Funny, Learn

Dog Clothes: Should Dogs Wear Clothes? National Dress-up Your Dog Day

Chihuahua with a large selection of clothes in a closet.
“What shall I wear today?”

What Does Your Dog Like to Wear for Clothes?

Does your dog like to dress up in clothes? Most dogs will tolerate you putting clothes and funny outfits on them. But do dogs really need clothes? They already have a coat of fur! Well, some dogs get cold even when they are in a warm house.

Take Chloe for instance, she likes to have blankets on her when she is chilling on the couch. When I walk her in colder weather, I put a sweater or coat on her to keep the breeze off her.

Chloe in a skeleton hoodie.
“I’m ready to go walking!”

Let Your Dog Be Stylish With Purpose

Some “warm-weather” dogs just aren’t suited to colder climates, and for many of these breeds, outerwear dog clothes are essential when the bitter chill of fall and winter sets in and your buddy starts to dread their evening walk. A sweater can keep them warm, but it’s important to make sure it fits properly so they can enjoy the outside wonderland in both comfort and style.

Measurements for Clothes

Diagram of how to measure your dog for clothes.

Save some time and take a few measurements before you take your pup shopping. Using a measuring tape, have them stand straight and measure from the base of their neck (where the shoulder blades start) to the base of their tail. Once you have their body length measurement, measure around the widest part of their chest for the girth measurement. Lastly, loosely measure around the largest part of their neck. Jot down their length, chest and neck measurements and take them with you when you shop.

Proper Fitting for Dog Clothes

Frenchie wearing a cowboy hat for clothes.
“Howdy, how do you like my cowboy hat?”

The absolute best way to ensure proper fit is to bring your dog with you to try on sweaters. Many pet stores allow them to try before you buy. Use their measurements and the size chart on the packaging as a guide. While you slip them in, take note to make sure the sweater fits easily over their head and neck. Check that the leg openings don’t constrict them in any way. You want your pup’s sweater to be snug but not tight, and leave their lower belly free to allow for easy urination for males (you can cover the bellies of females). Finally, watch them walk around in their new sweater to make sure it doesn’t hang, drag or otherwise impede their movements.

Styles of Clothes

Dachshund wearing a sweater for clothes.
“My chest is nice and cozy!”
Whippet with a turtleneck sweater for clothes.
“I belong in a magazine!”

Some sweaters are cape style with open bellies, while others fully encompass your buddy’s torso. While all breeds can benefit from warm tummies, smaller breeds that are lower to the ground, such as yorkies and dachshunds, especially need full sweaters that cover and protect their bellies from rubbing on the frozen ground. Consider turtleneck styles for greyhounds and borzois, lest their elongated necks get left out in the cold.

Material

Material is important in terms of comfort, fit and care. Wool is toasty but can be itchy and uncomfortable. A washable wool blend, cotton and acrylic are some of the best bets for canine sweaters. Keep in mind most material will stretch over time, so it’s important to find a sweater in a washable material.

And remember if it’s 100% cotton, it might shrink a little!

Frenchie with a cotton shirt clothes.
“If this shrinks anymore, I won’t be able to move my legs!”

Alterations

Some breeds, despite all your careful measuring and try on sessions, just have a difficult time fitting into universal sizes (just like some of us humans!). Alterations may be necessary to ensure a comfortable fit. The bulldog, for example, has a wider neck that makes sizing tough. If you’re crafty, consider fitting the sweater to the rest of his body and making a simple snip cut to the front to allow for a better fit. A V-neck sweater is a dapper addition to any bulldog’s winter wardrobe.


Find some fun clothes for your dog at Amazon.com

Frankie’s Wardrobe

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