Do Boston Terriers Need Sweaters in Winter?

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by Lily Ferreras


During the cold winter months, not all dogs cope well with the drop in temperature. If you have a Boston, you might be wondering how to keep your pooch warm and comfy.

Do Boston Terriers need sweaters? Yes, due to their short hair, Boston Terriers don’t stand cold weather well. So, they benefit from a sweater to stay warm during walks or a coat to stay safe from the rain.

Continue reading to know how to measure your Boston to get the right sweater size and other tips to keep your pooch warm, especially during winter walks.

Do Boston Terriers Need Sweaters?

As you now know, Boston Terriers are not naturally able to keep themselves warm.

And this is because their short coats don’t provide enough warmth when it’s cold outdoors. So, a sweater and a raincoat can be very useful pieces of clothing for your Boston Terrier.

“If your dog is not showing signs of overheating, it is likely that your instinct to provide a little extra insulation in extremely cold temperatures is appropriate.”

Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO and writer at AKC website (Source).

In general, Boston Bull Terriers don’t do well with extreme temperatures. During cold weather, they can show signs of early hypothermia such as:

  • Shivering.
  • Cold ears and feet.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Increase in urination.
  • Hair standing on ends.

If you notice any of these signs, you should:

  • Bring your pooch indoors immediately.
  • Dry your Boston if necessary and offer him warm water.
  • To be safe, call your vet to make sure your dog is safe from hypothermia or frostbite.

Apart from winter, there’s another time when your Boston might benefit from wearing a sweater. If your dog has skin allergies, as some Boston Terriers do, a cotton sweater can help keep him from breaking into his skin.

Read also: Boston Terrier Care in Winter – 8 Tips to Prevent Frostbite.


Boston Terrier Clothing Guide

When choosing a sweater for your Boston Terrier, it is important that it fits properly in order for your pooch to be comfortable and stay warm.

I’m sure you’ll agree looking cute is also important. 😉

If clothing doesn’t fit right, your Boston might:

  • Suffer from restricted breathing because of the neck being too tight.
  • Have restricted movement due to being too tight on the chest.
  • Get sore spots on his skin.

How to Measure Your Bonton Terrier

To avoid these, and also wasting your money on clothes that don’t fit… let’s measure your pooch!

Insider Tip: When measuring your dog, place your Boston on a flat surface, and have him stand up, looking straight ahead. It may help if another person stands in from of your pooch whilst you take the measurements.

Follow these step by step guide to measure your Boston (you’ll need a tape measure for this):


#1 – Measure the Neck Circumference

Place the measuring tape around the widest part of your dog’s neck snugly, but lose enough that you can fit a finger between the tape measure and the dog’s neck. This will allow free movement and breathability in the clothes.

#2 – Measure the Length of the Spine

Measure the length of your Boston’s back from the base of his neck to an inch past the dock of the tail.

  • For sweaters, you want to leave your dog’s tail uncovered for freedom of movement and so it doesn’t interfere with potty time.
  • For raincoats, which are made of stiff material, you might want them to go over your dog’s tail, so his bottom doesn’t get wet with the rain.

#3 – Measure the Girth of the Chest

Measure the circumference of your Boston Terrier’s chest at the broadest part of his chest while he’s standing up and relaxed.

As per the neck measurement, you also want the tape measure to be a little snug but loose enough that you can easily fit a finger in between.

#4 – Measure the Flank or Waistline

How you measure your dog’s waistline will depend on if your Boston Terrier is a female or a male dog.

  • If your Boston is female, measure her at the narrowest part of her waist keeping the tape measure snug, but not too tight.
  • However, if your Boston is male, measure his waist an inch in front of his sheath. This is important so clothing doesn’t interfere with peeing and also doesn’t rub against the sheath area causing soreness.

#5 – Measure the Breadth of the Chest

Place the tape measure from the point of your dog’s shoulder on your left and span the width across your dog’s chest at the widest part.

When measuring the dog’s chest width, be sure to account for the extra width that the Boston’s powerful shoulder muscles add to the width of their chest.


How to Choose a Sweater for your Boston Terrier

Due to their compact frame, muscular shoulders and broad chest, finding dog clothes for Boston terriers can be quite tricky.

#1 – Dog Clothes Features

Once you have the measurements, begin considering:

  • The material (wool is warm but can be itchy).
  • Is it machine-washable?
  • How easy is to put on and take off.
  • An opening to hook the leash to the harness. Some come with hooks to attach a leash but might tear easily.
  • Safety: pieces that can be chewed and swallowed like zippers, hooks, buttons or tags.

#2 – Dog Clothes Functions

For facing those cold winter months, you might want to consider:

Those are choices that you can easily shop for in Amazon, you can also browse for more options in my Boston Terrier clothes list.

#3 – Dog Clothes Safety

Insider Tips: For a safe usage of dog clothes:

1- Get your pooch used to a sweater gradually.

2- Dog clothes are to be worn only under direct supervision.

3- Remove any clothing when you are not directly observing your pooch, such as at night, whilst at work and other hours.

4- Only use sweaters to take your Boston outdoors when it’s cold.

Use the How to Choose a Dog Sweater guide to get more details on this.

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