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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Dogs Clothes: Everyone's Crazy 'Bout A Sharp Dressed Dog

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Dogs clothes may seem frivolous but they have become a billion dollar industry, with some of the biggest names in fashion even trying their hand at canine couture. It's possible to find everything from formal wear to swimsuits to fit every size pooch, from the tiniest breeds up to the biggest, and if you shop wisely you can get great deals at small shops and big name retailers like PetCo and Amazon.

Huge Selection of Dog Clothes on Amazon

But why would anyone want to dress up his or her dog? There can be many reasons. Some people just like the idea of seeing their dog in cute outfits. Or perhaps they want to include their best friend in their biggest day and have him or her be a part of their wedding, complete with proper attire. Of course many people like to include their dog in Halloween festivities with fun and fanciful costumes.

There can be other, more practical reasons behind dogs clothes, however. Smaller breeds and those with very short hair may actually need an extra layer of protection in cold weather to prevent hypothermia. While larger and longer haired breeds have an extra natural layer of protection, small dogs are more vulnerable and in this case an attractive dog sweater can serve a practical as well as fashionable purpose.

In particular, coverings for a dog's paws can be an important safety precaution. The skin on the pads of the paws is extremely sensitive and it can be easily damaged when it comes in contact with very hot or very cold pavement. On very hot or cold days, it may be a good idea to slip a set of boots or shoes over your dog's paws before taking him out. Some shoes even come with no-skid bottoms to prevent accidental falls.

Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross wear sunglasses and scarf.

Lindsay_Helms /

Dressing your dog can be fun and silly as well as practical. Either way, make sure it's comfortable, low-stress, and safe for your dog.

Of course, there are some articles of dogs clothes, such as reflective vests or harnesses, which can be part of a dog's professional attire, signaling to the public that he is on the job providing a very important service. These vests can also come in a variety of sizes, colors and designs to make them attractive as well as practical.

Believe it or not, even with a protective layer of fur, a dog's skin can be quite sensitive to the elements or to sun exposure. For dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors, such as Australian Shepherds, it might be necessary to use protective coats or coverings to provide extra protection from rain, wind or sun. There are even some dog coats with SPF protection built right in to keep the skin from being damage by sun exposure.

Another type of dogs clothes that can be useful for working dogs or dogs that regularly participate in agility training and competition is a cooling vest. These vests are designed to help keep your dog from overheating by regulating his body temperature through the use of evaporation. In this case, dog clothing can go far beyond frivolous and become absolutely vital to health and safety.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

When Using Dogs Clothes Be Sure To Keep Things Safe And Stress-Free

Speaking of safety; don't leave your dog unattended and be sure to supervise them if they are wearing clothes or costumes. They could struggle to get the outfit off and hurt themselves in the process. Things worn around the neck could pose a strangulation hazard. As the saying goes, "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt". Keep in mind that having your dog wear clothes or costumes may give you peace-of-mind or be fun but just make sure it isn't causing your dog anxiety and isn't stressing them out too much.

If you're interested in outfitting your dog, whether for practical reasons or just for fun, do yourself a favor and shop around. You'll be able to find a lot of great buys, get some terrific ideas and find clothes that will suit your best friend just perfectly.

Huge Selection of Dog Clothes on Amazon icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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