These days it is quite a common site to see dogs wearing clothes. In fact the ‘clothes for dogs’ industry is absolutely massive. There are clothes for dogs to suit every occasion. Some canines have wardrobes that contain as many, and in some cases more, items of clothing than their owners.
There are basically two main types of clothing available for dogs. There are clothes such as coats and sweaters that are designed to be functional and there are clothes that are sold purely as fashion items.
Some dogs certainly do not like wearing clothes. On the other hand there are a vast number of dogs that seem to be perfectly happy wearing clothes. Some of the dogs wearing clothes that you see actually seem to be enjoying the experience.
If you want to dress your dog it is important that you take the feelings of your dog into account. If your dog becomes extremely upset or distressed when you are trying to dress him/her then it is a good idea not to force the issue.
In many cases however it is simply a matter of taking things gently. With a bit of coaxing and positive reinforcement (treats) your dog is likely warm to the idea and will gradually become accustomed to wearing the clothes.
Remember it is far easier to train a puppy to wear clothes than it is to get an older dog to wear them.
Many breeds of dogs originate from warm climates and are ill equipped to cope with the cold winter weather that they are likely to encounter in some regions.
Chihuahuas for example are native to Mexico which is generally quite warm. As such they have quite thin coats and are therefore likely to feel the cold quite badly in areas that have frost and snow during the winter months.
In this type of situation it could be argued that some form of warm protective clothing is essential if you do not want your dog to suffer unnecessarily.
Many small breeds of dog such as the Yorkshire Terrier, Pug, Toy Fox Terrier, Miniature Pinscher and Dachshund have either short hair or hair that is not thick enough to provide protection against the cold.
There are also a number of larger breeds that also either have very fine coats or lack body fat to help keep them warm in the winter months. Whippets and Grey Hounds are prime examples of these types of dogs as they have neither long coats or a great deal of body fat to keep them warm.
Just like humans a lot of dogs do not enjoy going out into the rain and getting wet. If this is the case with your dog then maybe you should consider providing him/her with a rain coat of some description.
It is a little more difficult to make a case in support of dogs wearing clothes simply to be fashionable. In general however it is purely a matter for the owner of the dog. If you like to see your pet dressed in dog clothing then there is no reason why you should not do so.
Providing the clothes are not causing your pet to be distressed or uncomfortable then it is perfectly OK.
A word of warning! Please take care if you are dressing your pet whilst the weather is particularly warm. The clothing can irritate the skin and cause skin complaints such as atopic dermatitis.
You should always make certain that the clothes you buy for your dog fits him/her correctly. Always measure your dog and pay attention to the size guides that manufacturers provide for each item of clothing. Badly fitting clothes will be uncomfortable for your dog to wear and may cause hime/her to rebel against wearing them.