A puppy wearing a colourful sweater sure looks cute, but do dogs really need clothes? After all, they already have their own natural clothes in the form of fur, right? While in many cases a dog won’t really need the extra layers, there can be very good reasons to dress up your pet. So, while putting your dog in a silly costume just for the sake of looking fashionable isn’t a great idea, dog clothes are acceptable and even preferable in the following cases.
When It’s Chilly
If your pet shivers visibly when exposed to low temperatures, it’s to its best advantage to wear special dog clothes. While all dogs are protected by their fur coat, some dogs have a thinner layer than others and aren’t genetically equipped to deal with cold temperatures. Smaller and less furry breeds such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers have a genuine need to be bundled up for the cold as opposed to Newfoundlands or Huskies. And the same goes for dogs who’ve had a fresh hair cut, or are ageing and sick which can result in being unable to maintain proper body temperature. With that being said, dog clothes should be designed to keep the animal warm without affecting its movement in any way, thus allowing it to do typical dog stuff with ease such as running and jumping.
When It’s Raining
While most dog breeds have water-resistant coats that protect their skin from getting wet, some aren’t that lucky like for instance Akitas, pugs, bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Chinese crested dogs and similar breeds. For these dogs, being exposed to cold rain can result in a cold or even hypothermia. With that being said, if you own a dog that does not have a water-resistant coat, a waterproof raincoat can help ensure he/she stays dry and protected during rainy weather.
When You Have a Dog that Enjoys Attention
Just like people, many dogs love the extra attention that they receive when they are all dressed up in a stylish way. So, if you have a dog that’s playful and likes to be pet, dressing it up in a cute, lightweight vest will surely inspire many people to stop and interact with you and your pet. Then again, some dogs can be shy and sensitive and don’t want to be pet by random passers-by. In that case, extra attention is probably not a good idea. That being said, you know your pet’s temperament best, so if he/she actually enjoys the occasional fashion show, go for it!
When Your Dog’s Paws Need Protection
So, we’ve made it clear when it’s acceptable and even preferable for your dog to wear clothes, but what about shoes? There are several situations when dogs need to wear shoes. Like for instance, when you’re walking your pet and the sidewalks are either icy or burning hot from the sun. In both of these cases, if your dog’s paws aren’t protected, it can experience discomfort and pain, and even injuries. Another situation when it’s recommended for dogs to wear shoes is when you’re hiking or walking over rough terrain that can cause injuries and even infections on their paws.