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Home > Dogs > Do Dogs Like Wearing Clothes? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Do Dogs Like Wearing Clothes? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

dog wearing a sweater

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Some dogs can’t stand wearing clothes, while others love trying new outfits. It’s a personal preference, like how some people love wearing fashionable outfits, while others prefer wearing something comfortable.

Having your dog wear clothes comes with advantages and disadvantages. So, make sure to read through our findings before you go shopping for your next matching outfit with your dog.

divider-paw Advantages of Dog Clothes

Dog clothes can make your dog look adorable and boost your social media posts. However, dog clothes aren’t exclusively for fashionable purposes. Many dogs can actually benefit from wearing dog clothes.

Dogs With Short or Thin Hair

Many dogs with shorter coats or thin hair need to wear sweaters or winter coats when the weather gets colder. Greyhounds and Whippets often get cold easily and prefer the warmth of a cozy sweater.


Small Dog Breeds in Winter

As a general rule of thumb, small dogs like Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs will need a sweater or coat when the weather gets cold. They can’t generate as much body heat as larger dogs, and their stomachs can also brush against piles of snow.

dog wearing clothes outside in the snow
Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Dogs With Skin Conditions, Sensitive Skin, or Allergies

A soft, comfortable sweater can help prevent your dog from itching red and irritated skin. It can also help retain moisture from balms and salves to help moisturize dry skin more efficiently.

Dogs with particularly sensitive paw pads may need to learn to wear dog booties when it snows. Icy conditions can wear out their paws, and paw wax can only do so much in protecting dogs from salted pavements.


Elderly Dogs

Regardless of breed, older dogs will most likely need to wear a coat in the winter because they often have weaker immune systems. Sweaters can also keep joints warm, which can help alleviate joint pain if a dog has arthritis.


Dogs With High Levels of Anxiety

Some dogs with anxiety may experience the benefits of a Thundershirt. A Thundershirt is a vest that can help dogs maintain a level of calmness by applying gentle and constant pressure, similar to how a weighted blanket works.

Dog Boots

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Disadvantages of Dog Clothes

If your dog doesn’t fit any of the criteria we’ve listed, there’s a good chance it doesn’t need to wear clothes. Most dog breeds already have their protective coat, so a shirt or sweater can make them feel restricted. Clothes can also cause dogs to overheat and experience discomfort or heat exhaustion.

Low-quality dog clothes can be made with material that’s itchy or prone to causing static. This can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant for dogs.

dog rescue sad pixabay
Image By: joangonzale, Shutterstock

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How to Know if a Dog Likes Clothes

One of the most obvious signs that a dog likes clothes is if it doesn’t shy away or avoid you when it sees you holding an item of clothing. Your dog will also move around comfortably while wearing clothes.

A dog that doesn’t like clothes may feel awkward while wearing them and can even try to roll around the ground and do whatever it takes to free themselves of the piece of clothing.

Can You Train a Dog to Like Wearing Clothes?

In many cases, casual clothing is a luxury and not a necessity. So, if your dog doesn’t enjoy wearing clothes, there’s no reason to force it upon them.

However, some dogs can learn to tolerate wearing clothes. The training process would be similar to training dogs to wear collars and harnesses. It’ll be a slow and gradual procedure that will involve a lot of positive reinforcement and rewards. You might also find more success by starting with a bandana before trying to put a shirt on your dog.

Training your dog to wear clothes would be helpful if you live in colder climates with harsh winters. This type of training can make it easier for you both to have safe walks together by simplifying the process of getting your dog into a winter coat.

Just keep in mind that training your dog to wear clothes doesn’t mean that your dog will enjoy wearing them.

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Conclusion

Like with most dog clothes, whether or not your dog likes wearing a costume depends on your dog’s personality and the exposure level they have to wear clothes. If you put clothes on your dog from an early age, there’s a good chance they won’t mind wearing a costume. However, if you have an older dog that you’ve never put clothes on before, there’s a good chance they’re not going to like it.

If you’re thinking about putting a costume on your dog, you need to consider your dog’s personality and keep an eye on them after you put it on. If they don’t seem to mind, there’s nothing wrong with it, but they don’t like it if they’re constantly trying to get it off.

You know your dog best, and if they don’t care about the costume, there’s nothing wrong with putting it on them. And some dogs might even like the extra layers when things get cold outside!


Featured Image Credit: Mylene2401 from Pixabay

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