Should animals be dressed in clothes? Not everyone agrees on this controversial issue. Some things to consider:
In favor of pet clothing
- Some clothing can protect an animal from the elements. For example, a dog might wear a coat and boots when taking a walk in extremely cold weather.
- If the clothes are comfortable and don’t itch, they shouldn’t bother the pet.
- Some animals enjoy dressing in clothing.
- An animal with allergies will have less contact with allergens and irritate his skin less (scratching or chewing it) when wearing clothing.
- Outerwear will help prevent mosquito and spider bites and repel fleas and ticks.
- An animal can hurt his paws walking on icy or very hot pavement. Also, off-road a pet may encounter broken glass and other dangers. Boots can protect your pet’s paw
Against pet clothing
- Pets are members of the family and not fashion accessories.
- Animals should be valued for who they are, not treated as humans or playthings.
- Pets are born with fur which obviates the need for clothing.
- In the summer an animal wearing clothing may become overheated.
- Pet clothing is created by people more concerned with making money than with the well-being of your pet.
Tips for Dressing a Pet
If you do decide to dress your pet, it is important to make sure the animal is comfortable. Put the clothing on the pet and give him a few minutes to get used to it. If he is still squirming, then he is clearly uncomfortable. Try a different type of fabric or cut. Some animals are resistant to wearing any clothing. You may need to get him used to it gradually.
Pet clothing can be expensive. In order to determine whether your pet will enjoy wearing clothing, start with something simple and inexpensive and work your way up. Another option is to sew or knit a pet’s outfit at home.
Make sure to get the right size clothing for your pet. Measure your pet’s neck, chest and length (not including the tail). Clothing should not be too snug but also shouldn’t be so loose that it falls off. A little loose is fine, so when in doubt buy the larger size.
Natural coat thickness should be considered when choosing the thickness of a sweater or coat.
Pet clothing should wash easily and not shrink. It shouldn’t have buttons, snaps or hooks. It should use self-sticking fabrics for adjustment. Because some animals like to chew, the fabric shouldn’t have any toxic chemicals or any decorative elements your pet can swallow.