Dog Clothes: The Good, The Bad, And The Cute
I know it, you know it, we all know. Dogs are cute as heck.
But do you know what takes it to the next level?… Dogs wearing dog clothes.
A Golden Retriever in a little coat and hat might just cause the social media to implode from the sheer cuteness.
However, dog clothes are more than just a total fashion statement. They provide an opportunity to give our beloved canine companions some unique care, whether it’s through the clothes themselves, or the tender act of dressing them up.
If you’re looking for yet another way to express how much you love your dog, then dive in and explore the benefits of dog clothing!
Dog Clothes: Must-Have Accessory or Useless Fad?
Try rolling around the snow without your winter clothes, and you’re going to be hypothermic within a couple of minutes. Humans have soft (mostly) hairless skin and simply can’t survive in the great outdoors without some protection in the form of clothing.
Meanwhile, one look at a Husky and its gorgeous double coat is all it takes to give credibility to the idea that dogs don’t need dog clothes. Dogs with thick, luxuriously coats seem to be able to frolic in sub-zero temperatures without a care in the world.
So, ALL Dogs Have Thick Warm Coats?
With that said, some dogs don’t deal with cold weather very well. Short-haired breeds like the Dalmatian or the Dachshund don’t quite have the same thermal protection as a dog like the Husky, or a fluffy Malamute, or German Shepherd.
So, they’ll definitely need some additional protection to conserve their body heat during the cold seasons.
And yes, even if your dog prefers to stay indoors, and you have indoor heating within your home, you may find that mornings or particularly bad storms can lead to brisk air temperatures that could harm your pet! Back to ToC
Dog Clothes Aren’t Just About Keeping Your Pup Warm
Dog clothes aren’t just about providing warmth. Dogs with skin conditions or who otherwise just like to scratch could stand to benefit from an extra layer of clothing to protect their body from irritation and their own scratching.
Dogs with allergies could use dog clothes to protect themselves from allergens in the environment, which may help with allergic reactions.
There are also parasite resistant or repellent clothing that could act as a complement or alternative to flea collars. These can be a very useful tool to help out a dog that’s prone to ticks and fleas!
And dog apparel could benefit more than just the dog itself—if you or someone else in the household is allergic to your dog, having them put some clothing on could trap the hairs and dander that cause allergies, reducing symptoms for everyone affected. Back to ToC
How Can I Tell If My Dog Needs Dog Clothes?
The problem with many dogs is that they’re pretty good at masking how they feel. Dogs are famously stoic in the face of all but the worst pain, and that holds true for their temperature as well.
One excellent rule of thumb to follow is this: If you, wrapped up in clothes, are feeling cold right now, there’s a good chance that your dog is feeling cold too, so it might be wise to wrap them up in dog clothes to make them feel better.
If you’re using a space heater to keep yourself warm, call them over and have them join the fun.
Another tip is to watch if your dog is trembling. This is a pretty good universal sign of being cold for any mammal, after all. Many dogs will also curl up in a little ball or tuck their tail near their bodies when they’re cold, although it can be hard to differentiate this from normal behavior.
You can also feel the edges of your dog’s ears to check how they’re feeling. If your dog’s ears are cold to the touch, instead of warm like the rest of their body, then they might be too cold for comfort. Back to ToC
Benefits Of Dog Clothes
Dog clothes come with a variety of benefits that could certainly help your dog out. Here are a few of the most important ones.
Dog Clothes Keep Your Dog Warm
Let’s do a recap on how clothing keeps us warm in the first place.
It’s pretty obvious that on a cold day when you wrap yourself in blankets or layer on some clothes, you get warmer, even if you’re not next to a space heater or a fireplace. This doesn’t mean the clothes by itself are producing the heat — it is your clothes that are trapping the heat your body is radiating away, and keeping it close to you.
Fur works the same way, with the simple exception that it naturally grows on a dog. A thicker fur coat is equivalent to thicker clothes, so the thick fur of a husky would be like a sweater, and the thin fur of a Basset hound would be more akin to a T-shirt.
Putting dog clothes on your pup further improves their thermal protection, adding onto the heat-trapping capability of their existing body fur.
A dog with thin fur that might not otherwise be able to handle a cold environment, will be able to stay warm and happy with some dog clothes on. Back to ToC
Paw Protection: Dog Feet Are Sensitive To Heat Too!
Just because dogs seem to walk around just fine without shoes, doesn’t mean that they’re not uncomfortable.
For instance—on a very hot day, try putting your bare foot on the pavement. If it’s too hot for your foot to handle, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws to handle as well.
Similarly, your bare foot on ice and snow will surely sting, and it could even lead to frostbite if you kept it up for too long.
It really doesn’t help either that many roads are filled with gravel and other sharp debris that could slice through your feet, or your dog’s paws. The same goes for sharp fragments of ice in the snow.
Thankfully, there are plenty of dog shoes out there that can protect a dog’s paws from the environment, keeping them away from extreme hot or cold, and harmful debris on the ground that could hurt them.
Dogs, especially the very extroverted and hyperactive ones, can get pretty dirty, and won’t say no to rolling around the dirt. And they don’t groom themselves as thoroughly as cats do.
By putting dog clothes on your pet, you can reduce the amount of dirt that they accumulate on their fur and bodies. This means fewer grooming trips, fewer baths, and less of a hassle overall for everyone involved.
When wearing clothes, your dog will also be protected against potential allergens or sources of skin irritation as well. Back to ToC
Dog Clothes Can Reduce Anxiety
Some dogs are pretty susceptible to anxiety, often brought about by owner separation or traumatic events like thunderstorms and fireworks.
There are plenty of dog clothes such as anxiety vests that can help soothe a dog by providing them with a very mild and comforting pressure, which feels like a snug hug from their owner.
Aside from the direct anxiety-reducing effects, they can also protect a dog from anxiety-induced self-harm, such as excessive biting or licking.
Dog Clothes Are Super Stylish!
Dogs are cute.
Dogs in clothes? Too cute!
Your dog might not necessarily understand or care about the kind of dog clothes you put on them, so as long as they’re comfortable, you can safely throw on whatever you want. The options are endless; cute character costumes, wellingtons, college jerseys, there’s so much opportunity!
Dog Clothes Can Help You Bond With Your Dog
Dogs can’t really put their own clothes on. This means that dressing up a dog involves guiding them carefully in a slow and gentle process that can be a great bonding experience between owner and pet.
As you dress up your dog, you’ll be touching them, rubbing them, stroking and petting, dogs love to please their owners and they love to perform new challenging tasks. This is a wonderful activity and can build their trust and comfort with you.
If you dress up your dog regularly, they may begin to associate clothing with positive emotions and will learn to love their adorable dog clothes. Back to ToC
Dog Clothing Can Actually Improve Cleanliness
If you have a furry dog who seems to shed a lot, then you certainly know the pain of having to clean up all the hairs that scatter randomly all over your house.
Putting your dog in some clothes can make life easier for you, as the stray hairs will get caught in the fabric. Cleaning up the hairs, then, will be as easy as brushing them off the inside of your new dog clothes.
Dog Clothing Improves Outdoor Visibility
Depending on the color of your dog’s fur, they may blend in with the foliage if they run off during a walk. Wearing high-visibility dog clothes can help you spot them, so they don’t get lost all that easily.
There are also high-visibility vests for night-time walks, which work similarly to the vests that construction workers and traffic enforcers wear. They reflect light so that they’re easier to spot if you’re shining a light on them at night.
They’re not just practical, they act as a kind of cute costume too! Back to ToC
What Kind Of Dog Clothes Should My Dog Wear?
Sweaters, cardigans, dresses, jumpsuits, costumes — there’s something out there for every dog!
However, before you start grabbing anything off the shelves or anything off the Internet; you need to keep in mind that every dog is different, and will have different preferences for fabrics.
If your dog gets itchy or is allergic to a particular material, take it off immediately and switch it out for something else. If you’re unsure whether your dog is getting allergies from clothing, please consult your vet.
It’s also important that you get the fit right because a dog can’t tell you if their dog clothes are too loose or too tight!
There are three principal measurements to look out for when considering full-sized outfits for dogs. That’s the length of the back, the neck girth, and the chest girth.
The length of the back refers to the length of your dog’s back, from the nape or bottom of their neck to the point where their tail begins. When looking up clothing measurements for back length, you’ll want to match this pretty closely so that your dog gets a snug fit.
However, if your dog has very thick fur, or is a little chubby, try to go up a size to compensate.
The neck girth is the width of your dog’s neck, measured at the bottom.
The chest girth is measured at the point where your dog’s rib cage is the widest. This is usually right behind the front paws.
As with back length, go up a size if your dog is a little on the larger side of the size range.
With this in mind, here’s a list of some of the most popular clothing options for your dog:
Scarves are some of the easiest dog clothes to put on any pet, so you can think of them as entry-level attire for your dog. Most dogs won’t really complain about scarves, so a dog that doesn’t like a full-body outfit can wear a scarf.
You can also use scarves as a litmus test to see if your dog will be open to any sort of clothing at all. Back to ToC
Pet sweaters are some of the cutest things you can put on your dog. They’re warm, and also make your dog feel so nice and snuggly when you hug them.
They’re also pretty easy to put on and take off, so you can choose a sweater if your dog is rather fussy or agitated when takes too long to put their dog clothes on. Soft and comfortable fabrics like wool are recommended for sweaters.
Dog hoodies are easy to wear and don’t restrict movement all that much while providing just enough thermal protection for seasons like spring and autumn when it’s still a little chilly. They can be made of cotton and can look pretty stylish too.
Dogs don’t stop walking just because it’s rainy outside, and many dogs actually like getting wet. However, it can still make a mess, and they run the risk of stepping into dirty water and getting sick.
For these rain-loving dogs, and of course dogs who don’t like water, you can buy raincoats to keep them dry in the rain. These can be heavy and bulky so make sure that you choose one that fits well so as not to impede their movement too much.
Dog Bow Ties And Other Dog Accessories
There’s a reason why the fashion world is associated with that stereotypical phrase, “Accessorize!”. If all you’re looking for is a fashion statement for your dog, then a little ribbon or a bow tie can add that dapper appeal to an already handsome canine.
Make sure you don’t tie it too tightly, though! Back to ToC
Dresses for dogs are the next level in cute dog clothing. You can find Gothic lolita dresses, Roaring Twenties-style flapper dresses, even modern dresses that almost look wearable by humans!
Keep in mind that dresses can be more delicate than other dog clothes, and can be harder to put on if they’re particularly complicated.
Dog shoes come in a variety of styles and purposes. As mentioned above, there are shoes that can protect your dog’s paws from hot pavement or cold snow. There are also boots that can help them avoid slipping on wet or snowy surfaces while keeping their paws dry.
Some shoes also help with visibility during night walks.
Dog Clothes Are Pawsome!
There are so many different kinds of dog clothing, and the sky’s the limit for choosing how to dress your dog.
However, it’s not like dressing up a doll or some virtual avatar—you need to know how to choose these dog clothes and what each style is appropriate for.
And of course, more than anything else, you need to be considerate about your dog’s wants and needs — if they reject clothing, then don’t force it on them! Back to ToC [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]