If you are thinking about buying clothes for your pooch, you are probably wondering is that something that he really needs. It depends on the dog – breed, size, age, health. Small dogs often need clothes to provide additional layer of protection from cold temperatures or elements.
Why Small Dogs Need Clothes?
Putting the appearance aside, there are a few other reasons related to your dog’s comfort and safety that speak in favor of small dog clothes. Here are some of the reasons to consider a specific type of clothing for your tiny pup.
Protection from extreme temperature and elements like snow or rain is the main reason why your dog may need clothes. It provides an additional cover for a small pooch to make him feel warm in cold weather and keep him as dry as possible when it’s raining outside.
Small breeds usually have only one layer of hair and even that one layer is often not very thick, so they are in real need of additional protection against the climate. Some dogs suffer from health conditions that affect their coats, like Cushing’s disease.
Not your dog's allergies, but yours (of your family members). Some pet owners, their roommates, family members or friends are allergic to dog dander. This leads to a lot of sneezing when your pup's loose hair starts to fly around your home, landing on your floor, furniture and yourself. While clothing can’t eliminate shedding and dander, it can decrease the amount of your dog’s loose hair and contain the dander.
Your canine companion is not immune to insect bites. In fact, small dogs can suffer life-threatening consequences if they get bitten by bees, hornets or wasps. Ticks and fleas are also a real danger to dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors.
Clothing can help your dog by providing an additional layer of protection. Insects and parasites will have a harder time biting through a layer of clothing.
Senior dogs often have different health problems which may lower their body heat. Diseases like arthritis, inflammation or joint related problems can be more painful in cold weather, which makes clothes for your geriatric friend a necessity.
How to Choose the Right Clothing for Small Dogs
Choosing the right type of pet clothes for your pupper may sound easy on the surface but there are a few factors you must take into account before you make that decision. Do not buy any clothing before researching and preparing in advance.
Clothes should never limit your dog’s movement and proper fitting is important for your dog’s comfort and safety. Different breeds have different sizes and weights, and many dog clothes come with labels that promise proper fit for specific breeds.
However, measurements among dogs of the same breed can also vary greatly, so always measure your dog for clothes before you purchase any piece of clothing. Here's how to do it properly. If you are buying clothes for a puppy, you might want to consider adjustable, durable clothing that will fit your Fido when he grows up.
Look for clothing that will not only be comfortable and cute but also practical and functional. For example, your pet's clothing should never impede urination or defecation. For male dogs, look for clothing with a higher cutout around his stomach and groin.
Choose clothes that are easy to put on and off and avoid clothing that has zippers, stripes and other choking hazards. Pay attention to any loose buttons, bows or snaps as well. All of these are at risk of getting caught on things and becoming an choking hazard.
Choose stretchy materials that will allow your dog to walk or run freely and make his movement easier. Materials like cotton, mesh and spandex are always a good choice for pups.
Pay special attention to wool because real wool can sometimes make your dog itchy and uncomfortable. You will also have to wash any wool clothing by hand. Perhaps the better option is to choose a mixture of washable wool and cotton or some synthetic fabric.
6 Types of Small Dog Clothes Your Pup Needs
Now that you know how to choose the perfect clothes for small dogs, let’s take a look at 6 pieces of most popular clothing your dog actually may need at different types of the year or for specific situations.
To protect your house and your family from the excessive shedding and dander, choose a lightweight T-shirt or dress. This is the most comfortable choice for your pup to wear indoors if you want to minimize the number of hairs he leaves around the house.
These simply small dog clothes types are also a good choice for summertime because they can protect your pooch from the sun without increasing his body heat further.
Another piece of clothing that is perfect for your Fido when temperatures are too high in the summer time is a cooling vest. Unlike previously mentioned summer shirts and dresses, cooling vests actively work on preventing your small dog from overheating.
- Ruffwear Cooling Vest for Dogs
- LotFancy Dog Cooling Vest
- Ruffwear Jet Stream High-Performance Cooling Vest
Sweaters can be great for both autumn and winter. Depending on their material, they can be a bit warmer if you want a winter sweater, or a bit more lightweight if you are looking for something to keep your small pet warm in the fall. You can even go with a poncho that provides enough breathing room for your dog’s skin because it doesn’t cover his belly area.
- Blueberry Pet Winter Symphony Unisex Designer Dog Sweater
- Handmade Dog Poncho from Mexican Serape Blanket
- CHBORLESS Pet Dog Classic Knitwear Sweater
For really cold weather the best small dog clothes are specifically designed winter coats or jackets. They will provide the necessary warmth to let your pooch roam freely in the snow and low temperatures. Make sure that you choose a water-resistant coat or a jacket.
- Zack & Zoey Polyester Nor'easter Dog Blanket Coat
- Kuoser Cozy Reversible British Style Plaid Winter Dog Jacket
- Kurgo Loft Jacket, Reversible
Similar to dog winter coats, rain coats, jackets and ponchos can protect your dog from the elements like rain or snow but they are a bit lighter and suitable for any weather, not just the winter colds. They are all, of course, waterproof.
- RC Pet Products Packable Dog Rain Poncho
- Fashion Pet Dog Raincoat For Small Dogs
- Ellie Dog Wear Yellow Zip Up Dog Raincoat
This type of vest is not necessary for all small dogs but it can be very helpful for particularly anxious small dogs. Anxiety vests use compression to calm down your pet in the time of stress or in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable environment and situations.
- American Kennel Club Anti Anxiety and Stress Relief Calming Coat
- ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
- ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
Small dogs need clothes to keep them warm, protect them from the elements and insects and to keep their shedding around the house to a minimum. Some of the small dog clothes your pet may actually need include summer shirts and dresses, sweaters, winter coats and jackets, cooling vests and anxiety vests.
Before you buy any clothes for your pupper, consider factors like the dog's size and health condition, clothing materials, safety and practicality, with the design and color being last on your priority list. Always measure your small dog so you can find clothing that fits him perfectly.