Dog clothing is an interesting topic if you bring it up with people. Some are adamant that they will never put clothing on their dogs at all, however some dress their dogs up in t-shirts just to leave the house. Personally I think clothing on dogs is pretty silly unless it has a real function (so i’m not a big fan of “dog fashion”). That being said I have a lot of clothing for Minnow.
Most likely 90% of her clothing is jackets of some form. Minnow has got something in her that makes her fur fairly sparse, her underside is completely bare and her fur on her back is very thin. She is also a very lean dog even when given the ability to eat as much as she wants. truss she gets cold very easily.
For Minnow and her comfort jackets are a necessity, we can be out to breakfast on a warm day but the combination of shade and the concrete floor will make her shiver in a couple minutes, so she gets a jacket!
When putting clothing on dogs there are a couple things that you need to keep in mind for the dogs safety:
- Does the clothing restrict your dog in any way so that they could hurt themselves doing their normal activity?
- Can you accurately tell if your dog is cold or hot?
- If you are using clothing for a real purpose does it fulfill that need?
In the case of getting things for Minnow she is a runner and jumper so she needs full mobility for her arms and legs. She is also afraid of velcro so I go for snaps or zippers with all of her jackets. She is also very good at telling me her temperature, when she is cold she will visibly shiver, and she almost exclusively pants when she is too hot. This makes it safe to layer her up because I can adjust the layers as she tells me she needs them. Last I want clothing to give her the most coverage as possible so it makes it worth it to put on her. Almost all commercially available jackets both don’t have sleeves or a stomach coverage, so I don’t buy any of that at all. I usually get thrifted children’s jackets in a size 3t and modify them so that I know they give full stomach cover and often use material that is better insulation for her.
As far as non insulating clothing I have a couple simple shirts I put Minnow in typically when we go to a place with a lot of other dogs. I will even put Minnow and my mom’s dog Pixie in matching shirts so I can easily spot them amongst all the other dogs while they play. So even with “fashion” clothes I use them for a purpose.
So are Jackets necessary? That really depends on the individual dog, so make sure you are really in touch with what your furry friend needs and all your adventures will be more fun for both of you!