Every third post on Instagram nowadays features a dog engaging in funny and adorable shenanigans and such content is hugely popular on all social media platforms. These accounts have thousands of followers and rightfully so. After all, who does not want to see dogs doing goofy stuff on their socials?
However, a lot of times these dogs are dressed up in costume outfits or cosplay sets for funky pictures, social media clout, or simply because of the owner’s amusement. This has sparked controversy over if dogs should be dressed at all.
However, there are many reported benefits of dressing your dog but only in certain situations. Every dog is different from the other and human beings need to prioritize their happiness, comfort, and welfare before dressing them up. With all this in mind, we will move into a discussion over when it is okay to dress up your dog and when it is not okay to do so. Let us dive in.
5 Situations When It Is Okay To Dress Up Your Dog
1. Cold weather
Yes, it is true that dogs do have a natural coat and undercoat which is why many argue that they do not need to be dressed up during the winter months. While that is true, it must also be considered that every breed is different and has different thicknesses in terms of fur coat and tolerance to cold.
For example, a Whippet has a super-thin fur coat and almost 0% body fat which makes it very painful for them to cope with the colder months. Compare them to a fully grown Husky – a dog with a thick fur coat that has been bred to survive and thrive in super chilly weather and you will easily figure out who will need an extra jacket on those extra windy days and who will not.
It is also natural for older dogs or puppies to feel colder than fully grown, active dogs who are in their prime already.
2. If a dog is feeling nervous
If you have a dog who feels nervous easily or if you encounter one outside, it is advisable to cover them in a thunder shirt or a sweater with a tighter fit, or even a doggie t-shirt. The pressure created by the snug fit of the sweater helps calm them down. However, this does not hold ground for all dogs.
It is imperative that you introduce your dog to the apparel item first by means of lots of positive conditioning and rewards and afterward, you can try to put them on your pooch.
3. After an operation or ailment
In case your dog is left with postoperative infection, a skin condition that won’t go away, grass allergy, or a wound from an operation, you may consider putting them in custom-made overalls for dogs or t-shirts. This can help prevent the spread of these infections, keep them from licking their wounds, and keep the wounded area clean and covered.
However, it is vital that you don’t use this as a solution to skin allergies or other dermatological concerns and it is imperative for you to visit a vet if the problem persists.
4. For a photo opportunity
Okay, so we have already established how much people love cute pictures of a funny dog in a novelty outfit. It is perfectly fine to want to dress your dog up in decorative outfits and have a little fun.
But what you need to remember is that it must not interfere with your dog’s comfort. If your dog is comfortable with the photo shoot and is not being forced into an outfit it will feel uncomfortable in, then taking funky photos of your four-legged buddy should not be a problem at all.
Also, make sure your dog is having fun as well and does not feel stuck in a cumbersome activity for too long. It is advisable to pair this photo op with lots of tasty treats and you should be good to go. In fact, there are actual reports of many dogs who actually like being dressed up and taken photographs of just for the attention they receive and for the fun of it.
5. For a special occasion
It is perfectly natural to want to dress up your pooch on special days like Halloween, Christmas, or any other significant holidays or occasions. You will obviously want your pooch to be a part of the festivities but it is important to ensure that the outfit is lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear for long hours.
Also See: 10 Reasons Senior Dogs Are The Best
When Is It Not Okay To Dress Up Your Dog?
1. When your dog seems fearful or unhappy
In case your dog is showing signs of fear or anxiety at the sight of the outfit you are introducing to them, don’t make them wear it unless absolutely necessary. It is really not fair considering that it will be for your own gratification and not theirs at all. It could also make your pooch mistrustful of you and react negatively to your presence.
3. When the outfit seems uncomfortable
Make sure whatever you are making your dog wear is comfortable and fits true to his size. You don’t want to get him a jacket that rubs him too much or gets caught up in his legs.
In case you’re planning a novelty outfit, make sure it is not uncomfortably elaborate, impedes their vision or movement, or causes your dog to overheat. It’s best to not leave them in these costumes for too long, unsupervised.
Most importantly only go for outfits you know your dog will have fun with. After all, it is about them, isn’t it?
Also See: How To Honour Your Pet When They Die
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Also See: Why Do Dogs Like Being Petted?