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What are Pet Clothes?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Pet clothes are wearable items designed for pets. Pet clothes sold today are made mostly for small dogs, but some items are made for larger dogs and even cats. While some garments are completely frivolous and fashionable such as a pet tuxedo or a Halloween costume, other pieces are more practical such as raincoats and sweaters.

Some dogs have very thin coats naturally and tend to get cold easily in cooler temperatures and/or rainy weather. Pet clothes such as a raincoat, jacket or sweater can add enough warmth to keep the dog from shivering during walks. Coats and sweaters are available to fit all sizes of dogs and some crafters like to hand-knit dog sweaters. Sweaters and coats are especially popular for short-haired smaller dog breeds such as chihuahuas and dachshunds.

Sweaters help keep little dogs warm in cold weather.
Sweaters help keep little dogs warm in cold weather.

Dog boots and shoes are also sold in the category of pet clothes, or apparel for pets. They can help keep the dog's feet warm and dry as well as keep dirt from tracking into the home from the animal's paws. Life vests are available for dogs who go boating with their human companions. Reflective vests are also available so that dogs can be seen on the sides of roads by motorists at night.

Pet clothing for both dogs and cats is often sold in small, medium and large sizes. The weight range of pet that the clothes are made for is often helpful information when buying pet clothes. When buying dog sweaters, jackets and coats, consider the measurement from your dog's neck to the base, not tip, of the tail. When purchasing dog boots or shoes, you should measure the dog's foot just past the longest toenail.

Some pet clothes are designed mainly to provide a fashionable look. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton are known for dressing their small dogs in cute designer pet clothes to compliment their own outfit. Even hats and caps are available for dogs today. Some people like to buy or make pet costumes for their dog and/or cat on Halloween.

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Discussion Comments


@Ana1234 - It's the same as any kind of fad though. I'm sure there are people who go too far and don't really care whether their animal is comfortable or not.

Cheap pet clothes are probably not all that great for the animals, since I'm sure they are mostly designed to look cute for five minutes rather than to provide any kind of long term benefit. But good quality clothes could be very helpful.

Its the kind of thing I would judge per situation rather than giving a blanket judgment.


@pleonasm - Animals easily get used to wearing clothes and in some cases they really would prefer to be wearing them. Smaller dogs in particular might be fine living in heated apartments but suffer in the winter when they go out for walks and a knitted jacket can help them a lot.

Even cats get used to wearing collars eventually, so I don't see why they wouldn't get used to tiny pet clothes that were made to be comfortable.

Also, some animals have such placid temperaments they simply don't mind being dressed up. I had a dog once that would sit still as we posed her in all sorts of ways and was perfectly happy. If anything she liked the attention. Unless they are beating the animals to keep them still, I doubt very much there is any abuse going on. Dogs and cats tend to like being the center of attention.


I hate it when people dress their dogs and cats up in pet clothes. Particularly cats, as you know that any photo of the animal looking relaxed was carefully chosen from multiple takes of the animal desperately trying to remove the unfamiliar items on their back.

It just speaks to the height of human arrogance, because we do it simply so that we can get a kick out of it, even though the animals dislike it.

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    • Sweaters help keep little dogs warm in cold weather.
      By: Barbara Helgason
      Sweaters help keep little dogs warm in cold weather.