Now that winter has arrived, you may want to dress up your dog so that they stay warm and cozy when they go outside.
After all, if you have a fur baby, as a responsible parent, you should want what’s best for them. However, dog clothing has been a bit of a controversial subject among pet owners. Some believe that their pup is naturally equipped with a thick coat, but it’s important to remember that not all breeds are the same. Is your pooch shivering each time you take them out for a walk? This is a clear indication that there’s nothing wrong with playing a little dress-up.
Stay tuned to find out more about dog clothes and appropriate dog clothing etiquette for this winter season and beyond.
Why Your Dog May Not Like Clothes (At First)
Something you may notice when you try to dress up your pup with a coat, or even a dainty sweater, is that they may not be too crazy about it. Yes, you may have put in a lot of effort to select something cute and stylish for them, but it may make them feel uncomfortable—especially if it’s their first time bundling up! Remember, some dogs may act up if you try putting clothes on them because it’s not a natural thing for them. Sadly, some dogs see wearing clothes as a form of punishment.
The secret to making your pup want to wear a fancy coat or knitted sweater in the winter is to give them a bit of encouragement. We recommend getting them used to the idea of dressing up by giving them a treat each time they cooperate, which can help train them better.
However, be aware that some dogs will never warm up to the idea of wearing warm clothes—and that’s ok, too! It’s best to do a test run while you’re at home before allowing your dog to make their street debut with clothes on. If you notice your pooch freezing in place, take that as a cry for help; your pet may not appreciate their newly-found wardrobe.
Still, some dogs welcome wearing clothes! It’s important to choose comfort over looks.
Make Your Dog’s Comfort Your Main Priority
If you dress up your dog and they enjoy it, it can be tempting to want to adorn them in the most adorable clothes you find. Cute doesn’t always mean comfortable, however, and you should dress up your pooch according to your area’s weather. For example, if you live in a region where rain is a common occurrence, consider dressing up your furry friend in waterproof clothes.
Additionally, be sure to check the lining on the inside of their coats and sweaters. Ensure that the fabric doesn’t rub up against your pup’s fur, as it can lead to unpleasant consequences, such as an allergic reaction. The following symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction:
- Repeated itching
- Swelling in the face, ears, lips, earflaps, or eyelids
- Red and inflamed skin
If your fur baby begins to exhibit the above symptoms, you must take them to the vet immediately.
It’s also a good idea to measure your dog before buying them a winter coat, since sizing depends on your particular dog. Use a tape measure to take your dog’s measurements, which can help you determine if a particular item of clothing is a proper fit. Make sure that the coat you pick isn’t too tight, loose enough to drag on the floor, or prevents your dog from walking normally.
Let’s address some of the most common myths regarding fashion for dogs.
Myth: All dogs must wear coats to keep them warm.
Not all dogs will need to bundle up to stay warm, but puppies, senior dogs, shorter-haired and lean-bodied breeds, and dogs with medical conditions can all benefit from extra warmth, according to the American Kennel Club. Choose apparel that will adequately cover their neck and belly, and you can even go as far as selecting clothes with neck-to-tail protection, depending on how cold your city is.
Myth: Over time, any dog can get used to wearing clothes.
As we touched up on above, some dogs will never feel comfortable wearing clothes, and they shouldn’t be forced to. If you’re set on training your pooch to wear clothes, it’s best to stop if you notice it isn’t going anywhere. Ultimately, your dog should get to decide if they want to bundle up or not.
Myth: If it looks like a sweater and acts like a sweater, it’s good enough.
This is absolutely false. Some dog clothes aren’t high-quality, and sadly, some owners may end up buying ill-fitting clothes for their pooch. The best clothes you can buy for your pup this winter are waterproof ones to keep them dry from dew-coated bushes and grass at the park. Do you live in a snowy area? You’ll be relieved to learn that polar-fleece lining gives dogs comfort while keeping them toasty.
Of course, winter gear is only part of the equation when it comes to overall canine health. You’ll need to ensure that your best friend is healthy all winter long.
What More Can I Do to Keep My Dog Healthy in the Winter?
Although dogs may not experience the flu season like we do, diseases such as the canine flu, several respiratory diseases, and other issues can arise in the winter. A thriving immune system is your pooch’s first line of defense against these diseases, as well as bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Boosting your dog’s immune system can help them be better prepared to fight off illness. Giving your fur baby dog-friendly supplements can fill in the nutritional gaps that their dog food may not provide.
Plush Paws Products Offers the Best Dog Vitamins
Whether you dress up your dog this winter or not, their health should still be one of your main concerns. Plush Paws Products offers complete daily multi-vitamins, perfect for large and small breed dogs. They’re chewable treats packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that will protect your fur baby’s immune system—which is especially important in the winter. Take a look at our premium collection of dog-friendly products, including pet car seat covers and eyedrops, and spoil your pup today!