Should I dress my dog?

it can be really dangerous for their health.

It all depends on your dog’s breed and the climate you live in. Short-haired and slim breeds almost have to be kept warm if you live anywhere cold. If you feel your dog is cold, they are visibly shaking, a great indicator is if you feel the cold yourself, then they should be dressed in an extra layer, just as you. 

Breeds with longer hairs and fur meant to live in colder climates should not be dressed for it can cause overheating, which can have serious consequences for your pup. This could not be stressed enough but it can be really dangerous for their health and even funny or Halloween costumes should not be worn. They can actually be more harmful than regular clothing since they are made from low-quality artificial fabrics and tend to restrain the heat even more.

On the other hand, as the weather gets colder and you yourself exchange the lighter jacket with a warm coat, you might need to help your dog keep the warmth by dressing them in an outer layer to keep them warm. Smaller breeds of dogs, like chihuahuas, those with lighter fur coats, such as vizslas and those with very little body fat, greyhounds, are not meant for colder climates and need extra protection from the elements. Some of the thin fur coat breeds even need and enjoy wearing clothing indoors. Exposure to cold can even cause rheumatic disease, so recognising your dog’s needs is necessary. As it might be an extra sweater to keep them from shaking in colder months. You might first try with a thin layer of fabric, something like a T-shirt and adjust according to your dog’s needs. 

You might also consider the age of the dog, the older they get the more susceptible to colder weather they might get. It might be harder for them to produce enough heat to keep them warm. You should also be cautious with puppies, as well as sick or injured dogs who feel more harshly the temperature than active, healthy dogs.

Breeds with longer furs do not need the extra warmth. They are equipped with a layer of insulating fur that keeps them warm in the colder months but might like protection from the rain. They might also dislike wearing clothing because the sensation of the fabric against a lot of hair can produce static. If you would like to protect them from rain or spare yourself the mess of wet fur in your apartment or even the smell of it, you might opt for a raincoat. A lighter, more loose version of a coat to protect against the rain but not keep too much heat. The raincoat should also be worn with caution, and the dogs should not be kept in them for longer periods of time.

Please keep in mind that your dog does not care how they look or how they are dressed.

So if they show any signs of distress, anxiety, if they look uncomfortable or stressed out you should undress them right away. If they are uncomfortable they will show it by standing completely still, rubbing against things to show where it itches or bugs them. Shaking is also a bad sign. If they feel comfortable in any sort of garment you will know by their calm demeanour. It’s most important to keep the well being of your pet in mind, use your best judgement. Absolutely do not punish them for not being comfortable in the clothing of your choice. If the dog is showing signs of discomfort wearing clothing, do not force them to dress up. It might be due to the wrong size or cut of the clothing or your furry best friend is just not used to it. In any case, pay attention to how they act. If it’s cutting into their skin, if it’s fastened in ways obviously uncomfortable or if they are behaving differently, making noises, rubbing or whining when dressed, slow down. Make sure the cut of their clothing is good, they are not too big or too loose, the materials are high quality, just as you would want them for yourself, and if the weather conditions require and an extra layer of protection from cold is needed, slowly get them used to wearing clothing, gradually. Make sure they associate clothing with a walk or treats and not being uncomfortable, hurt or scared. The clothing should not keep them from moving freely, running and jumping, but should emphasise their speed and movement.

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