Should You Dress Your Pet

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You’ve probably seen various dogs, cats, and even potbellied pigs wearing clothing. Owners dress them up for multiple reasons. Some dress them for the uniqueness of it, and others do so for status. Some cover their pets for more practical purposes, such as for protection from the rain or cold. Is this healthy for the pet? Should you be dressing your pet?

No evidence shows this is unhealthy for the pet at all as long as the pet dresses appropriately

Some people dress their pets as a part of their fashion statement, which is not something you should do. Your pet is not an accessory, and you should not treat it as such. The same is true if you are dressing your pet to gain status among your circle of friends or associates.

You should not dress your pet in elaborate costumes. These can be dangerous and scary for your pet. Take a quick picture of the pet wearing the antlers and then ditch the antlers. Do the same with the rabbit ears at Easter. Most pets do not enjoy having things on their heads, especially if those items affect their hearing or sight.

Beyond that, dressing your pet is okay. No evidence shows this is unhealthy for the pet at all as long as the pet dresses appropriately. Things to consider are:

Is the pet too hot or too cold in this outfit? You probably should avoid dressing your pet in the summer. If you do, try to choose outfits that are 100% cotton, which is cooler than any other fabric. In the winter, if your pet wears a sweater when he goes outdoors, make sure the garment offers enough warmth for the weather conditions.

Can the pet breathe as usual? Make sure the outfit is not too tight and not putting any pressure on the pet’s throat.

Can the pet stretch and move as he or she usually does? If the pet cannot move as he normally does, he will not be happy, and he will not be able to express himself. Make sure his movements are not restricted.

Is there anything on the outfit that the pet may chew off? If the pet chews off a button, he may swallow it and choke. He may also leave it on the floor for a toddler to find. Try to avoid buttons and other doodads.

Is the clothing so loose that it may get stuck on something, like a fence, and cause harm to the pet? Make sure the garment does not hang off your pet’s body too loosely. Clothing could easily get caught on something trapping or even choking your pet.

As long as the outfit your pet is wearing is not endangering the animal, and you have used the checklist here to ensure that it is appropriate, there is no reason you shouldn’t dress your pet —unless your pet hates the idea.

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