When most people think of dog clothing, the image that comes to their minds is that of cute little dogs with designer outfits and lots of bling strutting up and down a runway. While this image is not incorrect, there’s much more to dog clothing than just showy fashion. In this article, we will discuss about the what, why, and when of different types of dog clothes in India.
Everyone agrees that dogs have been close friends with man for millennia, and in ancient times, dogs were often added to armies during war. Of course, they couldn’t have been sent out into the thick of battle without some sort of protection, and so protective doggie armours were invented.
Still in ancient times, dogs were used to aid transportation, as in sled dogs. During extremely cold and frigid weather, the dogs would don some clothing in order to be protected from the cold.
As you can see, dog clothes have been around for a while and they have very functional purposes. Today, lots of dog owners also use dog clothing to protect their dogs. Of course, it’s okay to use dog clothing for purely aesthetic reasons, but there are so many other reasons why dog clothes can be used.
Why Your Dog Should Wear Clothes
As we already mentioned, one of the major reasons for dog clothes is that it offers your dog some protection from harsh weather conditions, particularly extreme cold weather.
Certain breeds like the Golden Retrievers, have lots of thick hair that would keep cold away. Other breeds like the Cairn Terrier have a thick coat of hair that sheds water and this allows them to stay warm and comfortable underneath, even under the rain. These are the lucky guys; most other breeds would need warm clothing like sweaters or hoodies to provide extra warmth especially while indoors.
Walking Under The Rain
If you get caught in the rain with your dog, raincoats would help to ensure that your dog stays mostly dry and warm. This is especially important during the monsoon months. As you take out an umbrella or raincoat for yourself, it would be wise to take one along for your pet also.
Keep Allergies At Bay
If you or anyone around you suffers from allergies, particularly if you are allergic to dog hair or dander, putting a light t-shirt on your dog can help to reduce the adverse reactions you normally experience. Dogs shed hair, a t-shirt cannot stop this but what it can do is ensure that you do not have dog hair flying about making you sneeze and suffer.
Apart from protecting you and the other people around your dog, dog clothing can also protect your dog from skin allergens. T-shirts can be used to provide a layer of protection if your dog is prone to skin and coat allergies.
Protection From Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are the bane of dogs everywhere. These little parasites are quick to latch on to dogs through their coat and once they settle in, they get to work sucking blood off unsuspecting dogs and transmitting harmful diseases. Other insects such as bees and wasps can cause some very serious health complications if they sting your pet. A piece of clothing can help to ensure that these insects do not gain access to your dog’s coat. It could very well be the difference between life and death for your pet.
Another reason for dog clothing is how cute and amazing it makes dogs look! This cannot be ruled out. Would you just walk past a cute dog donning a little bow-tie placed on top of the littlest shirt ever? No, I don’t think you would. You’d probably stop and stare for a while or even ask its owner for permission to take a picture. Dog clothing makes dogs make dogs look a little more beautiful and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Now that we’ve established why dog clothes are important, let’s look at the most commonly known and used dog clothes in India and how they can suit several occasions and purposes.
These are usually made from light-weight cotton material and offer basic protection. T-shirts can be used during cold weather on thick-coated breeds that do not need a lot of protection from the cold. These days, doggie t-shirts come with all sorts of cute inscriptions and styles. Whether your pet is male or female, getting the right t-shirts for it has never been easier.
Some of the most popular brands that provide dog clothes in India make cute, little t-shirts for dogs of all breeds and sizes. CHOOSTIX, Emily Pets, Douge Couture, Goofy Tails and Heads Up For Tails make some of the best t-shirts for dogs in India.
You can easily purchase them at several online stores such as Amazon India, IndiaMART, PupKart, and so many other stores both offline and online.
Cold Weather Coats
Here in India, we have many cold and rainy days. As much as you like to keep warm and dry on those days, your dog would also like to be warm and dry.
Cold weather coats are especially important for hairless breeds such as the American Hairless and Chinese Crested, and breeds with thin, fine coat hair like Chihuahuas and Greyhounds. Some breeds like the Maltese have really long, fine hair but this coat offers very little protection from cold weather.
According to Pedigree Foundation, your dog should have a coat on when the temperature gets to 32 °F and under, which is equal to 0°C. For breeds who are completely averse to cold weather, you should put a coat on them once the weather gets to about 7.2°C. While these temperatures are pretty extreme, they are not unheard of, especially during the winter months.
Regardless of the breed and type of coat your dog has, puppies and older dogs would need coats in cold weather, especially if you want to take a walk or go out with them. This is because puppies are unable to produce sufficient heat to keep their bodies warm and their underbellies would likely come in contact with the wet and cold ground beneath them while older dogs have weak, arthritic joints that worsen considerably when exposed to cold weather.
Some coats are waterproof and wind-proof so they protect your pet from catching colds and ensure that they stay mostly dry and warm even under the rain. These dog coats come in varying sizes, colors and styles offering you a wide range of options.
You can make your choice from brands like Emily Pets, Sage Square, CHOOSTIX, Douge Couture and so many others. IndiaMART also has a list of small businesses all over India that produce and sell dog coats. You can pick a business close to you and even make a custom order if you want!
You can also get your dog clothes form PupKart, Marshall’s Pet Zone, Heads Up For Tails online store and so many other stores. There’s really no shortage of options.
We have come to the type of dog clothing worn for purely aesthetic reasons. Some dog owners like to fit up their dogs in really pretty clothes for festive occasions. They could be regular party clothes like dog tuxedos and party dresses or themed costumes for special events and holidays.
That Dog In A Tuxedo has a wonderful collection of costumes for dogs. They also have a collection of rich ethnic wear for dogs that can be worn to weddings and other cultural events. This collection has the cutest dog sherwani wears, bandanas, bow-ties, neckties, and dresses in many different sizes, colors, and styles.
IndiaMART also has a list of businesses across the country that can provide cute dog costumes for different sizes and breeds of dogs.
How to Select the Right Clothes For Your Dog
Picking the right dog clothes for your pet might be a little daunting if you don’t know where to start and don’t know what to look out for. Here are some tips to help you out.
No matter how much good an outfit is doing or how good it makes you look, if you don’t feel comfortable in it, you’d want to take it off the first chance you get. This also applies to your dog. Always make sure that whatever clothes your dog has on are very comfortable. How do you know if the clothes are comfortable? Answering this list of questions would help you out.
- Is it the right size? Just like humans, all dogs have their distinct dimensions and sizes. Although some breeds have general sizes, it’s not a one size fits all affair. There are bound to be differences. Ensure that you get clothes that fit snugly on your pet without squishing it in or impeding movement in any way. When getting the dimensions for dog clothes, the most important things to look at are; the length of the back, the girth of the chest, and the girth of neck.
- Is it right for the weather? On a hot day, your normal choice of clothing would certainly not be a thick hoodie that insulates your body. No, you’d most likely go for a light piece of clothing that allows you to breathe. If your dog already has a thick, wiry coat of hair that keeps out cold, there’s really no point bundling it up under a sweater, especially on a warm day.
- Does it allow for easy urination and defecation? Whatever clothes you want to get should be cut and designed in such a way that it allows your dog to do its number 1 and number 2 easily. If not, you would often have a messy, stinky dog on your hands.
- Is the fabric good enough? For dogs, stretchy fabrics like cotton and spandex are advisable as they would allow your pet to move around freely without discomfort. Picking the right fabric would either enhance or decrease your dog’s comfort in it. It’s also possible that your dog might be allergic to a particular material; ensure that whatever fabric the clothes you want to buy are made of, pose no threats to your dog’s health and that they are not rough and likely to cause abrasion on the coat of your dog.
What’s the Occasion?
This is very important when you want to buy a costume or holiday-themed outfit for your pet. Consider the themes and festivities that make up the holiday or event in mind; what are the theme colors?
This would help you pick cute styles for your dog on special occasions.
Dogs are like little kids; they grow quickly, run around a lot, and indulge in lots of physical activity. This means that they can outgrow their clothes quickly and their clothes are prone to more wear and tear. To avoid having to buy clothes for your dog too often, you should invest in high-quality and durable clothing items from the get-go. Pick items that can stretch out and adjust as your dog grows; this is especially important if you have a puppy.
Dogs are forever putting things in their mouths and chewing. This is why it’s important to pick clothes that would not constitute a health hazard to your dog. Make sure that your dog’s clothes have no loose buttons, bows, or snaps that can be easily bitten off by your dog. They look really cute, but these things can easily choke your dog.
Opt for clothes that have strong zips and Velcro strips that would not be pulled off easily by your dog’s teeth.
Apart from t-shirts, weather coats, and costumes, other items of clothing for dogs exist. These include hoodies, sweaters, and even boots! There are so many brands that produce and market dog clothes in India so you have a wide range of options to pick from.
Just remember that whatever clothes you pick should be comfortable for your pet, this is the number one thing. Whether it’s for protection or just to adorn your pet, dog clothes should always be comfortable.