You might have seen dogs being walked on the street, and cringed as you realized that they were wearing clothes. Sure, it seems that dogs wearing jaunty bandannas have always been around, but what about those jackets? And some dogs even seem to be wearing boots! Whatever happened to a dog being a natural dog? What could possibly be the reason someone would want to dress up their canine this way?
If you’re already a pet owner, you probably recognize that there actually can be some very good reasons for putting clothes on a dog. Very young or old dogs, for example, tend to feel the weather a lot more keenly than others. In a cooler climate, especially, these dogs may really need extra protection on cold days. A short-coated dog will also have less warmth than one with longer fur, and the bodies of smaller dogs may have more trouble generating enough heat against the cold than those of their larger counterparts. Even a waterproof jacket of some sort will give extra help against the cold of a gray, rainy day.
And the reason for those little booties? Just try walking around on an ice-covered sidewalk in the winter in your bare feet! It’s true that dogs’ feet are constructed to handle harsher conditions than those of humans, but a cold sidewalk is not the same as the ground of a grass-covered field. Dogs can get frostbite on such a surface in the winter, so putting some kind of footwear on them is a good safeguard.
In the summer, a dog doesn’t really need clothes, as such, except perhaps that dashing bandanna. However, if you spend a lot of time on a boat or around the water, you can’t always just assume that your pet is a natural swimmer. Some dogs simply don’t swim that well. This is why a doggy life jacket is also advisable when you’re out on a boat. If the dog falls into the water and doesn’t swim well, or if it somehow gets injured as it falls, the life jacket will protect it until you can come to the rescue.
With all this talk of clothes, though, a word of caution should be injected. If you’ve decided that you’re sold on the idea, and plan to run out and find some dog clothes, you can buy some that look very stylish indeed. But the emphasis first and foremost should be on comfort, ease of movement, and especially safety. Is there anything your dog might get caught on, and injure itself? Can it move around easily? If the dog were to get injured, and you needed to get the clothes off, could you do it quickly?
You’ll need to consider these and other questions, such as whether the clothes might catch on something if your dog escapes and is running around. However, if you’re worried about how the dog will fare when you take it outside on cold or rainy days, certainly investigate whether some extra protection is needed. Better to use dog clothes and end up not having needed them than avoid using them and having your dog suffer from the cold.