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6 Great DIY Christmas Sweater Plans for Dogs You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Kerry-Ann Kerr

By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Dog wearing a red christmas sweater

Christmas is the perfect time of year for family and terrible sweaters, and why should your dog miss out on this embarrassing tradition? Finding the ideal Christmas ensemble for your pet can be tricky. Instead, you can skip all the shopping hassle and make your own. After all, you know which style will suit your dog the most.

This article will look at some of the cutest Christmas sweaters you can make at home. Some require experience with sewing, but there is nothing too challenging, and there’s something for everyone. No matter what you’re looking for, we have a sweater for your dog to get you into that festive, DIY spirit!

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The 6 Great DIY Christmas Sweater Plans for Dogs

1. DIY Striped Crochet Christmas Sweater by TwinStarHooks

Materials: Yarn, yarn markers
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Measuring tape, scissors, tapestry needle, crochet hooks

This adorable crochet Christmas sweater is fit for an elf or a dog who wants to be cozy this holiday. The simple pattern isn’t very challenging if you’re new to crocheting, which is a bonus!

2. DIY Christmas Tree Sweater by The Broke Dog

Materials: Sweater (green preferably), pompoms, gold ribbon, star appliqué, thread
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Needle

You could knit your sweater, or if you lack the skills, just buy a plain sweater instead. Either way, you’re going to end up with a festive tree sweater that will win your dog the best-dressed competition at the Christmas party. It’s simple and one of the least time-consuming projects on our list.

3. DIY Crochet Santa Dog Costume by Free Crochet

Materials: Yarn, yarn markers
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Measuring tape, scissors, crochet hooks

This fabulous Santa outfit will make your doggy the envy of all of his friends. Not only is there a sweater, but also a matching hat that ties under his chin. It’s a simple pattern, and if your dog isn’t fond of having things on his head, you can donate the hat to another festive pup. It’ll still be one of the most festive sweaters out there!

4. DIY Santa Dog Bandana by Jo to the World Creations

Materials: Yarn
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Crochet hooks, yarn needle, scissors

We’ve added a cute festive bandana for dogs that hate sweaters. A bandana is lighter and not as warm for those fluffier canines. So, even if he can’t wear a sweater, he can at least join in the festive fun.

5. DIY Santa Claus Knitted Dog Coat by Handy Little Me

Materials: Yarn, buttons or press studs
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Knitting needles

This Santa coat comes with a detachable belt, which you can use buttons or press studs to attach. If your dog has a bad habit of nibbling things he shouldn’t, go with the press studs to avoid the risk of a button being accidentally swallowed. It’s a simple enough pattern for a novice knitter, and there isn’t anything more festive than dressing up like Santa Paws!

6. DIY Merry Santa Sweater by Garn Studio

Materials: Yarn
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Knitting needles

This cute knitted sweater with a Santa pattern is for the dog that likes a more understated style during the festive season. This pattern is also available in hats and sweaters for humans, so you could create the perfect set of matching sweaters for this year’s card if you start early!

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How To Measure Your Dog

For DIY clothing, one of the trickiest parts you’ll face is getting your dog to cooperate while you measure them. We suggest using a soft tape measure, like the ones used for sewing, and if you have a wriggler on your hands, get help from another person.

For coats, sweaters, and shirts, you’ll determine the top-line which is from the base of your dog’s neck to where their tail starts. For a sweater to fit, you’ll need to measure under the chest.

Start at the base of your dog’s throat in the front and bring the measuring tape to a stop at the end of the dog’s ribcage. The girth measurement ensures straps will fit correctly, so you start behind the dog’s front legs and move the tape up and around the ribcage.

To measure your dog’s neck, which will be helpful with the neck of sweaters, collars, scarves, and bandanas, put the tape measure around the dog’s neck. Make sure you don’t pull too tightly. Leave enough space to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the tape measure.

Lastly, to measure your dog’s head for a hood, place the tape measure in front of the dog’s ears and bring it down around the jaws. If your hood is attached to the coat or sweater, measure from the midpoint of the ears to the base of your dog’s neck.

Tips for Putting Clothes on Your Dog

What one dog will put up with, another won’t. So, just because your childhood dog allowed you to dress him up doesn’t mean the dog you have now will. Respect your pet’s boundaries and watch for signs of stress.

Signs of stress to be on the lookout for are:
  • Ears turned back and lip-licking
  • Leaning back with tail tucked and ears back
  • Low body posture and tail tucked
  • Low wagging tail and ears back
  • Panting, pacing
  • Teeth exposed in a “smile” shape, eyes squinted or shut, ears back
  • Yawning and leaning away

Remember, this is meant to be fun. If one of you isn’t having fun, stop immediately!

What To Consider When Dressing Your Dog Up

Ensure the clothing isn’t too tight so the pup can move about easily. Also, make sure the clothing fits well and that their mouth, ears, eyes, and nose aren’t blocked. Be sure to check that it’s easy for them to pee and poop if you’re planning on having it on when they’re outside. Don’t leave your pet dressed up alone, in case they become stuck or trapped, which might result in them hurting themselves.

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Final Thoughts

If you fancy getting creative this festive period and involving your dog, there’s a sweater project out there for you both. Whichever style you’re looking for there’s something available to match your skill level. Your dog can finally get involved in that festive spirit, and we hope this list has inspired you today. Just make sure you take the time needed to measure your dog, so the sweater fits well.

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Featured Image Credit: Ryan Seth Nau, Shutterstock

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