Dogs need knitted love, too! Here are 10+ wonderful ways to keep your furry friend warm
Do you or someone you love own a dog?
I should probably say, “Are you or someone you love owned by a dog?” We have two dogs in our household, and although they are (mostly!) well-behaved, it often feels like they own us rather than vice versa!
Case in point: in cold climates, dogs need a way to stay warm. Particularly when the dogs in question have short coats. (And often, smaller dogs with longer coats need some help staying warm, too.)
Enter the dog sweater, sometimes called a dog coat.
As it happens, my younger daughter recently wished to get a “cute outfit” for our newest dog. I thought it was a good idea too, because unlike our older dog Winnie, Cinnamon is a short-haired dog, and it’s starting to get colder out.
Take a wild guess what I discovered when we went shopping for doggie sweaters…
They Want How Much for a Dog Sweater?!
You guessed it–I discovered that dog sweaters can be quite pricey!
At one of the stores we hit, I couldn’t find any dog sweaters that would fit our puppy for less than $20. I don’t even spend over $10 for my own sweaters! (I shop at Goodwill, mind. But still.)
We found a cheap sweater for Cinnamon at Walmart, but perhaps unsurprisingly, she wasn’t thrilled with it. (We’ll give it another try when she really needs it.)
This entire adventure made me wish to look back into knitting a sweater for our beloved puppy. You might be surprised at just how many free knitting patterns for dog sweaters you can find online!
The following are some of my favorite choices! I have divided them by breed or size; you can use those guidelines to help find the right size for your precious pup.
1. For Dogs of Any Size
- What you’ll need to make it: 1 to 12 oz (depending on the size of the dog and the weight of yarn you use) of sport weight to worsted weight yarn, preferably wool or wool blend; circular needles or DPNs (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round) in a size matching the gauge of the yarn you choose.
- Why you’ll want to: Esther Smith Bozak designed this picture-perfect dog sweater after years of searching for the perfect pattern, and now it’s online for you to enjoy. If find your dog hard to knit for due to his/her size, this may well be the perfect pattern for your pup.
- What you’ll need to make it: Almost any yarn you have on hand will work, with the amount needed depending on the size of the dog; circular needles and/or DPNs in the size suitable for your weight of yarn, depending on how prefer to knit in the round.
- Why you’ll want to: This amazing sweater pattern is part pattern, part recipe. You can make this pattern for any dog from the tiniest Chihuahua to the biggest Great Dane. Better still, you can make it for any animal. Try it for your guinea pig, your ferret, your cat, your bunny, your lamb, or your llama!
Please note: this pattern is NOT free; however, it is very reasonably priced, and you can message the designer if you positively cannot afford to purchase the pattern but would really like to give it a try.
- What you’ll need to make it: 300 to 900 yards worsted weight yarn (depending on size of dog); US Size 7 needles in any combination of straight/circular/DPNs, depending on how you prefer to knit in the round (circular needles, of course, can be used for flat knitting as well); cable needle or spare DPN.
- Why you’ll want to: Designed for the smallest as well as much bigger dogs, this lovely sweater is a great way to learn and practice knitting cables.
- What you’ll need to make it: 100 to 400 yards worsted weight yarn (depending on size of dog); US Size 6 and 7 needles, plus US Size 6 circular needles and/or DPNs, depending on how you prefer to knit in the round; cable needle or spare DPN.
- Why you’ll want to: This might be my favorite cabled dog sweater. What makes this pattern so adorable is that the cables are designed to imitate doggie bones and doggie biscuits. So clever!
- What you’ll need to make it: 109 to 436 yards DK weight yarn (depending on size of dog); US Size 2 or 3 and 4 circular needles and/or DPNs, depending on how you prefer to knit in the round.
- Why you’ll want to: This is a beautiful way to try your hand at Norwegian stranded colorwork! This gorgeous coat will fit a dog from the size of a Chihuahua to the size of an Irish Setter.
Knitting Pattern Central’s Pet Patterns: Okay, I admit it. I’m totally cheating here. This isn’t just one doggie knitting pattern… it’s a whole bunch! You’ll find not only dog sweaters but also cat sweaters. As well as dog toys and blankets. And cat toys and blankets.
This page of free patterns is a true rabbit hole for animal lovers. (Pun completely intentional.)
2. For Greyhounds (and Similar Sizes)
- What you’ll need to make it: 480 to 720 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 7 circular needles and/or DPNs (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round); 3 to 4, 18 mm (3/4 inch) buttons; 3 stitch markers.
- Why you’ll want to: Sweater patterns for tiny dogs abound. But big dogs — especially those with very short hair — need knitted warmth, too! Greyhounds inspired this lovely sweater. And a peek at the Projects tab of the Ravelry page shows that you’ll love this pattern for other large, sleek dogs, too.
3. For Medium-Sized Dogs (e.g., Beagles or Cocker Spaniels)
- What you’ll need to make it: 434 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 6 and 7 needles; 2, 1/2-inch buttons; 4 stitch markers.
- Why you’ll want to: This is one of my favorite free dog sweater patterns ever. I love the jaunty collar and the buttons. Doesn’t the sweet dog shown here look so dapper?
Check here for more free knitting patterns for your furry friends!
4. Toy to Medium-Sized Dogs (Chihuahua to Cocker Spaniel)
- What you’ll need to make it: 110 to 175 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 8 needles
- Why you’ll want to: This is a very simple sweater pattern designed to fit the unique dimensions of the adorable pug breed.
- What you’ll need to make it: 109 to 265 yards DK weight yarn; US Size 2, 3, or 4 circular needles and/or DPNs, depending on the size of the dog and how you prefer to knit in the round.
- Why you’ll want to: Here’s another adorable sweater using Norwegian stranded colorwork, a perfect canvas for your earliest (or more confident) practice. And it’s just right for small dogs!
- What you’ll need to make it: 109 to 218 yards DK weight yarn (depending on dog size); US Size 6 circular needles and/or DPNs (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round); cable needle or spare DPN; scrap yarn or stitch holder.
- Why you’ll want to: Seriously, how cute is this sweater? The cables and turtleneck make it so stylish. Plus, it’s the rare dog sweater that reaches all the way to the dog’s tail.
- What you’ll need to make it: 200 yards worsted weight yarn; US Sizes 8 and 7 circular needles and/or DPNs, depending on how you prefer to knit in the round; cable needle or spare DPN; stitch markers; scrap yarn or stitch holder.
- Why you’ll want to: Got a little cutie who’s about to start school (aka obedience training)? Send her off to school in style with a “prep” sweater, featuring a turtleneck and a set of interlocking cables down the middle of the back.
What better way to show love to your furry friend through knitting than by creating a beautiful coat, just for them, to keep them warm?