unhealthy, emaciated senior Pit Bull. That dark dog will stay warmer on a lovely sunny day. That extra youth and body fat can also contribute to a little more heat production, making the dog more capable of handling the cold weather.

Pit Bulls do not have a thick double coat that keeps them warm in the winter. I usually say that if I’m going to be outside in just a shirt and shorts, my Pit Bull will most likely be as well.

How cold is too cold for Pitbulls?

Anything below 40°F (7°C) is too cold for your pitbull and they will need protection from the cold, and if it drops below 20°F (-7°C), it’s too cold for your pitbull to stay outside at all.

The typical range of temperatures that a Pit Bull can withstand is between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with the colder end being more preferable. Once the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll probably start to notice your Pit Bull getting uncomfortable.

When the temperature falls below 32°F/0°C, small, thin, and older Pit Bulls will require some shelter. It’s time to wrap up all pets by 20°F/-7°C and get them inside.

Keep an eye on your Pit Bull’s actions in the winter. Not all locations are created equal, and conditions aren’t always determined by the temperature. Some regions may be extremely wet, even though the weather app only reports 32°F/0°C outside, it may feel much colder.

If your Pit Bull is very energetic and constantly running around in the cold weather, they may generate enough body heat to be comfortable. There are a lot of factors to consider here. It’s critical to keep an eye on your Pit Bull and check for indications that they’re not coping with the cold well.

With your Pit Bull, extreme cold weather can rapidly lead to hypothermia and frostbite. Their ears, paws, and tails are all susceptible to freezing. You don’t want to take a chance on your dog experiencing frostbite.

The Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs

Here are the Signs of Hypothermia in dogs to watch out for:

  • Shivering
  • Laziness or lethargy
  • Stiffness
  • Pale or gray gums
  • Stumbling, difficulty walking, or lack of coordination
  • Fixed and dilated pupils
  • Low heart and breathing rates
  • Collapse
  • or even coma

Your dog will be shivering and appear lethargic if he is suffering from minor hypothermia. As the hypothermia progresses, additional symptoms emerge. Your dog’s attention shifts to maintaining his vital organs in operation by restricting blood flow from the rest of his body as his body enters heat conservation mode. Hypothermia can be deadly if not treated promptly.

How to treat Hypothermia?

Warming your dog and wrapping him in a blanket until the shivering stops can help relieve mild hypothermia. Rewarming techniques will be required if the dogs temperature has dropped to 90-94 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm water bottles filled with warm water placed around your dog provide a safe, non-invasive method of rewarming.

Dogs should not be treated with heating pads, as their skin is easy to burn. If you need to treat your dog for hypothermia, it’s best to take him or her to your family veterinarian or a veterinary emergency service for observation and/or treatment. When severe hypothermia is present, immediate veterinary care is required. Unfortunately, despite all efforts, some dogs do not survive hypothermia.

How to keep your pitbull warm in the winter?

Keeping your Pit Bull warm in the winter is as simple as keeping yourself warm. Wearing a decent coat, sweater, and shoes when going outdoors will help to keep your Pit Bull warm.

The majority of coats and jumpers you may get for your Pit Bull should cover them from the neck down to the base of their tails, as well as adequately cover their bellies.

Pit Bulls love blankets. Nothing makes my Pit Bull happier than to curl up on and beneath a comfortable comforter after a chilly trek. If you just got inside from a particularly chilly walk, place your dog’s blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up and make yourself a cuppa.

Keep your dog’s bedding in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of moisture build up during winter months, as this can lead to respiratory distress and pneumonia. Most importantly, make sure they have enough food! If their energy levels drop from tiredness or lack of nutrition, it won’t matter how warmly dressed your Pit Bull is.

The best Winter Coats and Sweaters for Pitbulls

It’s critical to outfit your Pit Bull with the right winter apparel. Hypothermia, frostbite, and paw injuries can occur rapidly during the winter, so you need to be cautious. In addition to preventing their feet from the cold and road and sidewalk salts that are harsh on their pads, a pair of dog boots might assist protect them from the risk of injuring their paws.

Dog jackets and sweaters come in a choice of fabrics, from fleece to nylon. Some pitbull owners have also reported success with purchasing human winter coats or raincoats for their dogs. Pet stores offer many types of dog clothes at reasonable prices so you don’t need to go out and purchase an entire new wardrobe for your dog.

Winterizing your Pit Bull does not need to be a chore – it will only take a few minutes from you and can protect them from some very unpleasant conditions.

Here are the coats my Pitbulls have loved the most out of the dozens I’ve tested with them over the years:

Pet Life Fashion Parka Dog Coat

This jacket is made of Thinsulate thermal heat retention technology, which ensures it keeps your dog warm and comfortable on chilly days. The inner fleece protects him from becoming chilly, while the detachable fake fur hood allows him to go out in style.

Chilly Dog Boyfriend Dog Sweater

The Chilly Dog brand stays up with the latest fashion trends to make its canines fashionable while also keeping them warm. Their dimensions range from a teacup poodle to a Great Dane.

These are the most warm and high-quality pullovers available! Don’t let your dog freeze outside!

Kool Tail Plaid Dog Hoodie

The Kimono is a warm pullover that can keep you warm in the winter. It’s heavier than most hoodies because it’s made of polyester and cotton. Soft and comfy, machine washable. There’s a hole for your leash to pass through on the back, making this ideal for going out for walks.

Kurgo Loft Jacket

The reversible dog vest is ideal for keeping your dog warm during the chilly fall and winter months when out on walks, hikes, and runs; reflective piping on the dog jacket makes it easy to spot your pet when night falls early. An adjustable hook and loop closure allows for a custom fit.

Canada Pooch True North Insulated Dog Parka

This puppy parka is made with a soft fleece lining and artificial down insulation for maximum warmth in all types of weather.

The water-resistant shell will keep your doggie guy dry while the dual hook and loop closure ensures this puppy coat stays in place. This dog coat includes a slit for attaching a leash, so you’ll have no trouble getting your pup out for a walk.

The Best Dog Boots for Your Pitbull

Dog Boots are another essential for your pitbull in the winter, and not only because of the snow that makes the ground slippery and cold to walk on, but to also protect their feet from the salt that we throw to melt the snow.

This salt – known as rock salt – can do some serious damage to your dog’s paws, so it’s definitely worth it to keep their paws protected in the winter.

XSY&G Dog Boots

Made from high quality fabrics, these waterproof boots offer uncompromising quality for the money. They are soft and breathable, so they are very comfortable for your dog to wear, and they are very well-made and offer excellent protection for your dog’s feet from the cold weather.

PK.ZTopia Dog Boots, Waterproof Dog Boots

These dog boots Provide traction and stability, protection from sharp thorns and hot pavement, help dogs with mobility and balance on tile and sand. They’re soft and breathable, as well as tough anti-slip soles that offer stability and traction.

They are available in different sizes and, in my experience, they are probably the easiest boots to get on and off your dog.

That’s it for this post. If you have any question, please reach out and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible. Before you go, you may also want to check out this article on what happens in a Pitbull VS Wolf situation here.

Related Questions

Can Pitbulls play in the snow?

Pitbulls can, do, and absolutely love to play in the snow. Pitbulls will immediately jump in the snow once they see it, stick their face in it, do all kinds of shapes, and basically go crazy over it.

Your Pit Bull can play in the snow as long as it has a coat or sweater on and the temperature isn’t excessively cold. Keep an eye out for indications of chilly paws and shivering, however. It’s time to get warmed up when your Pit Bull begins to raise their feet off the ground or become weary.

Can Pitbulls handle cold weather?

Pitbulls can handle cold weather but not as well as double-coated dogs can.

Do Pitbulls like wearing clothes?

Pitbulls love wearing clothes, be it Pajamas or winter sweaters or coats – Pitbulls seem to love dressing up as much as kids do as long as the clothes are not restricting their movements or hindering them in any way.

Why do people put pit bulls in pajamas?

Although the pajamas keep all breeds warm, Pit Bulls can benefit from them as well. … “Some individuals even go to the other side of the dog park — but put them in a pair of pajamas, and people don’t see the Pit Bull anymore; they just see cuteness.”

Helpful Resources

Does My Dog Need a winter coat?

Hypothermia in Dogs

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