Should You Put Clothes on Your Dogs or Not?

More likely than not, you’ve seen many pet parents dress up their dogs in stylish and eye-catching outfits. This might seem innocent at first glance; after all, a lot of people treat their pets like their own children and want them to be attractive and presentable at all times. But underneath the glitzy and fashionable outfits is this important question: do dogs really need clothes or not?

Dressing Up Your Pet

The answer to this question depends on the weather. If you live in a place with a warm climate, or if it happens to be summer in your area, there’s no need to dress up your dog. In fact, many experts advise against it since it can lead to overheating and make your pet fall ill. If it’s winter, on the other hand, you might need to put your dog in warm clothes — but this depends on breed and his specific needs.

Small dogs like Chihuahuas and terriers, as well as those that have thin body types like whippets and greyhounds, often don’t have the ability to keep themselves warm during cold days. Because of this, they’d greatly benefit from wearing clothes. This is also the case for breeds that have naturally short or thin coats as well as those who need to get regular haircuts to prevent their fur from being matted (such as poodles).

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Older dogs — particularly those with weak immune systems — will appreciate the extra warmth that clothes bring during the cold season. Pets with hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and other types of illness will also benefit from wearing warm clothes.

On the other hand, dog breeds that originally come from cold climates (such as the Siberian husky, Saint Bernard, and Alaskan Malamute) are built to withstand low temperatures and don’t really need to wear clothes. This is also the case for breeds that have long, thick coats that provide them with insulation and protect them from the cold.

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Choosing the Right Clothes

If you decide that your pet does need to wear clothes, the next thing you should do is to buy the right outfit for him. Don’t just stop at choosing the most fashionable options, though; instead, take a close look at the material and ensure that it can effectively keep your pet warm without making him itch. You should also consider the item’s washability: can you throw it into the laundry machine, or does it need to be hand-washed?

Of course, make sure to choose the right size. Too-tight clothes will restrict your dog’s movement and make him uncomfortable, while loose garments can get caught on rocks, sticks, and other objects and might cause injuries to your pet. Take measurements of your dog’s neck and chest circumference, as well as the distance from his neck to his waist, and use these measurements to find clothes that perfectly fit your pet.

What About Footwear?

Dog shoes are as important as pet clothes, particularly during winter. This comes from the fact that salt, antifreeze, and ice-melting products can irritate dogs’ skin when they come into contact with their feet. Fortunately, you can easily protect your pet’s tootsies by making him wear special dog boots. Make sure to look for boots that are made of warm and waterproof materials and can provide enough traction so your dog won’t slip on wet and icy surfaces.

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