Many people think dogs wearing clothing is ridiculous and just a silly fashion trend. However, when considered from the practical standpoint, clothing for dogs has far more pros than cons, and is definitely not just a fashion statement. Sweaters, winter coats, raincoats, goggles, and even dog booties are not only useful, but also often necessary for the comfort and health of the dog.
Many dog breeds need protections during cold weather, some need protection during rainy weather, and a few breeds are prone to sunburns and need protection during days when the UV index is high. Dogs with short hair or no hair are most commonly in need of protection from the elements; however, some of the longhaired breeds also need warm coats on extremely cold days or rain gear for outings during a downpour. Without protection, these dogs will suffer when they are outside and may get sick.
The best protection against frigid winter winds and cold is a well fitting knitted sweater or winter coat especially made for dogs. For crisp fall weather, a lighter coat or sweatshirt usually suffices; a garment made of cloth is recommended. The ideal dog coat is designed so that the dogâ€™s chest is fully covered, it reaches the base of the dogâ€™s tail and it covers the dogâ€™s ribs. Many dog coats are held in place by a strap that goes around the dogâ€™s stomach, very similar to a surcingle for a horse.
During rainy weather, a raincoat can be extremely helpful in keeping a dog both dry and warm. Dog raincoats also profit the dog owner as they keep the dog from getting soaked, which in turn keeps the owner's house drier and minimizes the smell of wet dog. Raincoats are particularly useful for longhaired toy dogs that would normally get soaked from a walk in the rain. After returning home from a walk, the raincoat should be simply hung up to dry.
Dog booties are probably the most notorious dog clothing item to receive snickers and eye rolls. However, any owner who has had a dog limping and in pain due to ice in their paws or from the salt put on sidewalks during the winter months would agree that dog booties can be a real necessity and help. Dog booties do not only protect a dog paws during the winter months, they also help during the summer months, keeping dog's feet safe from sharp rocks, thorns, bramble and burning hot pavement. Dog booties can be extremely hard to get a dog to wear, but for dogs who constantly suffer from hurt paws they can be well worth the effort.
Some dog breeds, especially hairless breeds like the Mexican Hairless and the Chinese Crested, suffer from sunburns. Light T-shirts can help protect a dog's vulnerable back and help keep them safe from the sun's rays.
Dog clothing is not only helpful in protecting dogs from the elements; it can also help keep them safe from accidents. Dog life jackets are extremely important for when the dog goes out boating or accompanies their owner fishing or swimming. Bright orange safety vest help to keep dogs safe from hunters. Dog goggles keep eyes safe from dust, bramble and the sun.
Many dog owners, especially those with toy dogs, enjoy dressing their dogs up and have clothes for their furry little babies to suit every season. Admittedly, some dog clothes are purely for fashion and the owner's fun, but many are for the dogs well being and safety. It is a dog owners responsibility to care for their dog and keep them as safe and comfortable as they can; protecting their dog from the elements and from harm is part of that responsibility.