For some of us, our pets are family. We throw them birthday parties, dress them up in costumes, and take them with us on vacation. In return, their companionship keeps us healthier and happier. So, it makes sense that we would want only the best for our little best friends. That includes keeping them warm and cozy in cold weather. Whether you have a spit fire Jack Russell terrier, a supermutt rescue dog or a tiny prince or princess, you’ll want to keep them comfortable and cozy all year round with the right small dog sweater.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best small dog sweater. Consider your dog’s breed, freedom of movement and materials and their care. For help finding the best small dog sweaters for the coming cold season, we checked mega-retailers like Amazon and Chewy as well as more boutique options and small pet businesses. We also asked a pet expert for some professional assistance.
“Recognize that you might not find a sweater with your dog’s exact measurements but you will want to get as close as possible so that the sweater fits well. When in doubt round up not down,” recommends pet trend and lifestyle expert, Charlotte Reed, and Executive Producer and Host of the syndicated pet talk radio show, The Pet Buzz. “Make sure that you dog can easily squat or lift their leg without peeing on himself in their sweater. Make sure they have good movement and ample room to do their business.”
Measure carefully before buying. “Before buying when in store or online, do not buy unless you know the return policy,” adds Reed. “Not all retailers will allow you to return the item. If buying a gift, best to enclose a card with the return information.”
Below are some of the most popular, well-rated and adorable small dog sweaters available today. Each has earned top ratings and reviews from both experts and pet owners based on style, cost, functionality and value.
1. L.L. Bean Sweater Fleece Jacket
“Pricey cashmere, wool sweaters or designer duds (think Ralph Lauren) are extremely fashionable but not necessarily appropriate for a dog who is ‘pawin’-it around’ your hood, city streets or playing in the dog park,” explains Reed. “While I am not discouraging if you are a fashionista, save the pricey duds for a special occasion and those ‘be-seen’ moments, not daily outings.”
L.L.Bean makes some of our favorite winter sweaters and jackets, and it’s no surprise that they make one of the best small dog sweaters and jackets as well (we only wish their human clothing was this affordable). Functional for everyday use, this comfortable 100% polyester fleece sweater jacket is made from the same fabric as L.L. Bean’s human sweater fleece jackets so you may be able to match your dog. The heathered knit fabric comes in three colors—rustic blue, pewter and buffalo plaid—and four sizes, so you should be able to get a good fit and style. It’s easy to spot clean and safe to machine wash and dry. Best of all, your best friend will stay warm and cozy no matter the season.
2. Jecikelon Winter Dog Hoodie Sweatshirt
There’s nothing like a hoodie for casual style. That’s true for dogs too. These little sweatshirt hoodies will not only keep them warm, but you’ll have fun choosing from 15 colors and prints. A few of the colors include a convenient zipper pocket on the back to hold treats or poo bags. The hood can be worn up for warmth or to just to look blazing for a party. There aren’t ear holes in the hood though so your dog might prefer it down for visibility.
There are five sizes to choose from, with the largest recommended for a dog of a maximum of 13 pounds. If you measure carefully, you should be able to get a great fit. They are very affordable so you might want to buy two or three. Handwash only to prevent pilling.
If you or your dog don’t like a hood, you can try the top-rated sweatshirt style from the same manufacturer.
3. Gooby Fleece Vest Dog Sweater
To start, this small dog sweater comes in 26 vibrant solid colors and 5 sizes — that’s a lot of options. It’s affordable so you can get a couple. It’s 100% polyester fleece so it resists moisture to keep your dog warm in the rain or snow. It has an easy-to-handle pullover design with a sewn-in o-ring on the back. You can use it like a harness for walks as long as your dog isn’t a puller.
Thankfully, these dog sweaters are machine washable for easy cleaning. Sizing is based on your dog’s chest size and length from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. We also like that it’s made in the USA, unlike most other sweaters on this list.
This one is pull-on but you can also get the full-zip version if you prefer. With so many options and quality materials, it’s one of the best small dog sweaters for pet parents we’ve found yet.
4. Frisco Cable-Knit Dog Sweaters
Best Classic Red
“I love a good red sweater. It gets you through the holidays and to Valentine’s Day,” notes Reed. “Available in multiple colors, this classic cable-knit is a winner due to its soft and easy pull-over design. It is also a standout in the rain and snow. Makes a great gift, too.”
Available in seven different sizes including extra small and small, you’re bound to get a quality fit. Customers like that this sweater is very soft knit and has a classic style appropriate for any occasion.
We love cable-knit sweaters, and now your pup can have a matching one of their very own. In the pet world, this is what’s known as “too cute”.
5. Pendleton® Pet Westerley Sweater
Best Northwest Style
This sweater is the ultimate cult classic, sporting the same design made famous by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, part of art Pendleton’s Big Le-BARK-ski collection that also includes a matching collar and leash. “The knitted, pull-over sweater will keep your pet both stylish and warm while lounging around on those brisk days,” notes Reed.
It’s made of versatile 100% knitted acrylic. “Blends or acrylic sweaters can easily be cleaned in a washing machine on a gentle cycle. Wash in cold water and line dry,” adds Reed. “Avoid the dryer as it might shrink the garment. The best suggestion is to have more than one to ensure the garment is completely dry before their next wear.”
It’s an excellent gift for your favorite Lebowski fan too.
6. Canada Pooch Over the Rainbow Ribbed Knit Sweater
“When dressed in this colorful, cozy and comfortable ribbed-knit jumper, your dog is sure to attract attention,” says Reed. “Available in smaller sizes, this garment features an easy pull-over and half-zip style design as well as a buttonhole for easy-access leash attachment.”
It’s a mix of rayon, nylon and polyester so it’s super soft and stain resistant. A faux suede-branded patch adds a little swank. Eleven size options are available so you can get a classy fit.
7. Kuoser Waterproof Windproof Reversible Dog Vest
Best British Style
I have to admit I didn’t know what British style was until I found these attractive, functional vests. British style gives a nod to royalty but also a combination of sophistication and function, often including the use of plaids.
This vest is reversible so you can wear it plaid or puffy side out, offering two looks in one vest. It comes in eight plaids and seven sizes, including extra-small and small. Your dog will find it warm, wind- and waterproof, soft to the touch and lightweight. The water-resistant layer is the non-plaid side, made of a polyester fabric, the plaid is a cotton/polyester blend and the inner warmth layer is polyester fiber fill. The hook and loop closures at the neck and tummy make it easy to put on and off. Stretchy elastic in the tummy area allows for some give while also ensuring a good fit around your dog’s legs.
Customers like that it is well made from quality materials, and when measured properly, offers a sleek fit that’s just a little bit refined.
8. Baja Ponchos Handmade Dog Ponchos
If you’re looking for bright colors, beautiful patterns and sturdy fabrics in Southwestern styles, you’ll appreciate the four hand-sewn, multi-color Mexican sarape styles from Baja Ponchos. Each is hand-cut from traditional sarape materials manufactured in Tlaxcala, Mexico. The serape exterior is polyester and acrylic and the interior lining is polyester. Synthetic fabrics dry more quickly than cotton which will help in the rain. Eight size options ensure you’ll find a great fit for more warmth.
Easy to put on and take off, its adjustable around the neck and chest thanks to two Velcro straps. Designed to leave the collar exposed, there’s a harness loop too. Dogs find them soft and comfortable and pet owners like the quality and durability of the material. Baja offers discounts when you buy more. You might like the tie-dye style too for parties, cool summer nights at the beach and every day.
The best part is that a portion of every sale goes to dogs in need in Mexico, making this one of the best small dog sweaters for anyone that likes supporting rescue dogs.
9. Laelap Noma Essential Crewneck Sweater
If you want a dog sweater made as well as the ones you wear, this is the one for you. Newer to the market, A Korean-American women-owned and operated business based in New York, Laēlap, is different than the rest on this list. They are committed to using 100% sustainable materials—those that are recycled, renewable, and/or responsibly sourced—including packaging. The French terry knit sweatshirt is available in six sizes in purple, sky blue, navy, and green. Each is handcrafted in South Korea with a blend of mostly upcycled cotton (diverted from the landfill) with some upcycled polyester (from recycled plastic bottles) and elastane.
An embroidered v-detail at the neck adds sophistication. You can even customize it with color-matched embroidery of your pampered pooch’s name. They suggest adding two fingers’ worth of wiggle room when measuring your dog. You can even exchange within 14 days if you get the wrong size (non-personalized).
10. Little Beast Love Sweater
You’ll love this sweater for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. This adorably soft acrylic sweater comes in seven sizes, including extra extra-small, extra-small and small. If you like to match, you can purchase the love socks separately. To get the fit just right, you’ll need to know your dog’s weight, back length and girth. This sweater must be hand washed only to help it last and prevent snags in the knit weave. If you like it, you can get it in 11 other trendy prints. For every direct purchase, Little Beast will make a donation to an animal-focused nonprofit, shelter or rescue.
11. EESE Dog Sweater Dress
Best Sweater Dress
If you have a princess that needs a dress, you’ll love this acrylic turtleneck cable knit sweater and gingham plaid skirt with a jeweled back bow. You can choose from among six color combinations, some of which will look great at holiday gatherings. The pullover sweater is stretchy, soft and comfortable. There is an inconspicuous hole in the back for the leash.
It’s available in seven sizes, four of which are schnauzer-size and below. The best part is, it’s machine washable (with similar colors in cold water and lay flat to dry).
12. PupRWear Cashmere Dog Sweaters
Your dog deserves quality. When price is no option, you might consider cashmere dog sweaters (yes, really). Cashmere wool comes from the cashmere goat found in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan. Three times more insular than sheep’s wool, the cashmere wool for these sweaters is taken from the soft neck of the goat.
This cable-knit small dog sweater is 100% cashmere and covers your dog’s chest to lock in warmth. They are beautifully crafted and come in 14 solid colors. It can also be worn under coats and jackets for those really cold days.
For these sweaters, measure the exact length of the dog’s backbone from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. Round up to the nearest inch from among the six sizes available. Hand wash with cold water and a detergent approved for cashmere and lay flat to dry.
“Because dogs are low to the ground and have a unique body odor, they get dirty easily and smelly. So will their sweaters,” explains Reed. “To maintain these garments, you will need to have these sweaters cleaned a few times a season at the dryer cleaner. That’s more money to spend in a tight economy. Some short-haired dogs, like people, might find these fabrics itchy. For the price of what you pay for premium fabric, you could buy a few blend or acrylic sweaters which can easily cleaned at home.”
Why Trust Spy When Shopping for Pet Products?
SPY works hard to recommend only the best pet products to SPY readers, and we’ve tested and reviewed many pet care essentials over the years, from automatic litter boxes and pet feeders to bougie pet food brands like The Farmer’s Dog. For this guide to the best small dog sweater for every kind of pup, we turned to SPY pet contributor Lorraine Wilde.
Lorraine Wilde has had at least two dog and two cat companions in her home for the past 35 years. When researching these brands, Lorraine evaluated customer and professional reviews, the safety and health of the ingredients, and each company’s product research and development.
Because she has only the highest of standards for her pets and her family, Lorraine included products she’d be willing to have her dogs wear.
Lorraine holds a Master’s degree in environmental science with an emphasis in toxicology. She does this work to help consumers make healthy, informed and environmentally conscious choices to protect their pets, their families and our planet.
About the Expert: Charlotte Reed is a leading pet trend and lifestyle expert. Millions have had the opportunity to watch her on Better TV, CNN, Comedy Central, Fox & Friends, Nate Berkus, The View, Steve Harvey, Today’s Show as well as many other television and radio shows around the globe, discussing “The What’s New” for pets and their people. Reed is the Executive Producer and Host of “The Pet Buzz,” a syndicated pet talk radio show, airing throughout the United States.