Is It Wrong To Put Clothes On A Dog?

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Is Putting Clothes On Dogs Wrong?

Well, this is certainly a controversial question! If you asked a hundred people if putting clothes on dogs is wrong you would get a lot of different answers. Some people are adamantly against it and even think that it is cruel.

clothes on dogs, beautiful blue frilly dress on a chihuahua

A Variety Of Reasons

People who do put clothes on dogs do it for a variety of reasons. Some put a sweater or coat on their dog in the winter because they believe their dog gets cold. Others just enjoy putting costumes on their dog. Some dogs seem to even enjoy it, and some dogs .... well, you've seen pictures of dogs dressed up that seem to be giving the camera the evil eye.

Do They Really Need That Coat or Sweater?

So let's just get right into the skinny on putting clothes on dogs. How about dog coats and sweaters? Dogs are individuals (well, duh! right?) But did you know that two separate dogs in the very same environment and temperature will react to it differently? One might be just fine while another may seek shelter he thinks it's cold.

clothes on dogs pugs in a sweater

There are many factors that come into play.

  • Coat type. Dogs with thick, double-layered coats are usually more tolerant of the cold temperatures. On the other hand dogs with very think coats or are short-haired may suffer if it's cold.
  • Coat color. Black, brown or other dark-coated dogs can absorb more heat from sunlight keeping them warmer than the dogs with light-colored coats.
  • Size. Small dogs lose heat through their skin than larger dogs do. So, small dogs get colder quicker than larger dogs do.
  • Weight. Body fat makes a good insulator. Thinner dogs also get cold quicker than dogs with more body weight. With that being said, don't try to "fatten up" your dog in the winter as the health risks far outweigh the benefits of keeping him warmer.
  • What they're used to. You know how in October when the temperature dips down to 50° we run for our coat or sweater, but then after a long cold winter in April the temperature reaches 50° and we start to break out our summer clothes? Dogs who are used to the cold weather handle it much better.
  • Age & health. The very young, the very old dog as well as a sick dog is not able to regulate their body temperature and need protection from the cold.

Tiny Dogs Are Strictly Indoor Dogs

Never ever leave a Chihuahua or other toy breed dog outside unattended. Not only are they prey to Hawks and other big birds, but they also do not tolerate cold temperatures for more than a few minutes.

Even in the summer if you like the air conditioner on high, your Chihuahua may be cold. Even long-haired Chis will get cold. According to PetMD, the temperature in your house may be just right for you, but remember you are much bigger than your dog is and you are better able to stay warm.

Condition Your Dog to Enjoy A Coat or Sweater

If you own A Chihuahua(s) it is really a good idea to get them used to wearing clothes while they are young. If you got your dog as an adult, you can still condition them to at least tolerate wearing clothes.

Finding a Good Sweater

Consider The Material

Once you've decided to get a sweater or a coat for your dog, start by considering the material. While wool is warm it may make your dog uncomfortable due to itching. Also, consider washing instructions. A combination of wool and cotton or acrylic is usually a better choice.

Consider Size

Clothing sizes for pets are not universal or consistent at all. Every manufacturer sizes their pet clothing differently. However, they will or should provide measurements. Always measure your dog before you buy any clothing for them.


If your dog's measurement is between one size and another, always go one size up. Be sure to check out our pet apparel at the very best prices. Shipping is always FREE!

Be sure to leave a comment below and tell us your opinion of dogs wearing clothes. Did this article change your mind?



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