I live in the northeast United States, and the weather can become fairly cold here in the winter.
Jackets and sweaters for dogs seem to be popular around here, but are they necessary?
I can understand some breeds of dogs with shorter fur needing some additional assistance in cold weather, particularly if they originated in warmer climates (e.g. chihuahuas). However, I frequently see dogs with longer fur bundled up against the cold, such as terriers, poodles, and bichons.
Are these merely fashion accessories, or do dogs need protection from cold weather even on short walks? If the extra protection provides actual comfort, instead of fashion, how do you determine when the weather is cold enough to merit it for a dog? Presumably the point at which clothing becomes beneficial varies from breed to breed; is there a simple guideline I can use?