Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Thoughts on Dog Clothes

   I will begrudgingly admit that I am one of those people who look down upon owners who dress their dogs as dolls.  Every time I see a be-tutued Chihuahua coming down the street in someone's handbag I have to hold back a visible cringe.  However, I do think there are some very valid reasons for purchasing some minimal dog-wear for certain  situations and I have after many attempts found some pieces that I think do the best job with the least fuss.

   1. The Martha Stewart Collection at Petsmart:
           As I've mentioned previously, Lilly weighs eight pounds, is nearly 14 years old and is becoming increasingly arthritic.  As a result, she easily becomes cold and will shiver even in the house.  This wasn't so much of a problem when she lived with my parents who keep the thermostat at a balmy 75 F, but we also have an Aussie puppy who lives in our house and she spends most of her indoor time panting.  The solution: Lilly now wears a very cute and simple Martha Stewart sweater from Petsmart.   I tried and returned a total of three sweaters before anteing up the few extra dollars for the Martha Stewart brand and I wouldn't go back.
    What I like about this sweater is that it's warm (made of a wool material).  I also really liked the fit.  Lilly is a bit difficult to find sweaters for because either the neck always seem too tight or the body always seems too long.  The Martha Stewart sweater seemed to fit perfectly without the need for any alterations and to top it off the front leg holes can be opened via two buttons.  This has been especially helpful with Lilly's arthritis, because it often hurts her to bend her front legs through traditional leg holes.  All in all, the best sweater I've found for a tiny dog and probably also the cutest.

   2. Ruff Wear's K-9 Overcoat:
    If you are looking for a simple and lightweight coat for your dog for misty mornings or (as I've found this morning) 7am walks in a foot of snow, the Ruff Wear Overcoat is one of the best items on the market.   I spent several months before Christmas pouring over reviews and online descriptions, before sending my husband down to our local REI (only 2 hrs away) and making him pick this coat up.  As an Aussie Cassie's natural coat is both very dense (it's actually a double coat) and waterproof.  However, we spend a lot of time outdoors hiking and walking and with Cassie's energy level we can't skip a day's walk because of bad weather.
   So I was looking for a coat that was easy to fit, light enough not to cause over-heating during long periods of exercise and that would keep her body dry in the rain.  This Ruff Wear coat wasn't inexpensive, but it was reasonable at $60.  It fits over the dogs head and then secures with two simple clips at the side and has two reflective band that run along the dog's flanks, making early mornings and winter evenings safer for both of us. The best part is that Cassie doesn't seem to know it's there.  She has in the past protested to having things put on her back (leashes, towels, etc), but after a few times out it was as if the coat had passed her "you're alright" test.  And that's alright with me.


  1. I must admit, I'm not too fond of dressed-up dogs.

    However, I guess if the dogs don't mind, why should I judge?

  2. I know, I feel the same way! I feel guilty ever telling anyone what they should or should not do with their dogs, as long as their is no abuse going involved. Though I do think even toy breeds probably don't enjoy being "dressed up" as many owners claim.

  3. Hi there! Here's a link to the Find Your Better Half Contest explaining the rules:

    The goal is to find a dog on Petfinder that looks just like your dog.

    Elyse and Riley