7 Free Knitting Patterns for Dog Christmas Clothes (Plus Pro Tips!)

Christmas has come early for crafters! You can get your pooch holiday-ready with these free Christmas-themed knitting patterns for dog sweaters.

Updated December 21, 2023
Cockapoo Puppy Christmas Portrait

If you're a knitter then you know how your friends, neighbors, parents, kids, and co-workers always end up with a few handmade goodies for the holidays. Expand your repertoire from human friends to canine ones with these Christmas jumper knitting patterns perfect for the dogs in your life. If you're running low on time or funds, but you've got some leftover yarn in your stash, then take a deep breath — Christmas just came early. 

Free Dog Sweater Knitting Patterns 

Everyone's got to be camera-ready for the annual holiday photos, and these festive Christmas sweater knitting patterns will help your pooch put their best paw forward. 

1. Knitted Dog Christmas Coat

Ho Ho Ho doggie sweater on dog

This classic Santa-style jumper lets you dress up your canine companion for a Christmas Eve visit. This pattern is worked entirely in garter stitch and requires a crocheted edging. If you don't know how to crochet, you can still bring this sweater to life! Just leave off the edging and black belt for a more simple looking sweater. 

2. Knitted Dog Christmas Shrug

This Christmas sweater is a quick, easy and stylish shrug for your favorite friend. When knitting this simple shrug, start with a small width, knitting for the leg/ankle first and increasing the width as you go along to fit around the dog, and then working your way back down the other leg, decreasing the width. If your four-legged family member is on the smaller side, this sweater pattern is perfect for them.

3. Santa Claus Inspired Dog Sweater 

Get your pup ready for the annual festive family pajama photo with this adorable Santa Claus inspired knitted sweater from Les Tutos De Crici's YouTube channel. All it takes is the simple stockinette stitch and alternating colors to create the iconic white border. 

4. Knitted Dog Snowflake Sweater

This cute red-with-snowflake dog sweater knit pattern is adorable and has five-star reviews from people who have tried it. It's certainly got adorable style!

5. Winter Woof Dog Sweater

Knit this winter sweater from the top down so you can custom-fit it to your dog, and change the colors to suit your holiday preferences. Add holiday buttons, and Fido will keep off the frost in style.

6. Red and Speckled White Dog Sweater Pattern

Red Heart's Fair Isle dog sweater pattern is just divine. The lovely two-tone sweater with a snowflake motif will be perfect for the holidays or to wear all winter long. 

7. Red and Green Pattern To Match the Tree

Finally, Ravelry has a constantly changing selection of patterns like this fun red and green sweater. This one's got over 18,000 votes and sure would look cute as your pup sits under the Christmas tree!

7 Tips for Knitted Dog Sweaters 

bulldog in knitted christmas sweater

If you're a fiber artist of any level, then you know that every project has its own hang-ups (pun intended). From making yarn substitutions because of allergies to factoring in extra time to finish everything up, here are some purls of wisdom that can help you finish your sweater just in time for Christmas. 

1. Never Force Your Dog

While we love dogs in Christmas sweaters, not every dog will enjoy wearing clothes. Never force your pup. If you've gotta knit, consider donating some of your knitted sweaters to the local animal shelter for a fun and festive way to catch potential adopters' eyes!

2. Dogs Might be Allergic to Some Fibers

Just like humans, dogs may be allergic to (or have skin sensitivites) to certain fibers. If you have a dog with a history of skin sensitivities or allergies, be on the lookout for reactions and contact your vet if any pop up. 

3. Choose a Fiber With Some Elasticity

Yarn that's "flat" or without any spring to it may stretch out of shape. Dogs like to move, and a non-stretch yarn won't hold up to their zoomies like a stretch one will.

4. Plan Extra Time

Sometimes, finishing a sweater can take almost as long as knitting it. Don't forget to factor in more time for blocking, sewing, and embellishing the sweater to your gift-making schedule.

5. Check the Pattern's Size Chart and Adjust for Your Dog

Take the time to measure your dog across the shoulders, around the chest and neck, and from the base of the neck to the tail before buying your yarn. You might need more or less than recommended depending on what size the pattern's based on. 

6. Don't Leave Your Dog Alone 

If you're using natural yarns (alpaca, sheep, etc.) the fragrance might entice your dog so don't leave the sweater in their reach if they're an avid chewer

7. Holiday Patterns Can Be Used Any Time

While holiday knits are fun, you can make all of the patterns here in any color you want! Don't just stick to greens and reds for Christmas; consider using the same blocked patterns in other colors the rest of the year.

All I Want for Christmas Is a Knitted Dog Sweater 

Dogs can be just as difficult to shop for during the holidays as the people in your life. This stuffed toy doesn't squeak right, or those sweet potato treats don't have the right texture; the list goes on and on. Instead of pouring money into a gift your lovable lug might destroy in 10 minutes, consider knitting them a homemade sweater. Just think of how adorable they'll look, prancing around in the snow in their new Christmas jumper! 

7 Free Knitting Patterns for Dog Christmas Clothes (Plus Pro Tips!)