Dog Clothing: More than Fashion
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Pet Clothing: More than fashion sense TO SOME DOG OWNERS,
a sweater on a pet is like adult clothing on a child. Looks cute, but isn't functional. To the contrary, there are many solid reasons for clothing your pet. Warmth is number one.

Many pets do not have the necessary coat thickness for comfort outdoors in cold climates. And, unlike your pet's outdoor-roaming ancestors, most modern dogs spend their lives primarily indoors. Since we add extra layers to go outdoors in winter, it makes sense that our dogs would need a little something extra to tackle howling wind, rain, or freezing temperatures.

Rain gear keeps your pet dry in wet weather; sweaters and coats provide the insulation he needs. Also, older dogs, like older people, may feel the cold more than they did when they were younger. A sweater, coat and even boots are just the ticket to keep him more comfortable outdoors or more toasty in a drafty home.

Dog clothing serves other beneficial purposes too. For pets with allergies, a layer of clothing can make itchy skin less accessible to scratching, chewing, and licking. Clothing can also keep allergies off of the dog's skin, thus decreasing exposure to what makes him scratch. Similarly, when people are allergic to their pets, pet clothing helps trap the dander that would ordinarily fall onto your floors and furniture. Simply remove the clothing and wash to get rid of the allergy causing dander.

Once you decide that a coat or sweater is right for your pet, it is important to measure correctly to ensure your pet's comfort. Please take into account that a big-chested dog, even if he has a short neck-to-tail length, will need a larger size.

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