How to Crochet A Dog Sweater: Tips And Tricks to Keep Your Pet Warm

How to Crochet A Dog Sweater
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

When it comes to being creative, there’s nothing that you can’t do, and the same can be said for making outfits for your dog. There are plenty of fashionable outfits out there, but why waste money when you can make some yourself? Learning how to crochet a dog sweater from scratch allows you to stretch your mind and create beautiful sweaters that can match your dog’s personality as well as accessorizing with your own outfits.

Take the guess work out of buying sweaters at the store; your dog could be a weird size where nothing really fits. Instead, you get to take your own measurements and create something that is uniquely him, and fits well.

Making a dog sweater

Where you choose to knit or crochet, knowing how to knit a dog sweater can make all the difference in the world when it comes to keeping your dog warm. You’ll feel proud of seeing your dog wear something that you’ve made, and you can even make a small business out of it if it gathers enough attention.

Your fashionable dog could be the envy of your block, and soon everyone will be wondering where you got his outfit from. With a little ingenuity, a DIY dog sweater can expand your talents into other areas, and soon you’ll have to be building your dog his own tiny closet to fit everything in.

Before getting started, there are five important tips that you should keep in mind when learning how to make a dog sweater.

Wool-Ease Thick and Quick

First, you should pick the right yarn for the job. For dogs, you’ll want a yarn that is washable and has a tighter spin. This way, the yarn won’t pill or halo when your dog moves around so that the sweater always looks its best. Wool-Ease Thick and Quick is one of the best yarns to use for dog sweaters, as it is available in a wide range of colors. Vanna’s Choice is also another wonderful brand that comes in bright colors, and the yarn itself is very soft. You’ll appreciate how much longer your sweaters last when using these yarns.

Vanna's Choice

Secondly, you’ll need to measure your dog, probably multiple times. The most important measurements that you’ll need to take are around the body (usually the chest), the length of the back from his neck to his tail, and around the neck and legs. These measurements will help you to choose the right patterns that will fit your dog best, so that you don’t end up making something too big or too small. If you’re particularly crafty and experienced in crocheting or knitting, these measurements can help you to make patterns of your own so that you’ll always have the best fit.

Dog measurement infographic

Thirdly, there’s a difference between making a puppy sweater and a dog sweater. If you’re making a sweater for a puppy, keep in mind that in the next year or so, he’s going to outgrow it. If it’s a sweater you want to keep for a long time, plan on making it a little bigger than your puppy’s actual size so that he can grow into it. On the other hand, if you do enjoy making these sweaters, you can always make another one to fit him next year, and the year after that.

Fourthly, swatch and check your gauge. Checking the gauge is very important when fitting a dog sweater, especially if you’re switching between yarns or the size of needles. If you don’t do this, then your sweater will differ in the size of the stitches as well as the pattern, and that can make an odd looking sweater.

Homemade dog sweater

Lastly, find a pattern that you love and feel comfortable with. It’s more important to start off simple and work up to the more complicated patterns. The simple patterns can teach you the important basics and can help you to get accustomed to how to build a dog sweater from scratch. Starting off with a technical pattern can not only leave you confused, but it can also make you extremely frustrated.

Crocheted reflective sweater

This pattern comes in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to measure your dog to discover which size would be best for him. The yarn is reflective by nature, which is good if you take your out during the evening. It’s best to be safe on the street, so the reflective yarn is definitely a plus. This simple project is a good start for beginners, and provides the basics on starting your own sweater.

The instructions start with the neck so that you can get used to the form of the sweater that’s being created. They’re provided using a single color only, which can be easier for beginners to do instead of learning how to switch the color of thread in the middle of crocheting. After the neck, the entire pattern is divided into three: the two legs, and then the back panel.

Make crocheted reflective sweater

The pattern uses a 5 1/2 millimeter crochet hook in order to make the stitches small enough for the sweater to be warm. Handy tips are provided on starting and finishing rows, and how to ensure that you’re not missing out any rows. The last stages of the instructions focus on starting and finishing the legs of the sweater, as well as finishing the seam up the middle of the chest so that the sweater is complete. The link for the pattern can be found at Red Heart, and is of intermediate skill.

Video tutorial:

Easy crochet dog sweater

This simple dog sweater can be made for a Chihuahua or a Great Dane. After all, many breeds of dogs need to stay warm during the winter season. What makes this project extremely simple is that the yarn and gauge size are left up to your discretion, so that you can make exactly what you need and with a unique look. Embellishing the sweater is also quite easy, so you can add a little flair to your dog’s sweater.

Easy crochet dog sweater

The simple sweater pattern uses two straps that are equipped with Velcro, one to go around the neck and another to go around the belly. The sweater is more suitable for cooler weather instead of winter weather. The measurements that are needed to create a pattern are provided in the video, but they are meant for a small dog. The tutorial is easy for beginners to follow, as instructions are provided on all of the stitches that are needed to form the sweater, such as the decreased angle stitches, as well as making the back and belly straps that you’ll need to keep the sweater on your dog.

Video tutorial:

Crocheting a dog sweater

Making a dog sweater couldn’t be simpler with these easy-to-follow instructions. The pattern is for a turtleneck sweater for a Yorkshire Terrier, so it’s more suitable for small dogs. Sadly, instructions haven’t been provided on the measurements that should be used to alter the pattern for a larger dog, but by using the yarn measurements provided in the beginning, samples can be used in order to determine how many rows need to be crocheted in order to make the size that you need.

Instructions are also provided to add a trim color to the sweater so that there can be some variety. Fade outs provide information on the current areas of the sweater that are being worked on, so that you always know which stage of the sweater’s construction you’re in.

Video tutorial:

Striped dog sweater

This easy to follow instructional video creates a lovely black and yellow striped sweater, but any colors can be used to achieve a different look. The kind of yarn, size of crochet hook, and all other materials are provided at the beginning of the video, making it easy for you to get what you need before you start. Instructions are also provided in the measurements that you need to take in order to crochet a sweater that fits your dog properly. The patterns start with creating a link at the collar, and working on the rest of the sweater from that point.

Striped dog sweater

Instructions are also provided for those who have never crocheted several colors together, so that you won’t be lost or left to wonder how to complete the sweater on your own. The wonderful thing about this sweater pattern is that it can also double as a Halloween costume for your dog if you add a pair of wings. The link for the pattern is provided in the description of the video.

Video tutorial: 

Loom knit dog sweater

If crocheting isn’t your thing, there’s always using a loom to knit a dog sweater. This can be helpful for those who put projects down and don’t want to forget where they left off.

Knitting on loom is extremely easy, as there are only two stitches that you need to learn that are alternated to create the sweater.

Belly straps are added to keep the sweater on your dog, and instructions are provided to show you how to attach buttons to your work. They add a nice whimsical touch to the sweater and last a lot longer than Velcro.

The most important part is ensuring that the measurements are right so that it fits your dog correctly, so don’t be afraid to keep double checking your work to ensure that you have the right number of stitches.

Video tutorial:

In conclusion

Creating a dog sweater from scratch can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have this holiday season that you may have a hard time making just one. Your dog will appreciate the extra layer of warmth, and you’ll have fun experimenting with all of the colors, stitches, and techniques that can be used to create a unique look for your dog.

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.