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Your Position: Home - Textiles & Leather Products - Why are pet clothes important?

Why are pet clothes important?

For the most part, no, it's not a good idea to put clothes on your pet for several reasons. There are a couple of good reasons and I will cover those.

Clothes aren't good for your pet for several reasons. One reason is that they will chafe your pet. Where a human can scratch an itch under their clothes or adjust them, a dog can't. Imagine if you're underwear were wedgified all day and you couldn't adjust them. Would you be okay? Yes. Would you be comfortable? No.

The other reason is more about psychology. I'm not going to categorically lump everyone who puts clothing on their dogs in this group, but I think a vast majority of people who dress their dogs up, do it because they see them as a child substitute. Granted they require similar care to a young child as far as not being able to feed themselves or go to the bathroom by themselves, but I think people are mentally substituting them for a baby they didn't or couldn't have, or for kids that have left home. Sometimes it happens when a child is in the house because the dog isn't argumentative. I phrased it that way, instead of saying the dog isn't bad, because a lot of them are. People feel like a talking teenager should know better. The dog should know better as well, but because they can't talk and they're dependent, it's easier to see them as a child and forgive bad behavior. It's also the reason people like cats and dogs like pugs and boston terriers. They have large eyes in proportion to their heads and this makes them seem child like.

So even though people objectively know that they're dogs, subconsciously they treat them like babies or dolls. This leads to dressing them up, painting their nails, carrying them around, making excuses for bad behavior, etc...

It's not a good psychological state for the person or the dog. On the persons side, they're transferring feeling onto an inappropriate object and they're harming their dog by not treating it like a dog. On the dog's part, they're not being taught what proper behaviors are when dealing with others. Because typically it's small dogs being dressed up, they're often forgiven for behaviors that you physically can't with a big dogs, such as biting or jumping on you. They are also carried like babies and never allowed a proper amount of exercise. These things all lead to a dog that is aggressive, territorial, and anti-social. It's all lumped in with the mindset that goes along with dressing up a dog like a person. I strongly disagree with this practice.

There are a few occasions I would find it acceptable to put clothing on a dog for short periods of time. These include a Halloween costume (though I've never put one on my dogs), a diaper when a female dog is in heat, a shirt of some kind if they have a wound you want to keep them from rubbing, a rain jacket if you don't want them to get soaked when you're taking them to the bathroom, snow boots if it gets packed in between their toes, guard vests on labs fetching in frozen lakes, and the only piece of clothing I have, which is a light jacket I put on my jack Russell in the mornings when it's still pretty cold. She has very thin hair and I put her outside when I go to work. I'll put the light hoody on her and it'll help her retain heat till the day warms up. When she heats up, she wiggles out of it and leaves it by the door.

So there are good reasons and to put clothing on dogs and bad reasons as well. If you have the correct mindset about it, the clothing serves a purpose, and you aren't projecting maternal/paternal feeling onto your dog, then clothing is fine. Otherwise, lets leave it off. Hope this answers your question.

There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other special occasions. No matter what the reason, it’s important to ensure that the clothes you buy your pet are comfortable and safe.

Types of Pet Clothing

The pet clothing business is a thriving industry. Multiple manufacturers offer a variety of functional and fun pet-sized clothing for dogs and cats, including:

Sweaters, Coats, and Sweatshirts

Sweaters, coats, and sweatshirts are ideal for pets that have a little trouble keeping warm. Before you buy or order one of these items of clothing, be sure to measure your pet’s neck and chest. Clothing should fit snugly, but not be so tight that it affects your pet’s comfort. Sweaters are appropriate for:

  • Small and toy dog breeds
  • Dogs with cropped coats, such as poodles
  • Dogs with thin coats, such as greyhounds
  • Older dogs and cats
  • Hairless cat breeds
  • Pets with conditions or diseases that affect hair growth

Pajamas

Pajamas are a good choice if you notice your pet shivering during cold winter nights. Older pets, hairless pets, pets with close-cropped hair and small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, may also prefer to wear pajamas during the day if the house is particularly chilly. Unlike pajamas made for humans, pet pajamas do not include pants for obvious reasons.

Booties

Booties protect your pet’s feet from developing frostbite, cracked pads, and burns from salt used to de-ice sidewalks and streets. Velcro straps attach the booties to your pet’s feet, and grips on the bottom help reduce slipping during icy days.

Suggested reading:
Heat Resistant and Flame Resistant Fabrics 101

Raincoats

A raincoat is a good addition to your pet’s wardrobe if you live in a particularly rainy climate or your furry friend enjoys long walks on rainy days. Raincoats also provide protection from sleet during winter walks. Fleece-lined varieties keep your pet both warm and dry.

Special Occasion Clothing

Whether you want to dress up your pet for Halloween, Christmas or another occasion, you will find a large selection of styles sure to make a statement. Make sure special occasion clothing does not contain zippers, strings, buttons, or other items that can be chewed off and swallowed.

Fun, Fashionable, and Functional Pet Accessories

Improve your pet’s fashion sense with one or more of these stylish accessories:

  • Collars and Leashes. Collars and leashes are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. Match the collar to the leash or choose complementary colors and designs. Colorful harnesses are also available for your cat or small dog.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Collars. These collars help your dog or cat stand out when the sun starts to drop and also help you avoid tripping over your pet when you sneak down to the kitchen for a middle-of-the-night snack.
  • Friendship Collars/Bracelets. Matching friendship collars and bracelets (for you) offer the perfect way to show the world that you and your pet are a team. The collars and bracelets are designed to fits dogs, cats, and their human companions.
  • Bandanas. Bandanas are a must-have accessory for many dogs. Although jaunty, bandanas are perfect for everyday wear. They also offer a fun way for your pet to observe a holiday or birthday, or show support for your favorite sports team.

Things to Keep in Mind

Your pet may resist wearing clothing at first. It’s best to introduce a new item of clothing gradually. Start by placing the sweater, pajamas, or booties on your pet for a few minutes at a time, then gradually increase the amount of time your pet wears the clothing. Some pets will never adjust to wearing clothing. If wearing a Halloween costume or donning a raincoat stresses out your dog or cat, clothing may not be the best choice for your pet.

Breeds with thick hair or breeds bred for colder temperatures do not need to wear clothing. For example, Siberian huskies were bred to live in the harsh climate of northeastern Siberia and can handle cold temperatures without a problem, although they can benefit from wearing booties to protect their feet from salt and slippery conditions.

Pets can become overheated when wearing clothing, particularly if the temperature begins to rise or if they are very active during a walk. If your pet begins to pant while wearing a sweater or pajamas, remove the item immediately.

Before you add clothing to your cold pet’s routine, be sure to get the vet’s ok that your pet’s discomfort is not being caused by an underlying medical issue. Give us a call if you’d like to set an appointment to discuss the best ways to keep your furry friend comfortable, warm, and healthy no matter what the season.

Sources:

PetMD: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter
http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_dg_sweaters_for_dogs?page=show

Friendship Collar: Home Page
http://friendshipcollar.com/

Pet360: Weather or Not: Should Dogs Wear Clothes?

Why are pet clothes important?

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