Dog Clothes: To Dress or Not to Dress

Dog Clothes: To Dress or Not to Dress

By Allen Shaw

Let’s start out by saying that dogs do not “need” clothes. Most are born with their permanent wardrobe intact. You know, it’s that furry thing all over their bodies. Depending on the breed, they may even leave their clothes all over your house…it’s called shedding. But no matter what I say about dog clothes, there is still that group of dog owners out there who will still insist on spending more on their dog’s wardrobe than their own. So if you insist on doing this, at least be fair to your friend.

If you are the proud owner of a championship Rottweiler or a well-trained German Shepard, don’t dress them up in little dresses and bright pink tutus. That’s more embarrassing for you than it is for them (and it is embarrassing for them…just look at their faces). And if you own those little purse dogs, you know the ones I mean, don’t dress them up in spiked collars and full blown leather. That’s a powerful image to live up to. But that advice won’t be listened to either. So if you are going to dress Fido or Princess up in the latest fashions, be sensible.

First and foremost, make sure the clothes fit. Make sure there’s plenty of room across the shoulders. Make sure the straps that go under the front legs leave plenty of room so the dog has full range of motion. If the clothes don’t fit, you’re just going to make your dog more irritated than he already is. Also, listen to your dog. If you just have to put that “cute sweater” on Fido and he is constantly fighting you on it, he’s trying to tell you something. Listen to him.

Now for those of you who still insist on dressing up your dogs in clothes, don’t worry, the pet industry was listening. Dog clothes are a billion dollar a year business and you can dress your pampered pooch up in the latest fashions from Paris all the way into the Walmart special. There are costumes for Halloween. There are tuxedos and prom dresses for the pooches who just have to look their best. There are workout clothes for the fitness gurus living in your doghouse. And there are casual clothes for the fashion impaired who prefer comfort over style.

There are also a wide variety of shoes you can purchase for your new best friend. But if you want him to remain your best friend for very long, I wouldn’t make him wear them that often. Have you ever seen a dog walking with shoes on? They look like they are walking across hot pavement. There’s a reason for this…THEY DON’T LIKE THEM!

So as you can see, I personally am not a big fan of clothes for dogs. But I am obviously wrong. Pet clothes manufacturers have built entire empires on the product and dog clothes are one of the few items pet stores have a hard time keeping in stock. And there are plenty of choices out there for the fashonista pooch. But pay attention to the styles. After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing for your lovable mutt than being seen in last year’s fashion line. Except maybe of course being seen in clothes at all.

Allen Shaw is a successful author who provides information on dogs, dog clothes and dog coats.

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