Should We Buy Clothes for Dogs?

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It used to be that only the littlest; most delicate of dogs owned by the wealthiest of socialites would be seen wearing clothes. This is probably because clothes for dogs used to be priced out of reach and available only in sizes to fit the tiniest of breeds. These days things have changed and clothes for dogs are now affordable, fashionable and readily available to fit the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane.

If you’re tempted by the hype and the cuteness factor, you may be inclined to buy that dress for Daisy or the faux leather jacket for Fido, but are they necessary?

The question remains, should we buy clothes for dogs?

There are situations of course that some believe may justify buying clothes for dogs:

Rain – If you live in a very rainy climate, a raincoat for your dog can feel like a necessity. The weather is no longer an excuse for that much needed exercise for both dog and owner and anything to minimize the wet dog scent is always a benefit. There are fashionable raincoats with reflective tape, raincoats with faux belts and floral prints. There are packable raincoats that fold into the smallest of pouches to be easily stowed away to await an unexpected rainstorm.

Cold – Living in an extremely cold climate may also give you cause to consider buying clothes for dogs. There are a variety of shoes available for dogs that range from fashion to function. There are down-fiIled ski vests and hooded parkas trimmed in fur available in every colour imaginable. If you’re a snow-weather enthusiast you may consider buying the dog booties that protect your furry friends paws from sharp ice and clumping snow.

Sport – Some dog owners who spend time on the water see dog lifejackets as an essential safety necessity, while other sun sensitive dog breeds may wear various sun-safe clothing to protect them from dangerous UV rays. Dogs riding in open air vehicles can sometimes be seen wearing doggie sunglasses in order to protect their eyes from wind and specs of dust and debris.

But these extreme conditions aside, are there any other justifiable reasons for buying clothes for dogs? Many owners say that their dogs ‘enjoy’ being dressed up, while others say that their dogs hate it and are ’embarrassed’ to wear clothes.

Whether it be for fashion or for function, there are various factors to consider when buying clothes for dogs:

Sizing – This can be difficult because there are no standards of measurement for dog clothes so ideally it’s best to have your dog with you to try things on. Buying online can be more economical although you’ll have to wait longer for your canine garments to arrive. It’s imperative that you take accurate measurements and hope that your seller has done the same.

Durability – Dogs can be rough and tumble or delicate and calm but either way they are still dogs and likely to run and jump and put a garment through a fair work out. Depending upon your planned use for the garment, it’s important to make sure before your purchase that the quality of the workmanship will stand up to the rigors of your dog’s lifestyle. Check the stitching for any gaps or missed stitches and try out the closures to confirm that they are in good working order and will open easily and close securely.

Also check the washing instructions, if you are using the garment fairly regularly you’ll likely want something that can be tossed in the washing machine without too much care and attention. The more intricate and adorned garment will likely require more care with cleaning.

Function – Even the most fashionable garment has a purpose, whether it be to provide warmth, or to keep your dog dry or to simple make her look pretty or stylish or adorable. Regardless of the desired function be sure that what you are purchasing suits your needs and that it’s something your dog will actually wear. If you’re purchasing a jacket for warmth, check the fabric content, and labelling regarding wind and water resistance. If you’re garment purchase is for purely aesthetic reasons, still check the quality of the garment features, a pretty jacket isn’t so pretty if it doesn’t sit properly on your dog or if the bow doesn’t hold its shape. Remember, even the most tolerant of us will not appreciate a scratchy tag or seam that rubs. And lastly, a raincoat that’s not actually waterproof won’t be of much use or comfort for you or your dog.

write by Starsky Banks


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