Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

image of chihuahua wearing a sweater in the woods

There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other special occasions. No matter what the reason, it's important to ensure that the clothes you buy your pet are comfortable and safe.

Types of Pet Clothing

The pet clothing business is a thriving industry. Multiple manufacturers offer a variety of functional and fun pet-sized clothing for dogs and cats, including:

Sweaters, Coats, and Sweatshirts

Sweaters, coats, and sweatshirts are ideal for pets that have a little trouble keeping warm. Before you buy or order one of these items of clothing, be sure to measure your pet's neck and chest. Clothing should fit snugly, but not be so tight that it affects your pet's comfort. Sweaters are appropriate for:

  • Small and toy dog breeds
  • Dogs with cropped coats, such as poodles
  • Dogs with thin coats, such as greyhounds
  • Older dogs and cats
  • Hairless cat breeds
  • Pets with conditions or diseases that affect hair growth

Pajamas

Pajamas are a good choice if you notice your pet shivering during cold winter nights. Older pets, hairless pets, pets with close-cropped hair and small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, may also prefer to wear pajamas during the day if the house is particularly chilly. Unlike pajamas made for humans, pet pajamas do not include pants for obvious reasons.

Booties

Booties protect your pet's feet from developing frostbite, cracked pads, and burns from salt used to de-ice sidewalks and streets. Velcro straps attach the booties to your pet's feet, and grips on the bottom help reduce slipping during icy days.

Raincoats

A raincoat is a good addition to your pet's wardrobe if you live in a particularly rainy climate or your furry friend enjoys long walks on rainy days. Raincoats also provide protection from sleet during winter walks. Fleece-lined varieties keep your pet both warm and dry.

Special Occasion Clothing

Whether you want to dress up your pet for Halloween, Christmas or another occasion, you will find a large selection of styles sure to make a statement. Make sure special occasion clothing does not contain zippers, strings, buttons, or other items that can be chewed off and swallowed.

Fun, Fashionable, and Functional Pet Accessories

Improve your pet's fashion sense with one or more of these stylish accessories:

  • Collars and Leashes. Collars and leashes are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. Match the collar to the leash or choose complementary colors and designs. Colorful harnesses are also available for your cat or small dog.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Collars. These collars help your dog or cat stand out when the sun starts to drop and also help you avoid tripping over your pet when you sneak down to the kitchen for a middle-of-the-night snack.
  • Friendship Collars/Bracelets. Matching friendship collars and bracelets (for you) offer the perfect way to show the world that you and your pet are a team. The collars and bracelets are designed to fits dogs, cats, and their human companions.
  • Bandanas. Bandanas are a must-have accessory for many dogs. Although jaunty, bandanas are perfect for everyday wear. They also offer a fun way for your pet to observe a holiday or birthday, or show support for your favorite sports team.

Things to Keep in Mind

Your pet may resist wearing clothing at first. It's best to introduce a new item of clothing gradually. Start by placing the sweater, pajamas, or booties on your pet for a few minutes at a time, then gradually increase the amount of time your pet wears the clothing. Some pets will never adjust to wearing clothing. If wearing a Halloween costume or donning a raincoat stresses out your dog or cat, clothing may not be the best choice for your pet.

Breeds with thick hair or breeds bred for colder temperatures do not need to wear clothing. For example, Siberian huskies were bred to live in the harsh climate of northeastern Siberia and can handle cold temperatures without a problem, although they can benefit from wearing booties to protect their feet from salt and slippery conditions.

Pets can become overheated when wearing clothing, particularly if the temperature begins to rise or if they are very active during a walk. If your pet begins to pant while wearing a sweater or pajamas, remove the item immediately.

Before you add clothing to your cold pet’s routine, be sure to get the vet’s ok that your pet’s discomfort is not being caused by an underlying medical issue. Give us a call if you’d like to set an appointment to discuss the best ways to keep your furry friend comfortable, warm, and healthy no matter what the season.



Sources:

PetMD: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter
http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_dg_sweaters_for_dogs?page=show

Friendship Collar: Home Page
http://friendshipcollar.com/

Pet360: Weather or Not: Should Dogs Wear Clothes?

Location

Find us on the map

Working Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

THE WORD OF MOUTH

What our patient say

  • "My dog Buster was in pain and wasn’t acting like himself. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Gill ASAP. He did a remarkable job during the initial exam to diagnose the problem and recommend additional treatments/services to relieve the pain Buster was in. After doing X-rays and blood work it was determined my little guy was suffering from intervertebral disc disease."
    Jotika
  • "This place was awesome. They took such good care of my giant Rottweiler during an emergency. They even called the next day to check up on her. The price was reasonable too. Went back again and the treatment was great yet again. Love that they stay open late and open everyday. So convenient. Thanks guys for treating my girl as is she was family!"
    Mea
  • "I’m planning to travel with my baby cat. In order to do that she has to do a Rabies Neutralization Antibody Testing from certified lab. I was lucky to reach out Dr. Gill. He explained to me throughly and helped me to get it done. I would recommend Dr. Gill to everyone who needs professional and friendly help on their loved pets."
    Hsinti
  • "I’m very happy with the service and prices of the Silicon Valley Pet Clinic. I have gotten quotes from other vets around and SVPC offers the best value! I took my dog in to get some growths removed and get this teeth cleaned."
    Katie
  • "My 16 yr old cat Pete had some green discharge coming from his eye. I recently brought a feral kitten in to care for that my cousin found. I figured that Pete probably got scratched in the eye from the little guy."
    Jeanna
  • "I was very nervous to have her spayed, especially after going through an episode of Giardia. She has been dealing with poop that is not consistent and we are doing some probiotic treatment."
    Connie