Do Dogs and Cats Like To Wear Clothes

Previously, dressing up your pet was an urbane and luxury reserved for the wealthy and famous.

But things are changing these days. Animal owners worldwide will make tremendous efforts to capture a few good shots of their pets. With the development of so many four-legged social media celebratory, a growing number of pet owners are aspiring to be major leaguers, which includes a closet full of outdoor gear, pet gowns, costumes, and accessories.

Pets are getting dressed up on a more regular basis and fashionable than ever before. The overall cost of pet garments, collars, and leashes was $15.11 billion in 2017, increasing $14.71 billion in 2016.

dog in a warm winter jacket

Is it permissible for my pet to wear clothing every day?

Without a doubt! The pets may require clothes for several reasons (besides showing off their inner contemporary fashionista).

  1. To remain warm: It’s winter, which means rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, depending on where you live or visit – and all-weather clothing will protect your pet from these elements.

Shirts, coats, raincoats, sweaters, and harness vests are available in sizes ranging from Xsmall to Xlarge and everything in between. Dog booties are also intended to protect your puppy’s paws from ice melt/snow salt.

Some breeds, and particularly some mixed breeds, do not fit into a generic size and this is when you will want to have a custom coat or harness made to fit your pet.

Wearing something that does not fit properly or interferes with movement or doing their business can cause undue stress.

  1. To stay cool: Dogs with hair loss or bald areas may need to wear a shirt or vest outside during hot weather to shield themselves from the sun.
  2. To stay safe:  A dog life jacket can assist your canine buddy in remaining afloat to keep your dog safe when swimming in the pool, lake, or beach. There is also much luminous pet gear available to keep an eye on your dog during evening walks.
    However, life jackets are not exclusive to dogs. Even our feline friends need to be kept safe. So, cat life jackets are available as well.
  3. Special Occasions: Our pets like to have fun too! When there is a holiday, birthday, or another event that requires dapper duds, something as simple as a necktie, party collar, bandana, or bowtie can set the tone. Generally, pets love to participate and feel special. They like to be included in the event. And these types of clothing are the best for them as they go around the neck, so it isn’t too cumbersome for the body.

Last but not least, “pet diapers” are available for dogs and cats that have incontinence or are going through heat cycles. An extensive range of diaper covers for these protective trousers may hide them and spare your pet’s dignity (while still looking trendy!).

peterbald cat in sweater

What about getting your pet a sweater or jacket?

According to Dr. Hyunmin Kim, ASPCA’s veterinary staff manager for Community Medicine, animals have distinct needs. Pets with short hair and particularly thin or elderly may require a sweater or coat to remain warm in the winter.

It’s even more important to consider your dog’s feet in chilly weather. Although, you need to keep in mind that dogs are not great fans of booties. They are difficult to keep on. So, only make your pets wear boots during severe winter conditions. Plus, also remember that not all breeds need dog booties. For example, huskies have paw pads that are extremely resilient and can adapt to extreme temperatures of hot and cold. That is why you never see them wearing dog booties when they are in dog sled teams.

We are saying this because the salt and the other chemicals that get between the feet and the booties can be quite painful for the paw pads. Plus, people do not generally have their dog out for longer than an hour in snow and icy conditions, so there is not much need of putting on booties on your dog.

When going out in cold weather, only hairless cats should be covered in warm bedding or loose-knit clothes (specially designed for Sphynx cats). There are, of course, exceptions.

Hairless cats that live in the northern climes can wear cozy coats and sweaters indoors. Cats will love the safety of a harness coat or a vest when you are taking them to the vet or going out for a walk. To make sure that your cat is comfortable with the harness, put on the clothing on the pet for an hour indoors on a regular basis. This helps in alleviating the stress and acclimatizing the cat to wearing the vest. Once the cat is comfortable with the vest, making the transition when venturing outdoors will be far easier.

If you’re carrying an elderly or sick cat in cold weather, it’s a good idea to wrap the cat loosely in warm towels or bedding or place warm bedding in the cat carrier before taking the cat outside. Older and ill cats have a more challenging time staying warm, and the loose wrap doesn’t interfere with the fur’s insulating characteristics.

The most important clothing that all pets should have is an all-weather coat that sheds the rain, breaks the wind, and keeps the body heat at a comfortable temperature.

Some pets, especially dogs, tend to overheat quite quickly. So, it is good to ensure the clothing is light, has good coverage but is not overdone.

Is My Pet at Ease in Clothes?

If your cat or dog continues to perform all they would typically do without pet clothing while wearing clothes, they are most likely tolerant of what they are wearing. They should be able to run, play, roll about, leap, and engage in all usual activities with ease. Scratching, chewing, or rubbing at the garments, on the other hand, may suggest that they need to be removed.

In addition, some animals may not know what to do and freeze when pet clothing is put on, indicating that they are not having a good time. Learn to read your pet’s behavior to determine if they are comfortable in their outfit.

My Chihuahua likes his tweed harness vest;  It’s easy to get on and off, has velcro to adjust, keeps the body warm, the band on the underside supports the major organs, and it’s stylish so attracts a lot of positive attention.  The same can be said for accessories around the neck as long as they are not too heavy or cumbersome.  Hats are not a good idea, as they interfere with peripheral vision and hearing.  Hearing and vision play a large part in the pet’s overall intelligence and wellbeing.

goldendoodle in yard

What to Look for When Buying Pet Clothes

Experts emphasize the significance of observing your pet wearing clothing, especially if it is his first time.

When putting clothes on dogs, make sure it doesn’t restrict their movement, vision, or capacity to breathe, bark, or meow. Ill-fitting pet clothing can tangle on exterior items or your pet, causing damage. Inspect for tiny, hanging, or quickly chewed-off portions that pose a choking hazard. A dog jacket should feature a leash attachment point or an opening for a collar or harness ring. It should also be elegant and straightforward to put on and take off without frightening or injuring your pet.

Materials like cotton, wool, bamboo, hemp, or blended with some man-made fabrics are a good choice. Avoid synthetics since they melt under fire and heat. Make sure that the fabric is breathable and strong. If you have any doubts about the quality of the clothing, wash it before you put them on your pet. The same conditions apply to beds.

Keep an eye on the materials since some synthetics might catch fire. “As long as the material is comfortable and washable, it may not matter whether or not the animal wears it,” explains Ng. “However, while it is uncommon, certain animals may experience skin sensitivity or skin responses to particular materials or allergies connected with clothes.”

When in doubt, see your veterinarian to see if your pet should be dressed. After all, most skin sensitivities are caused by the food they are ingesting or the environment.

Costumes are fun for humans and most often humiliating for pets.  On these occasions, it would be advisable to make it a short duration, enough time to get the photo and participate in the event.


How to Make Events Fun for Everyone

To guarantee that everyone has a good time enjoying the occasion:

  1. Wear clothes that allow your pet to see and hear effectively. Comfort is extremely important for your pets and make sure that there are no noisy fabrics or dangly things. Also, make sure that the cloth is not too tight or too loose, and take off the cloth if your pet overheats. Plus, the cloth should not interfere with the pet doing his business.
  2. Avoid anything the dog or cat might ingest. 

Don’t Make Your Pet Wear Clothes if He Objects

According to Dr. Sung, some pets might have a significant reaction to wearing clothes and end up scratching at themselves or becoming violent toward their owners in some situations.

Sweaters pose a problem as they are pulled over the head and awkward for the dog to have the legs pushed into the armholes.  Most dogs hate this, this is why you should stress on coats, jackets, and vests and not focus so much on sweaters. 

If it is the first time a dog is presented with a raincoat or jacket they are often dubious or scared.  It takes some patience and follow-through for the dog to become accustomed to wearing a coat.  They are intelligent creatures and quickly realize that wearing a coat in inclement weather means they get not only get outside but remain warm, dry and comfy

Sphynx cat close up

Let him inform his needs.

If your dog refuses to go outdoors when it’s cold outside, it’s a sign that he may benefit from a sweater. If he’s shivering or curling up in a ball in your house, especially if the temperature is kept low, you should consider adding more pet clothing.

When buying a dog sweater, make sure that it is easy to put on and off. Other than that, check whether it keeps your dog warm. Or check to make it seem extra lovely on your special occasion, like on a Christmas evening. So, seek a comfortable fabric, such as a combination of washable wool and cotton or acrylic, and make sure the sweater fits—it should be snug.

Style plays an important part also. Does your pet look good? Will the public and other dogs respond in a positive manner?  Most animals are sensitive like most people are, they know when they look cool and when they look like a geek.

Dogs and cats love wearing clothes for the following reasons:

For gaining attention

Another reason some dogs enjoy dressing up? When they’re putting on their costume, you (and everyone else in the room/house/world) lavish them with considerably more attention than usual. Pets thrive on human attention in general. Dressing up becomes a joyous time for pets who have learned to equate being dressed up with obtaining the attention they seek (bright smiles, oohs and awws, Instagram picture sessions, extra pets).

For stress reduction

Anxiety can be effectively treated using compression vests. Another alternative is to make your pet wear the coat or vest you have on hand.

Pets are sensitive to sound. Any loud noise like thunderstorms or fireworks can be terrifying. Also, whenever you bring a new pet from a pet home as a puppy, a kitten, or a rescue, they get tense when they are put in an unknown environment, especially in the middle of the night. Making them wear a compression vest will calm them down and everyone can sleep better.

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