Do Pets Need to Wear Clothes?

Some dogs have a nicer wardrobe than a lot of people and many say bark is the new black and it isn't going away any time soon. On the contrary, many say that dressing up pets is utterly ridiculous. That trying to humanize them is just wrong and, in fact, some say it borders on animal abuse. So, what do you think? Do pets need to wear clothes?
Do Pets Need to Wear Clothes?

Last update: 07 June, 2019

There are few things as funny as a dressed-up animal. Currently, trendy pets wear more than just clothes. They also wear expensive accessories such as rhinestone collars and snow boots. The people who are in favor of dressing them up say clothes and accessories aren’t exactly a luxury but a necessity. And there are others who think it extremely ridiculous. Let’s see what both sides have to say about it.

It’s true that dog and cat breeds have evolved so much that it’s no longer possible for them to go back and adapt back to what was once their natural habitat. Pets have evolved into, well, pets. Most of them are now used to being nice and cozy indoors when it’s cold and to have a cooler place to lounge when it’s too hot.

Ok, but, do pets need to wear clothes?

A hairless cat with a turtle neck.

Well, this is the million dollar question. While it’s true that some pets are a lot more prone to being cold than others, everyone knows their own pet. It isn’t hard to tell, just observe them and see where they like to hang out. Perhaps it’s in front of a sunny window or near the fireplace.

So, we know that changes in temperature definitely affect them. Imagine a winter day when you’re both at home by the stove. Then, it’s time for them to go out and do their business. In this case, moving from heat to cold in a matter of seconds could create a shock in either your body or your pet’s. For this reason, putting a coat on them would be a good idea.

Yes, animals have a coat of thick hair that protects them from inclement weather but there are times when that might not be enough for them. For example, there’s the Yorkshire Terrier. A dog who tends to get very cold because its body mass is also small. If you cover these with a blanket while indoors and put on a coat on them when you go outside, they’ll surely appreciate it.

Some pets do need extra protection against extreme weather

Finally, older dogs and puppies will definitely need extra protection. The former because their muscles get weaker as they age. Also, because their defense mechanism no longer works at its best. As a result, any sudden changes in temperature could, in fact, make them sick.

In contrast, puppies have just arrived into the world after several weeks inside of their oh-so-warm mom, surrounded by their siblings. For this reason, they’re more prone to get cold and it can be a shock to them. You can see how many of them constantly tremble. So, you may want to throw a blanket over them and warm them up with your hands. Or, just hug them inside your jacket, it’ll make them feel great.

In order to get the best clothes for your pet measure from the base of the tail to the beginning of the head down to where the legs begin. This is because the back has less fat and, because of that, it’s one of the areas where dogs and cats feel most cold.

So, if you come across sweaters or jackets that merely cover the shoulder blades then that’s just a piece of useless fashion that’ll be better off staying at the rack where it came from.

Canine fashion, the other side of the coin for pet clothes

A dog with a vest.

As we mentioned before, animals may need to wear clothes in specific circumstances. However, clothes are still luxury, and part of the superficial world of fashion – “canine fashion,” that is. So it begs the question: do pets need to wear clothes?

Well, the answer depends on who you are and how you feel about the subject. Keep the following in mind if you’re thinking about it, however:

  • Is the fabric or material comfortable for your animals? These must be suitable for them. Pay particular attention to whether they lead to itching and/or overall discomfort.
  • Make sure the clothes don’t limit their ability to move freely.
  • Your personal taste is important when deciding their style. It’s fashion, after all.
  • Yes, the final decision is yours, but do consider what’s good for your pet. If they look uncomfortable then they probably are uncomfortable. So, regardless of how much you paid for those awesome pairs of dog boots for them, take them off if your dog can’t stand them. Further, if your pet absolutely detests clothes then give up on the entire idea of dressing up your pet.
  • But, if your animal seems comfortable, then go ahead. The final answer to the question of whether pets need to wear clothes is down to you – taking your pet into consideration, of course. Ask them what they like, they’ll tell you!
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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.