Knitting a Dog Sweater the Easy Way

Believe it or not, you can create a sweater for a small to medium-sized dog in about the amount of time it takes to watch a couple of movies—and when you get comfortable with the pattern, you can even do it during the movie.

The sweater I like to make for donating to dogs in Mexico is a very simple model that is made in the garter stitch (the simplest knitting stitch there is), and you can embellish it with a bit of a collar if you like.

This sweater is made in two pieces that you can stitch together at the end.

What you will need

  • Set of #12 or #13 needles or #14 for the ultrathick yarn
  • 1 skein of thick yarn
  • 1 large-eye needle

All of this will set you back about $5…Woo Hoo! I buy my supplies at Michael’s, but PayLess often has good deals on yarn, and you can always get it online. Now for the Pattern.

Simple Dog Sweater

Note: larger sizes are indicated in parentheses)

Back Piece

Cast on 25 (31, 37, 43) stitches. Work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 7 (12, 14, 16) inches  from beginning.

Decrease Row: K 1, K2 tog, K to last 3 stitches, K2 togl, K 1. Just 23 (29, 35, 41) stitches should now remain.

Knit 3 more rows, then do another Decrease Row every 4th row, 4 (4, 5, 7) more times. You should then have 15 (21, 25, 27) stitches remaining. Bind off.

Tummy Piece

Cast on 11 (13, 15, 17) stitches. Work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 5 1/2 (8 1/4, 11 1/4, 11 3/4) inches from beginning.

Decrease Row: K 1, K2 tog, K to last 3 stitches, K2 tog, K 1 until 9 (11, 13, 15) stitches remain.

Knit 4 rows. Repeat Decrease Row ever 5th row 2 (3, 4, 5) more times until 5 stitches remain. Bind off.


Starting from bind off edge, sew sides of Tummy Piece to Back Piece for 2 ( 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2) inches. Leave the next 3 (3 1/2 4, 4 1/2) inches open on each side for legs, then sew closed remaining length of sides.

How easy is that? For a variation, more experienced knitters may want to add a few inches of ribbed collar.

Here is what the sweaters look like on. This one has a bit of a ribbed collar but they look just as nice without. If you are a first-time knitter, there are a lot of resources online for learning the basics, or you may want to rope in a friend to show you how.

red standard poodle wearing a blue sweater So if you are looking for a low-cost way to contribute something to doggie-kind, consider knitting some doggie sweaters for us. Send us a photo of your work and we will add it to the story! 

Contact amanda@wraycodesign for information on where to donate your doggie sweaters. If you think you might want to join in on a regular knitting circle, join our MeetUp group and indicate you are interested!

Please Note: I’m not able to answer any more questions about measuring. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Acomb (top)