Dog Clothing: Is It Harmful or Helpful?

It’s that time of year again; it’s getting colder out for many parts of the country and that means a lot of adorable dog clothing will be on display.  There’s nothing cuter than a pup in a sweater or a little jacket, not to mention costumes for Halloween and other holiday attire. Dressing up your dog is undoubtedly fun and so adorable, but is it really that good for your pup? 

You might not see any harm in dressing up your pup, but you should always keep your dog’s comfort and wellbeing in mind. This article will examine situations where dog clothing can be helpful as well as how dog clothing could be harmful to your pup. 

How Dog Clothing Can Be Harmful

The problem with dog clothing is that some dogs just don’t want to wear anything. Their owners find an adorable sweater or coat at the store, but when they put it on their pup, the dog panics and freezes. This is a big sign of discomfort. If you’re trying to get your pup dressed up but it refuses to move with the clothes on or just lies down, then it’s best to forgo the dog clothing. A lot of dogs feel restricted by these clothes and don’t know how to move properly. This might mean the outfit is too tight or it simply means your pup isn’t meant to wear a t-shirt. If your dog seems unhappy being dressed up, then don’t force it.  

Another problem with dressing up your dog is that certain accessories and decorative features on the clothing can be a choking hazard. If your pup still chews on a lot of things, then clothing with embellishments or large glitter pieces could be dangerous. If you insist on buying dog clothing for your dog, then make sure you get something that your pup can’t easily chew on or choke on. 

Lastly, if you dress your dog up in dog clothing, you should always remember to remove the clothing before your dog goes to sleep.  The clothing can restrict breathing and make it difficult for your pup to sleep. If your dog is in a crate, then the clothing also poses an added risk because the clothing could become caught on a part of the crate. 

How Dog Clothing is Helpful

All of that being said, dog clothing does have its benefits. First off, if your pup is pretty relaxed, then it might not mind wearing a sweater or other outfits at all. If that is the case, then have fun with playing dress up with your dog. 

Aside from looking cute, however, some dog clothing can actually serve an important purpose-- particularly in colder climates. Freezing winters are tough on smaller dogs or pups with thin fur.  It’s no surprise that chihuahuas are often bundled up whenever there’s a bit of a chill in the air.  Their light coats and little bodies can’t handle the chilly temperatures, so they need extra padding and insulation to keep them warm. Other dog clothing accessories like dog booties are also helpful for the cold. The boots will keep your dog’s paw pads from freezing on the pavement as you walk around. They also help your pup avoid contact with salt and ice when walking outside so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s paws getting hurt in the cold.  

Anxiety vests are another piece of dog clothing that serve an important purpose. The snug fit of an anxiety vest can offer nervous dogs a lot of comfort during a thunderstorm or fireworks. Get your pup a cute anxiety vest that not only shows off its personality but also provides comfort during storms and other loud encounters.  


If you notice your pup is uncomfortable wearing clothing, then remove any dog clothing right away. This is particularly important for dogs with skin sensitivities. If you notice any skin irritation after your pup takes off its clothing, then try applying a soothing cream like the Squishface Wrinkle Paste. It will soothe the irritated skin and keep bacteria at bay to prevent any nasty skin infections from forming.

Dog clothing can be a really fun way to showcase your pup and display its personality, but you have to make sure it’s a good fit for your dog. Keep the outfits simple at first and if your dog is happy to wear its new clothing then move on from there. As always, whatever you choose to do, keep your pup safe and healthy while doing it.  Remember to check out our blog for more tips for dogs and their owners.