Every dog owner has his or her opinion on dog clothing. For National Dress Your Pet Day, it’s time to talk about the myths surrounding clothes for your furry family members. Wintertime brings unforgiving weather. As you bundle up each day, what do you do with your dog? Do you bundle it up too? Do you keep it indoors? This list of dog clothing myths may shed some light on dogs and winterwear.
Dog Clothing Is Pointless
Have you ever heard people complain about dogs wearing clothes before? You may have met people who turn their nose up at doggy clothing. Don’t let anyone tell you that dog clothes are pointless. This is a widely spread misconception. You can almost bet those people have never had a dog who is sensitive to colder weather.
Now, if you want to embrace January 14th with new outfits for your beloved pooch, do it! Some dogs love dressing up. Clothes don’t have to have a practical function. Dress your dog up for an event or for a family photo. If your dog enjoys the process, then take pleasure in the different dresses, t-shirts and other clothing items.
Look outside this winter. If your streets are damp with rain or covered in snow, then odds are you are going to bundle yourself up before you take a step outside. What about your dog? Can clothes keep a dog warm?
Think about your own attire for a minute. Everyone has clothes that serve no other purpose than style or fashion. Likewise, everyone has clothes that serve a function for a variety of weather patterns. A windbreaker, for instance, may not defend you against heavy snow or bitterly cold weather but it will protect you in mild wind and rain. Apply this same logic to dog clothing and you have your answer as to whether dog clothes are pointless.
Designers of doggy clothing put in the same thought and energy to what dogs need. There are a variety of options when it comes to winter weather clothes. You can find light sweaters, heavy fleece-lined jackets and even boots for your dog.
Only Small Dogs Need Sweaters
One of the biggest misconceptions comes with a dog’s size: small dogs can’t handle the winter weather but larger dogs can. If you rule out larger breeds, you may want to think again.
Size doesn’t matter when it comes to winter clothes. Your dog’s size only dictates the size of the coat or sweater it can wear. When choosing winter clothes for dogs, the rule is that the jacket should be snug but not tight. The dog has to maintain the ability to function and move in the jacket. Compare your comfort to your dog’s. Just as you shouldn’t have a jacket that restricts movement, neither should your dog.
What matters more than size is your dog’s fur coat. Some dogs have dense, layered coats. Huskies, for instance, may not require a winter coat for warmth. On the other hand, greyhounds are large dogs but do not have the same cold weather protections. In fact, greyhounds are often sensitive to cold weather. Large dogs are not exempt from sweaters or jackets.
All Dog Jackets Are the Same
Dog clothing is about as versatile as human clothing. Dogs with thick coats may not need heavy, warm jackets. In this case, there are lighter, waterproof jackets. On a cold, wet winter day your dog’s coat may become damp and subsequently create an uncomfortable chill. Waterproof jackets can save your dog the discomfort.
Read about the product before you make any purchase. Most tags and product descriptions will list the materials used and the function of said materials in the clothing. If a sweater looks light, it may not be the case. Some sweaters provide ample movement and comfort while retaining heat. The same weather technology used for human clothes is used when creating dog clothes. A light sweater may be warmer than you think.
Dog Boots Are Excessive
People think that because dogs don’t require shoes all of the time that their paws are resilient enough to handle all different types of weather. A dog’s footpads are sensitive and when exposed to chemicals on the ground, it can cause a variety of issues. In the winter, the dog may encounter deicing chemicals and antifreeze. This can harm the footpads. Additionally, if a dog licks its paws, it may consume said chemicals. Without boots, this can be extremely dangerous.
In addition to chemicals, the temperature of the ground does affect a dog’s paws. With no protection, exposure to the cold ground can lead to serious issues. Dogs do not always express discomfort. After walks in the cold, it is crucial to check your dog’s paws for any potential damage. Dogs who are built for colder temperatures are still exposed to icy temperatures that may lead to frostbite. Frostbite is a painful condition that requires medical attention. Boots can solve this problem. They provide ample protection against the elements.
Dog boots come in a variety of styles and sizes. Waterproof boots protect from rain and snow, whereas fleece-lined boots will also keep the dog warm. When choosing boots, consider the climate that you live in. Also, keep in mind that size does affect comfort.
It takes patience to teach most dogs to wear boots. Be patient with your furry friend. If you expose your dog to boot slowly, it can ease the process. Before you attempt to put the boots on your dog, introduce it to the shoes. Offer a treat to your dog when it shows any interest in the boots. When you do try on the boots, only try one boot at a time and then quickly remove it and offer a treat. Your dog needs to connect wearing boots and then taking the boots off to a pleasant experience. For boot training, use your dog’s favorite treat.
The winter weather does not have to slow you or your dog down. Skipping your dog’s daily walk can become more of a hassle than confronting the cold weather. For National Dress Your Pet Day, it’s time to embrace dog clothes. Celebrate in style, literally. When it comes to winter weather, some dogs rely heavily on winter clothes to stay warm and dry.