In the mid-aughts, you couldn’t open a tabloid without seeing a celeb holding a dog dressed to the nines. And what was once considered a trend, has now progressed to the mainstream. Dressing up dogs is a heated subject for owners. All dogs go to heaven but are all dogs into fashion? Like humans, each dog has their own personal style. And while some dogs can’t stand the feeling of an extra layer, others won’t leave the house without their raincoat. Experts say it all depends on the individual dog.
Clothing can be great for dogs with thinner hair as well as dogs that are sensitive to temperatures and love to be warm. A cozy sweater can also help anxious pups feel more secure. Clothes can also provide coverage for stitches, injuries or skin conditions. Note-Lisa Vanderpump’s beloved Giggy, who needs couture for his alopecia. Similarly, small dogs that are often carried are not as affected by their clothes as opposed to dogs required to walk around in them.
Whether or not your dog wants to rock a onesie also boils down to their association and conditioning with clothes. If owners get excited during the dress-up process, their pups will feed off of the love and attention they receive. So they become conditioned to have a positive association when the wardrobe comes out. For dogs with a habit of chewing on everything in sight, clothing might not be the best option. Clothes can also increase the chance of misunderstandings between other dogs. Body language such as ear/tail position may be difficult for the other dog to detect while the dog wearing clothes may be unable to properly make signals like “let’s play” or “leave me alone.”
For pups in need of something cozy when temperatures drop, here are some things to look for when shopping:
The most important thing to consider is the dog’s comfort. Make sure their movement isn’t limited and they’re able to see, breathe, bark etc. Poorly fitting doggy apparel can get caught on external things, potentially leading to injury. Check for small, dangly pieces that can be easily chewed off and pose a choking hazard. A jacket or raincoat should have an easily accessible opening for the collar/harness rings where a leash can be attached.
All clothes should be simple to put on and take off without irritating the dog. It’s also very important during the winter months to take care of your pup’s feet. Your dog might need booties to protect their paws from ice and melting salt as both can cause pain or damage.
Keep in mind, doggy costumes are different from doggy clothing. There is a difference between dressing a pet for comfort or for fashion. It’s important to remember that you’re dressing your dog not yourself. However thanks to the age of athleisure and canine dressing entering the mainstream, there are many chic clothing options designed with a dogs needs in mind. It’s never been easier for your dog to chill both in comfort and style.