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Clothing for Dogs - A Fad or Essential?

By Edited May 13, 2015 2 2

For a number of years now it has been fashionable for dogs to have their own wardrobe.  There is a wide range of coats and sweaters that can be purchased for them to wear while out and about but these items are not only fashionable they are also practical.

Why Do Dogs Need Coats?

Anyone who has to walk a dog regularly knows that it is not just in good weather that they need to be exercised.  Wet, windy and generally cold weather should not be a barrier to a good walk but some dogs feel the cold and mind the rain more than others. 

Coats can be purchased which have a fleece lining and a waterproof outer so that they can be kept warm and as dry as possible while they are out.  These are easy to put on the dog as they simply slot over the head and fasten under the tummy – no wrestling with the pet to get them to wear it!

For days when it is less likely that it will rain there are the reversible and quilted jackets.  These work in much the same way and are just as comfortable for the pet to wear.  Dog sweaters are another alternative for colder days.  These slot over the head and there are holes for the dog’s two front paws. 

The sweaters are available in a variety of fabrics from wool to fleece so finding something that suits is fairly easy.  They also have a range of options for fastening the items as there may be more wrestling involved with some dogs than others!

Smaller Dogs

Smaller dogs such as Jack Russells or Chihuahuas will feel the cold more than others so if you do have a smaller dog then it is a good idea to make sure that you have a few items to help protect them from the chill.  As smaller dogs they do not do the same amount of exercise that larger dogs do and will therefore not warm up as much when they are out.  

Some people believe that because a dog has a natural coat that they are always warm.  Dog coats can solve this problem but still allow natural movement so that the dog will not be restricted in any way. 

It is also important for the natural warming and cooling processes of the body.  As with humans, the muscles of the dog get warm when they exercise and when they stop they begin to cool.  If they are outdoors when this happens the muscles can cool too quickly and will prevent the body from ridding itself of the lactic acids and this can lead to muscle or joint injury.

Larger Dogs

For a larger dog, particularly one that has a deep chest such as a Great Dane, the cold can lead to respiratory problems, so the wearing of a coat is a good idea for health reasons and particularly so for elderly or less active pets.  Even a pet that just has a wander around the garden a few times a day will benefit from the wearing of a coat or sweater.      

It is important to make sure that you get the right size of coat for your pet.  You need to know the length of your dog from the neck to the base of the tail and this will help to choose the right size.   When shopping you should also be sure to purchase a pet coat that is good quality and has the right design.  There are many cheap options on the market which are of an inferior design so these could cause more problems than they solve.  Always purchase the best quality dog jumpers that you can for your pet to maximise the benefits.   



Nov 23, 2012 4:54am
I moved to Taiwan three years ago and was amused by seeing how many people here dressed their digs up. Some even doll them up like infants, diaper, bib, bonnet and all, and push them around in baby strollers. I always laughed it off as something strictly Asian.
Nov 23, 2012 5:31am
I suppose most of today's breeds would die of hypotheremia in the wild. They are bred for appearance rather than survival traits like long hair and fat. Personally I would never buy a dog that needed all the paraphernalia, but each to their own. Thanks for commenting, interesting to see how other people live.
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