Increasing numbers of pet owners are choosing to put clothes on their dogs, but many others think it’s unnecessary, and potentially even harmful. So who is right? The truth is are certainly some circumstances where it might be beneficial for a dog to wear clothes and not just to look stylish!
Read on to discover five good reasons why your dog might need to wear clothes, that have nothing to do with fashion.
1. To protect skin
Most dogs love nothing more than a lovely long walk in the outdoors, unfortunately, the great outdoors is also home to lots of things that can irritate your dog’s skin. From a wide variety of bugs through to burrs, pollen and nettles, there are lots of potential irritants in the wild.
Clothing can protect your dog’s skin from coming into contact with these irritants and can also stop your dog’s fur from collecting debris that they might then bring back into your home.
2. To shield against bad weather
If you want to be able to take your dog out with you in all weathers, then dog clothing can help shield your four-legged friend from extreme weather of all varieties.
Extreme weather like snow, wind, rain and sun can all be uncomfortable and even harmful to your dog in the same way they can be to us humans too. So in the same way you’d dress appropriately for the weather before a walk, you should consider the correct clothing for your dog too.
Dog raincoats help keep your pooch dry in downpours, which means less time spent drying them off after their walk and also makes the walk a more comfortable experience for them too. Dogs can get hypothermia and frostbite just like humans. A padded coat and snow boots allow your dog to enjoy a winter walk without suffering from the cold.
3. To help regulate body temperature
Dog clothing can help your dog regulate their body temperature. This is especially true for smaller dogs or those with a very short coat or who have had their fur clipped. These dogs might struggle to bring their body temperature back up after getting cold and need a little extra help from clothing.
In hot weather, on the other hand, some dogs with thick fur might struggle to cool themselves down and becoming overheated is very dangerous to dogs as they can suffer from heatstroke. Clothing such as a cooling vest can help bring their body temperature down.
4. For safety
Another great reason for dogs to wear clothing, which isn’t about fashion, is because clothing can help keep your dog safe.
Brightly coloured clothing with reflective and hi-vis materials helps to increase your dog’s visibility when out and about. This can help keep both you and your pooch safe at night or when visibility is poor. It lets other road or pavement users know where your dog is and also makes it easier for you to spot your dog should s/he run off.
You can also get buoyant lifejackets for your dog if you plan to spend time around open water.
5. For older dogs
Older dogs can struggle to regulate their body temperature in the same way that puppies or small dogs can. Additionally, they may also suffer from joint pain which can be exacerbated by extreme temperatures and they may have other health conditions that make it more difficult for them to enjoy the activities they once did without becoming cold and tired in winter or overheated and unwell in summer.
Dog clothing like a dog coat can help keep your senior dog warm during colder weather so you can still enjoy your usual walks together and know they are comfortable and cooling wear can help your older dog stay cool when the temperature begins to rise.