Maybe you feel like pet clothes are a way to express love and gratitude for your pet’s loyalty and companionship. You like to dress your dog for every occasion, a different outfit for every day. Or perhaps you feel dogs should not be treated like people and it’s inhumane to make a pet wear clothes. Whether you should dress your pet is debatable and controversial.
There are tons of options out there for the fashionable pet: pet sweaters, shirts, dresses, vests, coats, pajamas and bathrobes, hats, bonnets, bandanas, pet diapers for the dog being potty trained, shoes and boots, and even hair clips. Add to that list, clothes for special occasions.
Before deciding whether your animal will wear clothes or not, consider your pet’s likes and dislikes, his personality and his needs. Some dogs seem to actually enjoy wearing clothes and thrive on the attention they receive while wearing them. Other dogs want nothing to do with it, still others get used to the idea and learn to tolerate it.
Also consider your pet’s safety and comfort. Make sure clothes fit properly and are comfortable. Clothes that are too big could easily become caught on something; clothes that are too small can be restrictive and cause injury. Always supervise your dog while he’s wearing clothes to prevent him from chewing the clothes or getting snagged on something. For example, what if your pet escapes and gets his clothes caught on the fence?
Another factor to consider is if your pet is susceptible to cold temperatures. For example, if your dog is very young or old, has arthritis, or is short-haired or hairless he may need protection from the cold. In that case, pet sweaters, coats, rain slickers, and/or blanket coats make sense.
Clothes with reflector paint or strips can be useful if you take your dog hunting, jogging, or biking with you in the evening. Life jackets are important to prevent drowning if you take your dog boating or if your dog is in the water for extended periods of time. Goggles designed for dogs can protect eyes from debris and UV rays and can also be used to correct vision problems.
Pets are not used to wearing clothes and probably feel more comfortable without them. Be sure and let them have some natural naked time, especially when they are engaged in physical activities such as running or playing.
Take into consideration your pet’s feelings and the climate you live in before making up your mind. Use common sense. If your dog seems indifferent or seems to enjoy wearing clothes, you may want to dress him up sometimes. On the other hand, don’t force your dog to wear clothing, especially if it makes him nervous.