Scrolling through your social media feed and you come across cute videos of cats and dogs dressed up in costumes and accessories. They probably made you smile and maybe you are thinking of dressing up your pet for the upcoming winter season. Sure, it’s adorable, but is it a good idea?
“I am against the idea of dressing up pets. With the onset of harsh winters, and to prevent pets from feeling uncomfortable, I do suggest light sweaters made of cotton fabric. For short hair breed dogs, that are smaller, lighter and less furry – sweaters, shirts, mittens work perfectly. Also, it is advisable to make them wear sweaters for a shorter duration as the skin needs breathing, “ says Dr Aditi Tiwari, Veterinarian.
“Long hair breed dogs have an extra layer of insulating fur-built in. and thus require no dressing up. Sequins and frills are a big no-no,” she adds.
For some pet parents, booties protect their pet’s paws and are safe specially for regular walks in the neighbourhood. “I make sure that Apple, my furry friend, wears shoes while stepping out because due to cold weather, floors are usually wet and shoes protect them and they can go for their regular walks,” says actress Shwetta Parashar.
Pet parents love and want to go all out to protect pets, and none of us would want to see them getting harmed.
“The young pet parent cares for both appearance and for comfort, we’ve heard people talk about how low temperatures, especially in North India, shouldn’t inhibit the outdoor exercise their pet needs to be healthy,” says Varun Sadana, Co-founder, Supertails.
Finding the perfect fit
Understand your dog’s requirements
To protect your dog from the cold weather, select items that provide them protection from the low temperatures. For instance, warm sweaters or coats are perfect choices for dogs that are less hairy but covering a furry dog with warm clothing can be a bad idea.
Choose colours wisely
A dog’s vision is different from humans. Dogs can only see muted shades of yellow, brown, gray, blue, and green. Therefore, it is better to research what colours your dog can decipher and choose clothings based on that.
Take comfort into account
Choose clothes with a good quality fabric that seem comfortable for your dog. Avoid outfits with shiny buttons, fringes, or feathers as your dog can swallow them, which can lead to choking hazards. Take into consideration your dog’s temperament as some dogs might like full clothing while others can only tolerate something simple. If your dog doesn’t respond to your clothing choice, then do not force them to wear it.
Invest in accessories
Buy your pets little bows, bandana, hats, collars, leashes that complement their entire look. If your pet stays mostly inside, purchase a good quality bedding and if he likes outdoor more, invest in a good collar and harness.
(Inputs from Fashion, Fitness & Lifestyle Influencer, Shreya Jain and Dr Aditi Tiwari, Veterinarian)