The Need for Dog Clothes

Dog Lovers and canine experts don’t all agree on whether dogs need clothing for extreme climate events. As a human owned by a dog, you decide whether your furry friend benefits from sporting the latest doggies fashion or better off wearing just what they were born in alone.

When the weather is cold

Hair less dog breeds and breeds with minimal fur can easily feel the cold. Typically small dogs including puppies can lose body heat faster than large dogs. If you live in a colder climate and your dog is accustomed to being in a heated house most of the day, you can expect your pet to feel cold when you venture out of doors.  While dogs like Beninese Mountain Dogs and Huskies can handle cold weather, your typical canine just isn’t made for the extreme cold. larger dogs with dense hair coats do not have a need for additional insulation, and would be very uncomfortable if they were forced to wear outer clothing, possibly to the point of physically overheating. Their fur is already genetically designed to protect them from extreme winter temperatures. If your dog is a Dachshund, a Greyhound or a short-haired Chihuahua, you’ll need to evaluate what her temperature tolerance level is. A sweater or jacket can be helpful during the cold seasons, especially if your dog is reluctant to go outside in the in cold weather, but also if you tend to keep your home’s internal heating system set low.

What about warmer weather?

Canines who originate from climates near the equator may still benefit from a shirt or light jacket for added warmth in the spring and fall. Dogs who are shaved in summer lose out on the natural insulation offered by their fur, while dogs with light-colored skin may sustain skin damage if they spend lots of time in the sun. I shirt can prevent sunburn on a shaved or thin haired dog. Police, sporting and working dogs might benefit from a fitted cooling vest, made from materials that are recharged by soaking in ice water or storage in a refrigerator. The vests can maintain a stable temperature of 80 degrees F for hours.

Health Issues

If your dog has a weakened immune system or has experienced an illness that could affect her skin or coat such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, she may feel the cold more keenly -- even indoors. If you keep your heat on a low setting, keep your canine warm and comfortable by fitting her with a lightweight, indoor coat or sweater. 

What about Older Dogs?

Older dogs may have medical conditions that reduce their normal body heat, or diseases such as arthritis that are aggravated by cold weather. Your elderly or geriatric dog may benefit from a coat to wear in the evenings or during the cold winter weather. For indoor warmth, your pet may appreciate a warm wool sweater.. Make sure a sweater or jacket fits comfortable and does not restrict movement. For outside, a waterproof coat will help keep your canine friend warm and dry. Always make sure your dog's clothing is free of her privates so she can relieve herself easily.


Special Uses Pet Apparel

 Other than warmth, there are some other interesting apparel options for pets available on the market.  For active dogs ,there are padded vests and boyant life jackets to protect your dog from rough brush and protect them in the water. There are dog harnesses with camera mounts and vests with reflective trim that light up if a vehicle light or a flash light shines their way. Dog boots can protect dog paws from hot pavement in hot weather and ice and rock salt in cold weather. There are light weight backpacks that can lighten and balance the load for larger dogs who can carry a few items.


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 Comments from the pack

As owner of a small dog with a curly coat I've tried several different styles and options, and found that each works for different occasions. if it's just extremely cold, i tend to go for a thicker jacket . When it's wet out (snow/rain etc) i like to give him something that is both waterproof and covers his stomach. if it doesn't cover his stomach, he kicks water/mud up and it gets all knotted. if we're just hanging around the house and it's cool inside, that's when i'll choose a sweater.


Not only can dog clothes such as dog sweaters and dog coats and jackets can help your dog stay warmer when the weather is cold, but also stylish and fashionable pet apparel and dog clothes can be beneficial during summer months as well. Putting a lightweight dog shirt or dress on your dog when taking them outside when the sun is out can prevent sunburn on some dog breeds. 


I own a miniature Xoloitzcuintli, Mexican hairless, and live in Puerto Vallarta. She will start shivering at 82F so, yes, she needs a t-shirt for a good night's sleep, otherwise she will toss and turn all night because she gets so cold regardless of the warm blankets in her bed.



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