Should dogs wear dog clothes? Six reasons why they can.
There used to be a time when dressing your pup in dog apparel was frowned upon but there are a number of reasons why a dog should wear clothing. This guide will show you a number of reasons why dog's wear clothing, how to select your dog shirts, and how to look after them.
1) Dog clothing for cold weather.
Small dogs like French Bulldogs, Pugs, Chihuahua’s, and Pit bulls are prone to feeling cold weather. Their coat may be adequate for the warmer summer months, but wearing a layer of dog clothing in winter it will help them to stay warm. We always put a shirt on our dogs after bathing time, drives back from the beach, and in the winter months.
2) Dog clothing for Skin allergies.
Dog shirts can be used to help dogs that suffer from skin allergies by providing a barrier between your dog's skin, and the allergens. This also works if you are allergic to your dog. The most common human allergy to dogs is caused by dander. Dander is microscopic particles of dead skin. The shirt will trap some of your dog's skin flakes and prevent them from spreading around the house.
Dog shirts can also be used to keep your dog from licking wounds after an operation.
3) Dog Shirts can provide UV protection.
Many short-haired breeds are prone to getting sunburnt just like humans. Wearing dog clothing can provide vital protection from the sun and prevent sunburn. The most frequent cause of skin cancer in dogs is due to exposure to the sun. We look after our skin when outdoors and we need to do the same for our four-legged friends.
4)) Reducing Excess fur!
As a dog owner, you are all too familiar with their hair getting everywhere from the carpet in your car, to the couch. Putting a dog shirt on your pup will help to reduce this as their hair will stick to the inside of the shirt instead of dropping everywhere. This reduces the time removing dog hair from everything and maximises playtime with your pup. It has definitely helped to keep our new couch a lot cleaner!
If you have a dog that suffers from mild anxiety wearing a tighter fitting dog shirt may help. The snuggly feel of wearing a shirt can help to calm dogs nerves down. The theory behind this is that it is similar to swaddling a baby. The light pressure helps to deactivate your bodies sympathetic nervous system ( The body's system to activate your fight or flight reaction) causing a relaxed response. This is the same thought process behind weighted blankets for humans.
6) Photo opportunities!
As dog apparel becomes more mainstream clothing is becoming more fashionable and on point. Dog clothing can make for a great Instagram photo opportunity too. If you want to see more dogs wearing our shirts check out our Instagram.
The Dos and Dont's of dressing your dog in dog clothing.
Keep it simple.
If your dog is not used to wearing dog apparel keep it simple! Do not dress them in elaborate clothing and accessories. You could try dressing your dog in a dog shirt, or bow tie on your dog first and allow them to grow accustomed to wearing the shirt.
Select the correct size for them.
Before purchasing any dog clothing make sure you measure your dog. You want to make sure that the clothing allows for unrestricted movement. You don't want the shirt to be too tight or loose as this can restrict movement, or if it's too large cause chaffing. We recommend viewing a size chart first and measuring your dog with a tape measure. At a minimum, you should measure your dog's neck and chest.
Watch for signs of stress.
While your dog is growing accustomed to wearing dog shirts you should monitor them to make sure they are comfortable. Many dogs love wearing dog apparel, especially s breeds that feel the winter cold, but some need some time to get adjusted. If your dog shows any sign of stress make sure you remove the dog clothing from them at once. If your dog is wearing clothing to minimise allergies and needs time to adjust to wearing clothing we recommend using positive reinforcement. You should use plenty of praise, treats, and playtime to help your dog feel more comfortable.
How to keep your dog's clothing clean.
There are two ways we recommend cleaning your dog apparel. The first and recommended way is to hand wash. This is the gentlest way to clean any clothing and will help to ensure they last many years.
1) Soak your dog clothing in a bucket filled with cold water and your choice of cleaning detergent.
We recommend using a hypoallergenic liquid preferably with no dyes or scents. This ensures you don't irritate your pet's skin. Leave them soaking in the water for a minimum of thirty minutes.
2) Empty the bucket of water and refill with new water and detergent.
You now want to place the clothing back into the water. You now want to use gentle movements to swish the apparel in the water. Be careful not to scrunch the clothing as this may damage the shirts.
3) Remove the clothing from the bucket and rinse under flowing water.
You now want to remove the dog shirts from the water and rinse under flowing water to remove the suds. Your dog's clothing is now clean.
4) Air dry your clothing.
Please wait until your dog's shirt is completely dry before allowing them to wear it again.
The second way and more convenient way to clean your dog's clothing is to use a washing machine and drier.
Using a washing machine.
1) Read the manufactures care label.
Not all dog apparel is suitable to be washed in a washing machine and drier. Always check and follow the guidelines.
2) How to remove excess hair from the shirts.
Place the clothing into the drier. It is important to use a no-heat cycle. If this is not possible use the lowest temperature that you can select. Leave the shirts in the machine for ten minutes. Once this is complete, remove the shirts and shake them out. This will loosen all the excess hair.
3) Place your shirts in the washing machine.
As above we recommend using a hypoallergenic detergent to clean your dog shirts. Alternatively, you can use a baking soda/vinegar combination instead.
4) Hang your dog's clothing to be air-dried.
If your dog's clothing still smells we recommend using 1/4 a cup of baking soda mixed with 2litres of water to soak your clothing. Leave the clothing to soak for a minimum of two hours, up to overnight and repeat the wash cycle.