For many people, their dog is part of the family. So when Fido’s cold, he gets a sweater, and on Christmas Eve, he trots around in an elf costume. Is it a good idea to dress your dog? Here are the facts from the experts at PetPlace.com.
- First and foremost is safety: Doggie clothing has to fit well. Something that’s too big could easily get caught and tangle them up – or even strangle them. Which is why dressed-up dogs should always be supervised. Also, clothes that are too small can restrict movement and cause injury.
- Another factor is the dog’s comfort level: Some dogs don’t care whether they’re wearing clothes or not. Other dogs can learn to tolerate it, or even love the attention they get when they’re all dolled up. On the flip side, clothing can terrify a nervous dog and cause them to bite. Dressed-up dogs can also overheat if they’re running around. Bottom line: The decision to dress up Fido should be based on his reaction – not how cute he looks.
Is it appropriate to dress dogs up:
- Well, experts say it’s smart to dress dogs for protection. Working dogs – especially search and rescue dogs – often wear protective clothing, like boots or reflective vests. Dogs on boats often wear life jackets to prevent drowning, and dogs riding in cars with their head hanging out the window sometimes wear goggles to protect their eyes from debris.
- It can also be smart to protect your pooch from the cold. Some dogs suffer during cold weather, especially small breeds, older dogs, and those with minimal body fat – like Greyhounds. So a sweater or boots can help keep them warm and comfortable.
- What about dressing up your dog for fun. Like poochie pajamas, or a tuxedo so they can be in your wedding? Some people think it’s cute. Others think it’s animal abuse. They believe dogs are dogs and shouldn’t be regarded as people – and that it’s inhumane to make an animal wear clothes.
Still – if you’d like to introduce your dog to clothing, try these tips: Let them sniff it and become accustomed to it before you try to dress them. If they don’t like it – stop. When deciding if fashion’s appropriate for your pet, consider his likes and dislikes, his personality and his needs. Remember: It’s about the dog – not about you.