If you do go for it, make sure there are no hazards. For example, a scarf could get wrapped too tightly, and accessories can cause choking if swallowed. The first thing to keep in mind, always, is the comfort and well-being of your dog. Use your best judgment here.
Is there ever a legit reason to dress up your pet? Yes! Cold weather is an obvious one. For dogs with thin or light coats of fur, the harsh cold of certain climates just aren’t manageable without a good coat or sweater. Exactly how cold your dog gets depends on the breed, size and age.
Smaller, lighter, and less furry breeds are more comfortable in a sweater or a coat. The same goes for dogs with fresh haircuts, or dogs who are aging or sick. Dogs that are made for the cold have an extra layer of insulating fur built in. For them, too many layers could mean overheating, which is just as bad as getting a chill.
Besides keeping your dog warm, clothing can also help with anxiety. The sense of security that comes from a snug-fitting vest like the Thundershirt can be soothing for anxious dogs. Next time there’s a thunderstorm in the forecast, or your town is planning a big fireworks show, try an anxiety vest. It can make all the difference in ensuring that your dog feels safe and comforted.
Finding the Perfect Fit
- Consider materials. Wool is warm, but it can be itchy—think about hiking socks, for instance. Cotton is breathable, but doesn’t dry as well.
- Take measurements. Clothing that’s too tight or too big is seriously uncomfortable. The better the fit, the happier the dog! And remember: they need to be able to relieve themselves, so shop accordingly.
- Read reviews. Pet parents look out for other pet parents—if you’re shopping online, see what people like or didn’t like. Testimonials are a great way to make sure you’re getting the best clothing for your dog.
The bottom line? If your dog will happily wear a hat for a quick photo to amuse you (and up your Instagram game), that’s great. If your dog has a legitimate need to get dressed, go for it! If your dog is upset or uncomfortable in clothing? Better to pass.
Remember – clothing should only be worn for short periods. Wearing clothes for long periods can result in matted hair and several skin disorders.