Seattle Pup Spotlight

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Dog Clothing:  Dress for Success or Disaster?

Jessi Iuraduri

Is your pup aspiring to be the next canine Instagram model, or does he run and hide at the mere sight of those waterproof doggie galoshes? Wherever your pooch falls on the spectrum, there is no denying that many of us dog owners love dressing up our four-legged friends. I think we can agree that while it is NOT natural for dogs to wear clothes, it usually doesn’t cause any real harm. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dressing up our pups.

Pros

Social media modeling career

Fame. Fortune. Adoring fans. Some dogs just love posing for the camera and look good doing it!  There is no shortage of dog models strutting their stuff on social media, and your dog could be next.  After all, these dogs really love their time in the spotlight, and even though not all of them wear clothes in their line of work, a few choice fashion pieces really bring out the best in them! Here’s a great article on how to jumpstart your pup’s career: “I Made My Dog Instagram Famous, Here’s How You Can Too” by Sean Griffis.

Protection from the elements 

If it’s cold or wet outside, a nice pair of warm booties and a waterproof jacket can be exactly what your dog needs to make a walk in the cold more enjoyable. In addition to comfort, covering your pup’s paws on icy streets can protect them from any damaging effect from the freezing temperatures. This is especially true for smaller dogs, who tend to get cold easier. 

Cons

Induces stress and anxiety

There are definitely times when you should not force your dog to wear clothing, and that is when they absolutely hate it.  As previously mentioned, with dogs, clothing is almost always optional.  If your pup gets stressed out when getting dressed up, it’s probably best not to force it.  No need to inflict unnecessary anxiety.

Potential danger

Sometimes it can actually be unsafe to dress up your dog.  The aforementioned small dog maybe relish the warmth of a nice jacket in the middle of winter, but a larger, fluffier dog who may be naturally equipped to deal with cold weather—a husky for example— could be at risk of overheating.  In addition to that risk, some garments can be dangerous if ill-fitting, such as a tightly-applied scarf or too-small sweater, which can actually be a choking hazard.

There are other positives and negatives of course, for example, clothes on dogs can look super cute!  Or conversely, just plain silly.  The main takeaway is that your dog’s safety and comfort are paramount.  If your pup loves getting dressed up, there may be some potential for a new career, or even just some cute photos of a happily and safely dressed up dog!

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