Imagine a small dog wearing clothes.
I bet you’re picturing Paris Hilton carrying an oversized Louis Vuitton tote with her tiny pup sticking out and sporting a ridiculous pink outfit bejeweled to the nines—for no apparent reason other than to grab paparazzi attention.
Dogs aren’t a fashion accessory, Paris.
Unfortunately, this image has created the bad rap dog clothes have.
In reality, yes, dog clothes make dogs look even cuter than they already are. But they also have many purposes that can actually help protect a dog. In many cases, dogs even love their outfits. Here are 5 reasons why you need to stop rolling your eyes at small dog clothes.
Protection from Rain
I don’t know about your dog, but my dog HATES getting wet. As soon as he comes in after his pee in the rain, he runs to a sofa or bed to vigorously wipe himself off. It sucks for him and it sucks for my newly washed blankets that now have the distinct wet dog smell.
An easy way to prevent this? Getting your dog a raincoat or waterproof vest. My dog was originally opposed to the idea and pretty uncomfortable with it. But after a few times, he got used to the clothing and I think he understood that it kept the rain off. After all, he only needs to keep it on while he’s outside.
Protection from Cold
If you live in sunny California, this won’t apply to you. But if you live in a colder state or county, listen up: Dogs get cold, too! Yes, some breeds may be better built to stand the cold. But if you see little Teddy shivering on walks or avoiding going outside every time it snows, consider investing in a dog coat.
If you choose a well-built dog jacket made with a warm material like cotton, it’s likely that your dog will stop trying to tug it off because he’ll realize he’s warmer with it on. My dog doesn’t like snow booties, but I see that many dogs do, so that’s another good option to check out.
On the flip side, some companies also make sun protection shirts that protect dogs from cancer-causing UV rays.
If you have a female dog who hasn’t been spayed, purchasing reusable dog diapers can be a cheaper option. Small dogs bleed enough during their period to create stains on carpets and furnishings. However, since they don’t bleed a ton, washing the cotton underwear won’t be gross.
These days many women are investing in environmentally-friendly reusable pads and DivaCups—so why shouldn’t your dog follow suit?
During winter months, my dog loves to bury himself in a pile of blankets. Even though the house is warm to me, his small stature is still a little cold. I’ve found that once I bought him a dog sweater vest, he was more comfortable and less likely to hide himself under anything he can find. I think the sweater is like a warm hug or cuddle for him.
The trick is to buy a sweater that isn’t too tight or bulky; your dog needs to be able to move comfortably like normal. If you pick the right outfit, it’s possible for your furry friend to love small dog clothes.
There’s many other specialty dog clothing with valuable purposes:
- Life jackets
- Reflective vests (if you walk your dog in the dark)
- Cooling vests (for very hot climates)
As with anything you purchase for your dog, use common sense. If your dog is clearly distressed about an outfit, it’s not right for her. Only buy clothing of the right fit. Make sure it doesn’t tug or itch their fur or add unnecessary warmth.