There are only two reasons to buy dog clothes, function or fashion. I am a big fan of the sporting dogs and can see some great benefits of dog clothing for protection and safety however I have never owned a toy breed nor had the inclination to dress my dogs in anything other than a bandanna and possibly a Halloween costume. Some of designer clothes I found on the internet were just plain crazy.
Let’s look at fashion first since that’s the area I know least about. First I have no opinion one way or the other about dressing your dog. Actually it’s none of my business. I would not do it but have life’s too short not to have a little fun. So have at it.
I visited several shops on the internet and there were more categories for dog clothes than I ever thought possible as well as designer dog clothes. There are designer dog clothing by Ralph Lauren and other top named designers. Tee shirts some with sayings on them, some made to look like dresses, or shirts with ties, or royal crests on them, bad sayings for the outlaw crowd, cocktail oriented and the show your pooch is a patriot American Flag tees. There are doggy coats again a lot with sayings on them some with fake fur collars, others with hoods, some for rain some just fashion and the inevitable leather jacket with the Harley Davidson emblem on the back. There are dog dresses for dancing or dating, saw one like Wilma Flintstone and even a Doggy Wedding Dress. There are dog sweaters in the same array of fashion designs. Ralph Lauren has a complete line of dog clothes from shirts to sweaters to dog jackets. There are Swarovski crystal dog collars and leash pairs, doggy shoes, pants and shorts, panties, bathrobes, pajamas, swim wear???? Holy Cow!
Now there are holiday wear. I think a good Santa hat or a pair of antlers or a holiday dog collar isn’t too bad. A Halloween costume can be a lot of fun. I can see a sweater or a coat in colder climates for small dogs. Certainly a Chihuahua or a Chinese crested would need some protection if living in New York City. And there was a sports section which I think putting a Florida shirt on a Bulldog might be fun. However I had no idea there was this much stuff out there for the consumer.
As far as functionality then yes I can see that dog clothes and accessories can be a big help for a dog. Ruff Wear is one of my favorite producers of dog clothes for dogs. When my yellow lab got older with arthritis and some back problems a couple of Ruff Wear shoes that were made for getting over rough terrain helped her get up on slick surfaces where I otherwise would have to be there to assist her. These shoes are worn by search and rescue dogs. Reflective vests are essential for camping or hunting. My dog now is dark brown and you cannot see her after dark. Flotation vests are a great item if you boat or hunt. They help with speed and some are designed to keep the dog level in the water. The hunting ones have protective chest padding as the dog swims or runs through a field.
There are lots more dog clothes out there than I initially knew about. If there is a market for something then it will get made. The tops were the diamond dog collars I saw. One made of crocodile, platinum and white gold with 1657 diamonds total diamond weight of 52.2 carat costing 3.2 million dollars!!!