Bob Bestler

It’s doggie sweater time, and that’s cool

According to a New York Times article, dog sweaters are mostly unnecessary.
According to a New York Times article, dog sweaters are mostly unnecessary. AP

Oh-oh. A weekend with temps in the low 30s, possibly worse.

You know what that means. Time to get out the doggie sweater.

Yeah, Wasabi owns a sweater. It’s really swell, even has a Santa Doggie staring back at folks.

Honestly, it’s nicer than any of my sweaters. That dog is cool, cool.

In Wasabi’s defense as a bona fide dog, let me say his winter sweater is the only piece of clothing he owns.

He doesn’t go to various pet parades to show off some silly, emasculating doggie costume. He doesn’t wear a bandana or do-rag, like some of his friends do. Usually, we kind of laugh at them.

So, anyway, I figured he’d be wearing his Santa Doggie sweater this weekend – until an article in The New York Times suggested that Wasabi may not need that swell sweater.

The article pooh-poohed the whole idea of slipping a sweater on a dog, no matter how cold outside.

“A dog’s circularity system is actually quite good in regards to dealing with the cold,” veterinarian Richard Goldstein told the Times.

He added that the average dog – or, in Wasabi’s case, the above-average dog – is better equipped to handle cold weather than hot weather.

I can attest to that. After any summer-day walk, Wasabi rushes into the air-conditioned house and crashes against the wallboard, staying there the next half hour or so, until the panting subsides.

Goldstein points out that short-haired dogs – chihuahuas and poodles, for instance – are more susceptible to cold than shaggy-haired dogs. Well, of course. Even a rocket scientist knows that fur is warmer than hair.

And large dogs – a Labrador or golden retriever – can usually survive winter, even a New York winter, on their own.

“It would be hard to imagine a larger dog that would need a jacket,” Goldstein said. “You’re doing it more for the owner and the cuteness than for the dog.”

More for the owner than for the dog? More for cuteness?

Bite your tongue, Mr. Doctor. Wasabi loves his sweater. Ask him.

The good doctor is not much help on one other matter. He says the parts of a dog’s body most in need of protection are the face, mouth and nose.

Hey, thanks, Doc. I’ll be sure to wrap Wasabi’s head in a blanket when it gets below freezing. Hope I can find one with a swell Santa Doggie.

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