How to Choose Dog Clothing For Your Pup - The Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Dog Clothing

Some dog owners mistake apparel as something unnecessary. Perhaps their conception is that dogs already have fur, so what's it really for? Well, dog clothing is not just something that can make your furry friends look more adorable. They serve a purpose too. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should consider buying clothes for your dog.

Here's Why Dogs Should Wear Clothing

Dog playing in snow with winter jacket and mitts on

Regulates Their Body Temperature

No matter what the weather is, dog clothes offer comfort. This especially applies to breeds that are not adaptive to low temperatures.

Keep your dog warm with a sweater and socks during the winter. If it’s summertime, you can dress your dog in a cooling vest for protection against overheating.

This is favorable for dogs that are older or experiencing health problems.

Protects Your Pups Fur and Skin

Your dog is prone to harmful elements whether you bring them outdoors or even in the comfort of your home.

Dog apparel is not just a cutesy outfit but also an easy way to protect your furry friends from bugs or mosquitoes, as well as allergens, dirt, or debris. 

If your pooch has a habit of biting or chewing into its skin, aside from grooming your dog, letting them wear clothes can also avoid this.

Shields Them Against Weather Elements

Dogs that wear clothes are shielded from the sunlight, rain, wind, or snow. Clothing serves as a protective gear for them just as how it would for us.

During rainy days, you may want to dress your dog in a poncho or raincoat. Meanwhile, during summer, look for UV-shielding clothes for your animal companions. This is to make sure that harsh sun rays will not penetrate your pooch’s skin.

Adds a Layer of Protection For Your Canine

Pets need to wear appropriate clothes just like humans do. For example, if you are bringing your dog for a swim, make sure that they use a swim shirt or wetsuit. For extra safety, dogs can also wear a life vest.

Moreover, it’s highly recommended to invest in bright apparel for your pooch. This way, your dog will be easier to find in parks, among trees, or just anywhere.

Types of Dog Clothing

Poodle wearing a sporty dress

Dogs are already the cutest as they are. But if you want to take their looks to another level, dressing them up will do the trick. Because of this, there is a growing demand for dog clothing in the market.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) says that U.S. pet owners spend a lot on their pets every year.

Furthermore, they don’t mind spending on luxuries like dog beds, accessories, and clothing for their furry friends. Because of this, manufacturers continue to work on different material types, fabrics, and designs to meet the expectation of pet owners.

Zulily, an e-commerce company, also surveyed millennial pet owners. The results of the survey show that 35% of pet owners belong to the millennial generation. 92% of millennials buy different pet merchandise, and clothes are one of their top purchases.

This study also reveals that millennial pet owners shower their pets with gifts, including clothes, at least four times a month.

5 Basic Types of Dog Clothes

  1. 1
    Sweaters - Usually made of knitted fabric, sweaters provide dogs the warmth they need, most especially during winter.
  2. 2
    Jackets/Suits - Another warm solution for dogs, jackets can be made from fleece, have a hood, and can protect your pooch against rain, wind, frost, or snow.
  3. 3
    Hoodies - Mostly made of cotton knitted fabric, a hoodie is ideal for transitional seasons (spring/autumn).
  4. 4
    Cooling Vests - Suitable to wear during summer time as it prevents overheating in your dogs.
  5. 5
    T-Shirts/Dresses - Can protect your dog’s skin from the sun and minimize the fur falling everywhere.

How to Choose the Right Dog Clothes?

Woman and dog shopping for dog clothing

While choosing your dog’s outfits is fun, you must still remember that clothes serve a practical function. It’s important that we prioritize our dog’s comfort.

Check out some of these factors to consider when looking for stylish dog clothing:

Size and Breed of Your Dog

Dogs have different physical builds. All breeds come in various sizes and weights. That's why it is important to measure your dog’s dimensions first before buying.

Determine the size of your dog’s girth or chest by using a tape measure. This is to make sure that straps will fit properly.

Don’t forget to measure your dog’s neck for the appropriate fitting of collars and scarves. If the dog garmet you’re planning to buy has a hood, measure around your dog’s head and neck first.

It can also be helpful to look for stores that sell clothes for specific dog sizes. For example, for dog breeds like Mastiff or Great Dane, find a supplier of apparel that is made especially for large dogs.

Important note: Make sure the out-fit you purchase for your pup is'nt too loose or too tight.

Environment and Weather Conditions

Not all designer dog dresses are applicable for specific weather or environments. Besides, dogs adapt differently to their surroundings.

Smaller dogs, for example, may become overwhelmed with heat or cold fast. Cooling vests during the hot weather, as well as sweaters or coats during the winter, are beneficial for smaller dogs.

These types of clothes are also recommended for hairless dog breeds. This is because their skin can be sensitive in hot weather and are prone to losing body heat quickly in colder weather.

Some dogs also experience hypothermia in winter temperatures, like Saluki, greyhounds, whippets, and other types of slender dogs.

For maximum coverage, the suggestion is for them to always wear sweaters and coats during the winter. Remember that if you feel cold, most probably, your dog is cold too.

Dog Clothing Fabric, Design, an Color

Just like how you shop for your own clothes, consider the highest-quality fabric. Go for cotton, knits, fleece, or blends.

Also, keep in mind to choose a fabric that will not pull your dog’s fur or will irritate their skin. Stretchy fabrics, like mesh or spandex, are also good options. When worn, it allows your dog to move more easily.

As per the design and color, these will all boil down to your personal preference. You may even dress your pup according to a special occasion or theme. Choose a pumpkin outfit for them during Halloween or dress them in elf costumes during Christmas.

As long as they remain comfortable, then there shouldn’t be any problem.

Garmet Features

Aside from comfort, the safety of your dog is also another valuable factor when buying clothes for them. Snaps, bows, or loose buttons may add to the overall look of your dog’s outfit. However, these can easily be removed. Without your supervision, they may end up eating these items or choke on them.

Therefore, make sure that your chosen designer dog clothes are free from any kind of hazards.

Do All Dogs Need Clothes?

Chihuahua and Chinese Crested dog wearing clothes

Yes, dogs need clothes, but it depends on a lot of several factors. For one, consider your dog’s natural coat. Breeds that have little to no hair require clothing all year-round. Meanwhile, densely coated dog breeds are susceptible to overheating so it’s advisable to have them wear cooling vests to keep their temperature elevated.

Dogs with certain health conditions also benefit from clothing. Underweight dogs, for instance, lack natural insulation so wearing clothes can help them have a healthy body temperature. Sweaters and coats also protect older and immuno-compromised dogs. If your dog has arthritis, wearing boots, or having leg wraps are beneficial. Socks, shoes, and braces can also help dogs with nerve damage avoid injury due to knuckle-walking.

Nonetheless, if your dog is stressed or upset when wearing clothes, then don’t force them to wear them.

Final Thoughts 

Dog clothing isn’t just about making your pooch look more charming. Get clothes for your pup that are also functional. Because the market offers a wide selection of branded apparel for dogs, it can be tempting to buy them just because of their appearance. However, factors like sizing or suitability to weather and environment conditions shouldn’t be taken for granted. Of course, the most important thing is that your furry friend should be comfortable and safe upon wearing your chosen clothing.

Maybe you’re a first-time pet owner having challenges with taking care of your dog. Or perhaps you’re still figuring out things about your pooch despite being a pet parent for quite some time now.

If you can’t find answers from your friends or related forums, get the information you’re searching for here at Train That Pooch. We offer different pet-themed articles, from training and behavior to health and nutrition. Understand your dog better through our blogs today!

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