Is It Okay To Put Clothes On Your Dog?

Is It Okay To Put Clothes On Your Dog?

Halloween. Christmastime. Winter. 

These all seem like great opportunities to adorn your furry friend with jackets, accessories, or costumes. But… is it safe to put clothes on your dog?

This topic is of great debate. A quick Google search will show mixed reviews. Much like parenting human children, there is not a one-size fits all answer for pet attire. So, consider taking a moment to educate yourself. The following will explore the pros, cons, needs, and process of dressing up your pup. 

The Pawsitives

Let’s start with the obvious: dressing up your pet can be fun! Seeing a floof in special attire can make them look extra cute. Additionally, pet attire can protect your furry friend from the weather and anxiety, both of which will be explored more later on. So, what’s the big deal? Well, it is important to be educated on the potential downsides of doggie dress-up. 

A small brown dog wearing a brown and red sweater lays on a sofa
dog in a couch

The Negatives

Unfortunately, there are some concerns that should be kept in mind when it comes to dressing up your furry companion. Why you should not dress up your pet examines the causes for concern. Costumes can be problematic if they limit your pet’s mobility, are ill-fitting, hide your pet’s body language, or lead to discomfort. If you do decide to dress up your pooch, make sure you mitigate these issues. This can be done by ensuring their outerwear is well-fitting, functional, and comfortable from your pupper’s perspective. 

Dress Up Your Pet
Dalmatian dress as a Christmas tree

Use Cases

Thanks to How to know if your pet needs clothing, the answer is simple to assess your pet’s clothing needs: pay attention to their behavior and body language! If you live in a colder climate or have a not- so-furry-furry friend, you may notice your pet shivers, hides, or suffers from dry skin as a result from coldness. You can help maintain your pet’s warmth by getting them a well-fitted jacket. 
For those doggos in snowy climates, booties can be a great addition to a jacket to keep warm and prevent irritation. Ice melt products can irritate paws as well as very cold temperatures or ice.

Booties keep disruptive material out by providing a protective barrier. Also, booties can help with post-walk cleanup at home, especially for furry and fluffy puppers. There is nothing more annoying than your pooch tracking in snowy chunks from outside that melt into cold puddles! 

Another beneficial and less obvious use includes pet safety. If you walk your four-legged friend during low-visibility hours like dawn or dusk, reflective or bright clothing can help provide visibility of your less obvious pet. If you walk at darker times, consider safety gear for yourself and your walking companion to protect you from passerbyers.  

Lastly, pet clothing can be good for medical treatment. Maybe you have heard of anxiety vests. Anxiety Vests for Dogs can be beneficial to provide a calming effect on your pet from loud noises or disruptive or stressful activities like nail-trimming, moving, or unusual visitors. Much like babies enjoy being swaddled or my personal newfound appreciation for a weighted blanket, these vests provide a cuddly calming hug. Although there is little data, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. 

If you are going to utilize an anxiety vest for your pet, make sure you are attune to their behavior. Although they may be more still, this may be a sign of uncomfortability rather than calmness. And, if your pet has a good deal of anxiety symptoms, you may benefit from getting your vet involved. Your pup may benefit from a combination of medication and other modifications in addition to protective and calming clothing. 

The Process: How to Dress Up Your Pet Safely

So, if you want to dress up your furry friend, how should you do so? Thanks to A Guide to Dressing Up Your Pet, the process can be simple. Firstly, make sure you are patient and calm. Don’t try to rush your pet into something that makes them seem uncomfortable. By gradually introducing them to their new attire, they can become more comfortable with the scent, feel, and proximity. Make sure you pick what is best for your pet, and maintain awareness: make sure you look out for signals of distress! 

In conclusion…

If you are left with further questions and concerns when it comes to dressing your pet, take a moment to ask your vet their educated opinion. Ultimately, make sure you and your furry friend have a good understanding of each other before rushing into any dress up. They need to be comfortable with you and their attire, and you as the owner need to be able to understand signs of discomfort. 

Dressing up your fluffer can be fun, cute, and even beneficial! It’s just important to have an understanding of pet attire and a smooth dressing process. So, ensure proper fitting and a content pooch for an enjoyable and stylish time! Maybe next year’s Christmas card can include matching pajamas for the whole family!

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