Many of us do it occasionally on their birthdays or during the festive season. We dress them up in little frocks and bow ties, some go to the extent of dressing them in fancy shirts and trousers. But should you be dressing up your dog? Is it cruel? Here are our thoughts below.
Dressing Up Your Dog – The Trend
This trend began first in the west. People started dressing their dogs up in cute dresses and clothing because it looks appealing. The trend is slowly catching up in India as well though a majority of pet parents are still very opposed to the idea.
Many pet parents say that they put clothes on their dogs to protect them from the weather. However, most clothing that you find in the market for pets is not suitable for them. They are not breathable or comfortable.
Many clothes cause rashes and a lot of discomforts. Though we are strictly opposed to dressing dogs up for fun, there are some instances where it’s okay to dress them up.
Dressing Dogs Up – When Is It Okay?
When is it considered okay to dress dogs up? The only time when it is justifiable is when you are trying to protect them from extreme weathers. Even then, it’s important to do your research and settle for fabrics that are breathable and natural.
Here are some instances when it’s okay to dress your dogs up.
Dressing Your Short Coat Dog In The Winters
If your dog is short-coated and has very little hair around the stomach and chest and if the winter in your city is very intense, a dog sweater may give them some support.
Try purchasing clothing that is soft on the inside and waterproof on the outside (only if it rains and snows during the winter). Otherwise, a simple breathable woollen sweater should be enough for them.
You can also help them wear boots to protect their paws from getting frostbite.
Dressing Your Dogs During The Monsoon
Monsoons can be pretty intense in certain parts of India. Dogs with both thick and thin coats can have water seeping into their inner coat. Some dogs are prone to skin eruptions during the monsoons, or, they can get their coat all muddy, cleaning which is a hassle.
In moments like these, a waterproof dog coat may be ideal for them. Try purchasing something that covers their chest as well to prevent the muddy water to splash onto their stomach, chest and inner thighs.
Some pet parents also prefer to use waterproof rain boots for their dogs. These prove especially beneficial because there are so many critters on the grass and on the concrete during the monsoon. The right shoes keep their feet from getting dirty or infested.
However, many dogs don’t like wearing rain shoes and it requires a long learning curve.
Your Dog Had Surgery
For dogs that are not very hyper, a T-shirt may be a better option than a cone. Do make sure that the item of clothing is appropriate for the season. A thin cotton shirt may be enough for the summer and a slightly thick breathable clothing may be perfect for the winter.
In the case of surgery, light coloured clothing is always ideal as it will help you identify any kind of discharge from their incision spot.
Your Dog Is Allergic
If your dog is allergic to something outside and constantly gets eruptions on their skin, you can put on a t-shirt to protect their skin. Dogs can be allergic to certain plants and pollen, dandelion etc. Sometimes, they are allergic to pesticides and weedicides on the grass.
Instead of applying creams and ointments, a breathable piece of clothing may create the much-needed obstruction between them and the allergy-causing agents.
Things To Keep In Mind When Dressing Up Your Dog
We have already talked about the importance of dressing your dog up in naturally breathable fabric. But there are a few other things you should consider as well.
Avoid something that’s too loose or has loose ends as it may get tangled up in their fur or paws. Avoid something too tight as it may make them claustrophobic and suffocated.
Dogs are not humans and it’s incredibly inconvenient for them to wear clothing that obstructs bathroom visits. Choose clothes that are open from the groin area so that they can have bathroom breaks as they please.
Some dogs take it on sportingly while others need a learning curve. Either way, if you want to dress your dogs up for the season you need to be patient and make it a fun experience for them.
It is not instinctive for them to wear clothes and they may express their discomfort by yawning, licking their lips looking away or show changes in their mood. Some dogs may become destructive while others will become mellow and depressed. Be ready to stop at any time if they feel uncomfortable.
Lastly, we want to re-instate that dogs are not our toys. Putting funny costumes on them just to make us laugh is not fair. Please re-think buying them that fairy dress; they will certainly not enjoy it as much as you do.
We hope this article was helpful to you. Do you dress your dogs up? Let us know in the comments below.