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Dog Clothes: The Do’s, Dont’s And How-To’s

Veterinarian Reviewed by Dr. Janice Huntingford, DVM on March 2, 2018
Posted in Dogs

Your pup might look cute dressed in a sweater on a cold day or in a funny costume for Halloween. But does dog clothing actually help your pet stay warm during the winter? Or does dog clothing only restrict your pup’s movements and not do much else? I have heard solid arguments for both sides. Depending on who you talk to, some will say that dog clothes are the best or worst thing you can do for your pup.

So, how can you know if your dog really needs to wear clothes? We’re here to help you figure that out. In this post, we will examine the benefits and drawbacks of dressing up your pooch as well as how to dress it if that is what your heart truly desires:

Do Dogs Need Clothes?

In truth, there is no right nor wrong answer to this question. It really depends on your own preferences as well as the temperament of the dog in question. Some dogs might enjoy the extra attention and possess the patience required to sit still whilst you doll them up – but others might rebel against the very idea. Some dogs are very shy and taciturn and won’t enjoy all the attention that comes with wearing clothes. Is your dog the type that could chew – and possibly swallow and choke on – any scarfs or other clothing accessories? If so, it is best to avoid dressing up your dog.

Another factor to consider is weather conditions. For dogs with very light or thin coats who live in cold climates with harsh winters, you might want to look into a good sweater or coat. You have to think about just how cold your canine friend gets because the clothes it requires will depend on age, size and breed. Dogs that are particularly young, old, or sick, will have greater clothing requirements.

Another possible reason for dressing up your dog is the sense of security it provides. If your dog deals with anxiety, consider a snug-fitting vest to help soothe its nerves, especially during the next time a thunderstorm or fireworks spectacle hits your town.

Go to PupsBest for more dog care-related tips and advice!

Dressing Your Dog

Before you do anything, you must first take your pet’s measurements. Measure the neck, length and girth before checking a sizing chart for dog apparel. Ill-fitting clothing that is too big or exceedingly tight, will be very uncomfortable for your pet. If you can’t find a size that fits your particular pooch, it is better to go a size too large rather than the other direction. The better your dog’s clothes fit, the happier and less antsy it will be. Another factor worth remembering is that your dog needs to be able to relieve itself at the proper time, so choose your dog’s outfit accordingly.

Consider also what type of materials will be most comfortable for your dog. As a general rule, wool is warm but can be very itchy. Cotton on the other hand, is one of the most breathable materials out there, but tends not to dry very well when wet.

When choosing the type of apparel you want for your dog, consider both your and its needs. Are you dressing your dog to protect it from the cold weather? If so, choose a parka or sweater – and perhaps even booties if the ground in your area becomes coated in ice or sleet during the colder months. If you are dressing your dog for the holidays, take a look at what dog costumes are available, such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or special Halloween outfits.

Finally, read the reviews provided by other customers for the various products that are available in-store or online. See what’s hot and what’s not; what the masses like. Getting the opinions of people who have “been there and done that” is a fine way of ensuring you get the best clothes possible for your loved one.

Read also: Keeping The House Clean With Pets

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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