A Dog in a Human’s Clothing

The Fran Lebowitz quote illustrated below was my inspiration for this post, after reading it on the Cesar Millan website in his gallery of dog quotes.  Fran is an author and comic commentator of sorts, so we should take her quote in that context. It does, however, reflect the opinion of many people in the ‘natural pet care’ crowd.

Obviously putting clothes on a dog isn’t natural in the literal sense, but life isn’t that cut and dry and there are instances when clothing is beneficial and practical for dogs.

Situational clothing requirements may include:

  • Senior dogs
  • Arthritic dogs
  • Dogs dealing with conditions causing hair loss
  • Breeds with short hair, little or no undercoat, little fat, or a combination thereof (Italian Greyhound, Whippet, Yorkie, Maltese, Portugese Water Dog, Papillion, Doberman Pincher, Chihuahua, Chinese Shar-Pei, Lowchen, Silky Terrier, etc.)
  • Protection from the elements (rain gear, etc.)

But what about dressing up a dog just for fun?Dog Clothing & Costumes

The most important question you must ask yourself is, “Is my dog happy?” If your dog appears to enjoy the attention and she shows no signs of stress while she’s wearing the clothing, I see no harm in it.

If you are forcing the issue and/or your dog’s behavior changes in a negative manner when she’s dressed up, you have to ask yourself another important question, “Who am I doing this for?” Dogs are not dolls that you can use to entertain yourself, nor are they fashion statements.

Tips for Dog Dress-up

  • The less elaborate the clothing is, the more likely it is that your pet will allow it and be comfortable.
  • Check dog clothes carefully to ensure there are no pieces that can be chewed off or catch on objects.
  • Make sure dog clothes fit properly so they’re comfortable, stay in place, and do not restrict movement.
  • Avoid elastics in pet clothes as they can be uncomfortable and impair circulation.
  • Consider securing reflective material to your dog’s clothes.
  • Never leave a clothed dog unsupervised.

Note:  If your clothed dog acts nervous or sulky around other dogs it’s not because he’s embarrassed, but it does mean he is feeling vulnerable and you should save dress-up time for when he won’t be around his pawed pals.

Where to Get Pet Clothes

Large pet stores like PetSmart carry a good selection of dog clothes and costumes, from bandanas to t-shirts. For a more unique selection, there are dog boutiques like Oh My Dog . There are also some great online specialty shops that carry costumes for dogs, such as Costumes Inc.

You could also try crafting your own dog outfits, for which there are countless free patterns online. Check out our Free Knit, Crochet and Sewing Patterns for Animal Shelters post for a list of links to patterns for dogs, cats, birds, and more.

All Natural Pet Care Blog Comment - Calcium Montmorillonite ClayDoes your best friend wear clothes? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

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14 Responses to “A Dog in a Human’s Clothing”

  1. Livia says:

    I love the little raincoats some dogs have, they look SO sweet.

  2. JosetteC says:

    I buy fancy collars and charms for my standard poodle. She likes it when i tell her how pretty she looks LOL.

    • admin says:

      They do respond to compliments. My cat positively melts when my son calls her a pretty girl. 🙂

  3. Grace says:

    I’m glad dog clothes are expensive or she’d have more clothes than I do!!

  4. Agneta says:

    Aaawwww but they’re SO CUTE dressed up!

  5. Pom says:

    We had to get dog booties for our Pomeranian but haven’t bought any other clothes for her…yet 😉

  6. Villa says:

    I never know if I should be amused or feel deeply sorry for dogs in clothes lol.

  7. Darci says:

    My sweet Silky Terrier LOVES to get dressed up! She gets all excited the minute she sees her clothes. I think she’s made the connection between them and the attention everyone gives her. 😀

  8. Mitchelle says:

    The wife insists on buying dog clothes but I have to admit I think it’s silly. She’s into showing them too. I’ll send your article to her.

  9. Sydney P. says:

    Well I wasn’t going to dress up my dog until you sent me to the Oh My Dog boutique and I went cute crazy!! LOL just kidding, I’ve ordered from them a few times before. I buy outfits for my shih tzu but I agree that its important to make sure they’re safe & comfortable clothes made for dogs.

  10. Charlene says:

    I wouldn’t force a dog to dress up but if I had a toy breed I’d be tempted to try LOL. Some of the outfits for dogs are hard to resist!

  11. Beth says:

    As long as the dog clothing is comfortable and they enjoy dressing up, why not? I don’t choose to dress up my dog but if others want to and the dog is happy that’s their business.

  12. Greg says:

    I hate seeing dogs dressed in human clothes, it looks ridiculous. Those people are trying to turn their dog into their kid or fill some other need at the dog’s expense. They shouldn’t breed dogs that can’t keep themselves warm but since they do I can see why they need clothes but it still looks ridiculous. Those same people go on about cruelty to animals like they’re saints and then they get dogs that are bred for how they look to a point that they freeze to death…it’s sad and more than a little nuts. 🙁

  13. Elaine says:

    BOL love the poster! You always post a fair POV and your post about dog clothes is no different. Our greyhound loves to go out in the snow so I have to put winter clothes on him. I do enjoy shopping for dog outfits but he only gets what he needs for practical reasons.

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