Dog clothing is essential
If you walk into a room full of dog owners and you want to start some arguments, start talking about clothing for dogs. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about people ‘dressing up their dogs’. Regardless, dog clothing does have its purpose.
Why do humans in Canada wear coats, gloves, scarves, and winter boots? It’s because for many months of the year, it is too cold to walk around in tank tops, shorts, and flip-flops. We are a species with very little hair, and therefore have very little protection against the cold. Anyone who has braved the snow in bare feet can attest to that fact!
We sometimes forget that there are dogs out there that are not much more protected from the cold than we are. Sometimes we get caught up in the nostalgic notion of a furry Labrador-type dog that never seems to notice the cold even as it shakes icicles off of its fur. For the majority of dog breeds, this is far from the truth.
Think of any breed with a thin coat of fur, and you will be thinking about a dog that needs winter clothing. Greyhounds, Pitbulls, Chihuahuas, Vizslas, and Boston terriers are all examples of dogs with thinner fur. These dogs will get cold faster than breeds with thick or long hair, such as the Labrador retriever, Border Collie, Cocker Spaniel, and St. Bernard. Basically, the breeds with thin fur are missing their winter coat. It is important for us to provide them with a coat.
You can buy dog coats in many dog shops. You can order dog coats online. Some people make custom coats for difficult-to-fit dogs. In many places you can find coats that are designed especially to fit your breed. Coats come in many different styles and materials (and levels of warmth). They basically all fit in the same way- there is a hole for the head, two arm holes, and it extends down the back.
Another essential piece of clothing are boots. You may be surprised that almost all breeds of dogs can benefit from having winter boots. Even breeds that have thick fur can get cold feet. There’s no fur on the bottom of the foot to keep it warm! Boots are especially beneficial in cities or side streets, where sand and salt are spread in the winter. When sand and salt get between the toes, the feet can become very sore. This can agitate your dog and make it want to lick its feet.
Dogs generally get used to a coat fairly quickly, but boots are more difficult. It can be entertaining to watch a dog walk in boots for the first time. They often lift their feet very high, as if they are trying to step out of the boots. Some animals refuse to walk all together. It will take some patience and time, but your dog will eventually get used to the boots. It will also take some time and technique to get used to putting on the boots in a way that they won’t fly off halfway along the walk.
Of course we can’t forget that clothing for dogs is more than just function. Fashion is involved, too! Most dog owners won’t argue against the fact that a cold dog needs a coat, but some people don’t understand the fun in doggie fashion. However, that’s exactly the point- doggie fashion is fun! Your dog honestly doesn’t care what colour its collar, leash, or coat is. But you do! It’s a great way to express yourself and your interests, whether it be a sports team, a colour and pattern, or even a “back to the 80s” fad.
Dog clothing is in some cases essential, and in all cases fun. Don’t forget that dogs with thin fur require coats. Most small dogs in general need winter clothing just as much as we do. You wouldn’t think of walking outside in the snow for a half hour without boots or in a t-shirt. Your dog will greatly appreciate this same courtesy.