Winter attire is a must for many small dog breeds. However, not all clothes can protect pets against weather conditions. Moreover, some dog owners buy colorful jackets just to make their four-legged friends look cuter. Is that the right to do, though?
The debate on whether dogs should wear clothes or not is ongoing. Clothes can protect pets against the wind, rain, or frost, but clothes are not recommended for all dogs. Also, some materials aren’t just good enough. For instance, did you know that wearing thick materials can sometimes lead to overheating in dogs?
In this article, you will explore the pros and cons of dressing up your dog:
Some dogs need extra protection
Some breeds have very thick fur that can protect them during the winter. For example, huskies feel so much better in low temperatures rather than when it’s hot outside.
However, dogs with a small amount of fatty tissue under the skin, with a short coat, or even hairless should wear winter clothes. Puppies, older dogs, and sick ones are also particularly at risk of getting cold, just like small dog breeds. Observe your pet. If he trembles during cold snaps, you should definitely dress him up.
It’s important to mention that intense colors such as yellow and blue can stimulate interest in other dogs. Your pup might not want to be a star of the park, so consider getting neutral-colored clothes to avoid extra attention.
During the summer, your fluffy friend can also benefit from sun-protective clothing, especially if he has light-colored skin, according to experts from The Pampered Pup. However, if your pup can handle hot weather pretty well, don’t put clothes on him.
Dog’s comfort above all
Remember that you are buying clothes not for yourself, but for your dog in the first place. Every piece of cloth should be very comfortable so that it does not limit the dog’s movements. The paws should be exposed to enable moving freely, running, and playing with other dogs. Also, make sure your dog can urinate freely.
It is better not to choose clothes with hoods, scarves, and other quirks, because it might scare off other dogs. For example, other pups won’t be able to read your dog’s body language if he wears something unusual. Moreover, they may even try to attack your dog (we fear what we don’t understand).
Clothes should not restrict natural dog communication. If you cover your dog’s ears, tail, and head with clothing, it will be impossible for other dogs to read correctly the signals your dog is trying to give them.
Clothes should only cover the dog’s torso. Also, they shouldn’t have any metal elements that can irritate the skin. It is good if additional components such as reflectors or raincoats are present.
Help your dog get used to wearing clothes
If you think that your dog needs clothes, train him as early as possible. It’s been proven that puppies can adjust to new things (such as clothing) faster than older dogs. With extra effort, you can also train your adult dog to wear clothes.
Before you try to put an outfit on your dog, let him examine it first. Once your pup shows some interest in clothes, offer him a treat.
Experts recommend putting the clothing on gradually without using force. Consider praising the dog while dressing him up and giving him a toy to play as a reward for wearing the clothes. It will not only distract your dog, but it will also help to create a positive association with that piece of clothing.
Some dogs may feel uncomfortable at first, so it’s worth encouraging the dog with tasty prizes to walk around the house and gradually forget that he has something on.
Remember that clothes with strange elements might scare other dogs. Your pooch may become the object of excessive interest and even an attack.
Keep in mind that some dogs are just too active during walks, so they can’t wear clothes that can negatively affect their body’s thermoregulation ability.
To help your dog get used to clothes, observe him first, and make sure he feels relaxed. Just remember that in the first place, those clothes are not supposed to be pretty, colorful or shiny. Your pup should be protected and feel comfortable in any weather.