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Why Do You Put Clothes On Your Dog?
Well being a man and being a sporting dog fan (we always have Labrador retrievers) I had not ventured much into the world of dog clothing. I can see why people with toy breeds would buy small dog clothes and although I do not think of my best friends as accessories I was floored by all that is out there available for the fashion conscience dog owners among us. Now I've used bandannas, an occasional Halloween costume or matching collar leash for the beach but some of the clothes available are just downright crazy.
There seem to be two categories for dog clothes; fashion or function. First since I know nothing about it we'll list fashion. I never really gave dog clothes much thought but there are fashions galore available and many designer dog clothes. I guess if there is a market why not sell the consumer what they want. Hey if it makes you happy then do it!
I had to do my research on the internet and there are many dog stores and boutiques that sell a wider variety of items than I ever thought possible. I saw tee shirts with a wide range of sayings and designs. Every kind from the glamorous to the bikers is covered. Some were made to look like formal wear, overalls, and royal emblems for your Princess and the occasional American flag for those patriots. There were coats of all different makes and designs. I bet a coat or a sweater comes in handy in cold weather for a short or hairless breed. Some of the coats had fake fur and I even saw a leather vest with the Harley Davidson logo on the back. There were dresses for those needing formal wear of just something nice to wear shopping. Of course you cannot have on a dress without panties and they have a bunch of those too. Dog sweaters, as I mentioned, in every conceivable design. I even saw a Doggy Wedding Dress. Oh Man!
To accessorize there are rhinestone and Swarovski crystal dog collars and leads. I even found diamond collars the top being one made of crocodile, platinum and diamonds with 1657 diamonds, weighing 52.2 carats and costing 3.2 Million Dollars!!!!!
There were holiday sections. A Santa hat or a pair of antlers is not bad and I'm guilty of making my pups wear these when our holidays approach. Also a sports section with your favorite team emblem or favorite player's number. I could see putting a Florida shirt on a Bulldog (he he).
Then there are clothes and accessories that serve a purpose or are functionally designed. These can certainly help a working or sporting dog do better at their given tasks. The brand Ruff Wear is a favorite of mine and I have purchased their items at hiking outfitters before. They make dog life jackets to aid a dog swimming or hunting. The ones designed for hunting are lighter weighted and have protective chest fabric for swimming in ponds or running in the field. There are reflective vests that are handy in all kinds of circumstances. They make shoes and sneakers for hiking rough terrain or an invaluable tool for a search and rescue dog (think 9/11).
Every time I do an article I learn something new. I had seen the dogs of famous people like Paris Hilton or the dog in Legally Blonde wear dog clothes but I had never actually taken the time to look at what was offered. I would say if you are a clothing designer and you are not selling clothes for dogs you are missing out on a profitable niche. I do think the items that are being designed for functionality are well thought out and extremely useful. I have used shoes on the back feet of an older pup with arthritis to help her get up on hard wood or tile. The items for search and rescue or hunting are fantastic and well worth the money to give a little added protection to you partner.