Do Dogs and Cats Like To Wear Clothes - Caring Pets (2024)

Previously, dressing up your pet was an urbane and luxury reserved for the wealthy and famous.

But things are changing these days. Animal owners worldwide will make tremendous efforts to capture a few good shots of their pets. With the development of so many four-legged social media celebratory, a growing number of pet owners are aspiring to be major leaguers, which includes a closet full of outdoor gear, pet gowns, costumes, and accessories.

Pets are getting dressed up on a more regular basis and fashionable than ever before. The overall cost of pet garments, collars, and leashes was $15.11 billion in 2017, increasing $14.71 billion in 2016.

Do Dogs and Cats Like To Wear Clothes - Caring Pets (1)

Is it permissible for my pet to wear clothing every day?

Without a doubt! The pets may require clothes for several reasons (besides showing off their inner contemporary fashionista).

  1. To remain warm: It’s winter, which means rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, depending on where you live or visit – and all-weather clothing will protect your pet from these elements.

Shirts, coats, raincoats, sweaters, and harness vests are available in sizes ranging from Xsmall to Xlarge and everything in between. Dog booties are also intended to protect your puppy’s paws from ice melt/snow salt.

Some breeds, and particularly some mixed breeds, do not fit into a generic size and this is when you will want to have a custom coat or harness made to fit your pet.

Wearing something that does not fit properly or interferes with movement or doing their business can cause undue stress.

  1. To stay cool: Dogs with hair loss or bald areas may need to wear a shirt or vest outside during hot weather to shield themselves from the sun.
  2. To stay safe: A dog life jacket can assist your canine buddy in remaining afloat to keep your dog safe when swimming in the pool, lake, or beach. There is also much luminous pet gear available to keep an eye on your dog during evening walks.
    However, life jackets are not exclusive to dogs. Even our feline friends need to be kept safe. So, cat life jackets are available as well.
  3. Special Occasions: Our pets like to have fun too! When there is a holiday, birthday, or another event that requires dapper duds, something as simple as a necktie, party collar, bandana, or bowtie can set the tone. Generally, pets love to participate and feel special. They like to be included in the event. And these types of clothing are the best for them as they go around the neck, so it isn’t too cumbersome for the body.

Last but not least, “pet diapers” are available for dogs and cats that have incontinence or are going through heat cycles. An extensive range of diaper covers for these protective trousers may hide them and spare your pet’s dignity (while still looking trendy!).

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What about getting your pet a sweater or jacket?

According to Dr. Hyunmin Kim, ASPCA’s veterinary staff manager for Community Medicine, animals have distinct needs. Pets with short hair and particularly thin or elderly may require a sweater or coat to remain warm in the winter.

It’s even more important to consider your dog’s feet in chilly weather. Although, you need to keep in mind that dogs are not great fans of booties. They are difficult to keep on. So, only make your pets wear boots during severe winter conditions. Plus, also remember that not all breeds need dog booties. For example, huskies have paw pads that are extremely resilient and can adapt to extreme temperatures of hot and cold. That is why you never see them wearing dog booties when they are in dog sled teams.

We are saying this because the salt and the other chemicals that get between the feet and the booties can be quite painful for the paw pads. Plus, people do not generally have their dog out for longer than an hour in snow and icy conditions, so there is not much need of putting on booties on your dog.

When going out in cold weather, only hairless cats should be covered in warm bedding or loose-knit clothes (specially designed for Sphynx cats). There are, of course, exceptions.

Hairless cats that live in the northern climes can wear cozy coats and sweaters indoors. Cats will love the safety of a harness coat or a vest when you are taking them to the vet or going out for a walk. To make sure that your cat is comfortable with the harness, put on the clothing on the pet for an hour indoors on a regular basis. This helps in alleviating the stress and acclimatizing the cat to wearing the vest. Once the cat is comfortable with the vest, making the transition when venturing outdoors will be far easier.

If you’re carrying an elderly or sick cat in cold weather, it’s a good idea to wrap the cat loosely in warm towels or bedding or place warm bedding in the cat carrier before taking the cat outside. Older and ill cats have a more challenging time staying warm, and the loose wrap doesn’t interfere with the fur’s insulating characteristics.

The most important clothing that all pets should have is an all-weather coat that sheds the rain, breaks the wind, and keeps the body heat at a comfortable temperature.

Some pets, especially dogs, tend to overheat quite quickly. So, it is good to ensure the clothing is light, has good coverage but is not overdone.

Is My Pet at Ease in Clothes?

If your cat or dog continues to perform all they would typically do without pet clothing while wearing clothes, they are most likely tolerant of what they are wearing. They should be able to run, play, roll about, leap, and engage in all usual activities with ease. Scratching, chewing, or rubbing at the garments, on the other hand, may suggest that they need to be removed.

In addition, some animals may not know what to do and freeze when pet clothing is put on, indicating that they are not having a good time. Learn to read your pet’s behavior to determine if they are comfortable in their outfit.

My Chihuahua likes his tweed harness vest; It’s easy to get on and off, has velcro to adjust, keeps the body warm, the band on the underside supports the major organs, and it’s stylish so attracts a lot of positive attention. The same can be said for accessories around the neck as long as they are not too heavy or cumbersome. Hats are not a good idea, as they interfere with peripheral vision and hearing. Hearing and vision play a large part in the pet’s overall intelligence and wellbeing.

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What to Look for When Buying Pet Clothes

Experts emphasize the significance of observing your pet wearing clothing, especially if it is his first time.

When putting clothes on dogs, make sure it doesn’t restrict their movement, vision, or capacity to breathe, bark, or meow. Ill-fitting pet clothing can tangle on exterior items or your pet, causing damage. Inspect for tiny, hanging, or quickly chewed-off portions that pose a choking hazard. A dog jacket should feature a leash attachment point or an opening for a collar or harness ring. It should also be elegant and straightforward to put on and take off without frightening or injuring your pet.

Materials like cotton, wool, bamboo, hemp, or blended with some man-made fabrics are a good choice. Avoid synthetics since they melt under fire and heat. Make sure that the fabric is breathable and strong. If you have any doubts about the quality of the clothing, wash it before you put them on your pet. The same conditions apply to beds.

Keep an eye on the materials since some synthetics might catch fire. “As long as the material is comfortable and washable, it may not matter whether or not the animal wears it,” explains Ng. “However, while it is uncommon, certain animals may experience skin sensitivity or skin responses to particular materials or allergies connected with clothes.”

When in doubt, see your veterinarian to see if your pet should be dressed. After all, most skin sensitivities are caused by the food they are ingesting or the environment.

Costumes are fun for humans and most often humiliating for pets. On these occasions, it would be advisable to make it a short duration, enough time to get the photo and participate in the event.

How to Make Events Fun for Everyone

To guarantee that everyone has a good time enjoying the occasion:

  1. Wear clothes that allow your pet to see and hear effectively. Comfort is extremely important for your pets and make sure that there are no noisy fabrics or dangly things. Also, make sure that the cloth is not too tight or too loose, and take off the cloth if your pet overheats. Plus, the cloth should not interfere with the pet doing his business.
  2. Avoid anything the dog or cat might ingest.

Don’t Make Your Pet Wear Clothes if He Objects

According to Dr. Sung, some pets might have a significant reaction to wearing clothes and end up scratching at themselves or becoming violent toward their owners in some situations.

Sweaters pose a problem as they are pulled over the head and awkward for the dog to have the legs pushed into the armholes. Most dogs hate this, this is why you should stress on coats, jackets, and vests and not focus so much on sweaters.

If it is the first time a dog is presented with a raincoat or jacket they are often dubious or scared. It takes some patience and follow-through for the dog to become accustomed to wearing a coat. They are intelligent creatures and quickly realize that wearing a coat in inclement weather means they get not only get outside but remain warm, dry and comfy

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Let him inform his needs.

If your dog refuses to go outdoors when it’s cold outside, it’s a sign that he may benefit from a sweater. If he’s shivering or curling up in a ball in your house, especially if the temperature is kept low, you should consider adding more pet clothing.

When buying a dog sweater, make sure that it is easy to put on and off. Other than that, check whether it keeps your dog warm. Or check to make it seem extra lovely on your special occasion, like on a Christmas evening. So, seek a comfortable fabric, such as a combination of washable wool and cotton or acrylic, and make sure the sweater fits—it should be snug.

Style plays an important part also. Does your pet look good? Will the public and other dogs respond in a positive manner? Most animals are sensitive like most people are, they know when they look cool and when they look like a geek.

Dogs and cats love wearing clothes for the following reasons:

For gaining attention

Another reason some dogs enjoy dressing up? When they’re putting on their costume, you (and everyone else in the room/house/world) lavish them with considerably more attention than usual. Pets thrive on human attention in general. Dressing up becomes a joyous time for pets who have learned to equate being dressed up with obtaining the attention they seek (bright smiles, oohs and awws, Instagram picture sessions, extra pets).

For stress reduction

Anxiety can be effectively treated using compression vests. Another alternative is to make your pet wear the coat or vest you have on hand.

Pets are sensitive to sound. Any loud noise like thunderstorms or fireworks can be terrifying. Also, whenever you bring a new pet from a pet home as a puppy, a kitten, or a rescue, they get tense when they are put in an unknown environment, especially in the middle of the night. Making them wear a compression vest will calm them down and everyone can sleep better.

Related Reading

  • Getting a winter jacket for a dog
  • Sphynx cat breed care
Do Dogs and Cats Like To Wear Clothes - Caring Pets (2024)


Do cats and dogs like wearing clothes? ›

Wearing clothes doesn't come naturally to pets and it can cause them stress, especially cats. Stressed cats might groom themselves a lot, be aggressive towards you or make more noise than usual. Dogs might show they're stressed by licking their lips, yawning or panting.

Do dogs enjoy wearing clothes? ›

An anxious dog can feel more secure in clothes. Other dogs enjoy the attention they get when they are dressed up. However, not all dogs like to wear clothes. If you notice your dog getting stressed or upset when you dress them up, maybe it's just not for them.

Do cats enjoy wearing clothes? ›

Many cats dislike wearing any type of clothing, so the key is to go slowly and not force a cat to wear a sweater if he really resists. “Put the head through, and then you can put the front feet in and see how the cat tolerates that,” Sikule recommends.

Do pets need to wear clothes? ›

Dogs in temperatures greater than 45 degrees typically do not need protective clothing. If your dog will only be outside for 10 minutes or less, they typically do not need any clothing except in extremely cold climates.

Do dogs dislike wearing clothes? ›

You'll be able to tell if your dog doesn't like wearing a particular item of clothing — they'll try to shake it off, try to bite at it, and look generally uncomfortable. Often, if you can see the whites of your dog's eyes while they're wearing a costume, the chances are they don't want to be wearing it.

Why are cats obsessed with clothes? ›

"Their [owner's] clothes often carry their scent, which in the cat world they use to recognize their owners," Dr. Murithi explains. "They would therefore prefer to lay on their clothes as they feel safe and comfortable, as they see the clothes as their own or part of their family."

Do animals like being dressed up? ›

Some animals even seem to enjoy the process of getting dressed up; some dogs have been known to wag their tails excitedly when they see their owner reaching for their favorite outfit. Pet clothes can also be beneficial in hot weather, especially if you have a dog who spends considerable time outdoors and in the sun.

Do dogs like when you dress them up? ›

Dogs don't like wearing costumes because they easily become stressed and uncomfortable when wearing clothing, especially anything on the head or around the body.

Why do people put clothes on dogs? ›

One of the top reasons to dress up your dog is to stay warm. Some dogs simply aren't built for cold weather. Puppies, senior dogs, small dogs, and shorthaired dogs are perfect candidates for sweaters, jackets, and other canine clothing that will help shield them from the elements.

Do clothes stress cats out? ›

Some clothes and costumes can be restrictive and prevent cats from grooming or running or even make toileting difficult. This loss of natural behaviours and expressions can cause stress, anxiety. There is also a potential danger if clothes or costumes become entangled or tighten.

Do clothes help cats with anxiety? ›

According to the experts at Cats Protection, owners should avoid dressing up their cats as it can heighten their levels of anxiety — and means they can't act normally.

Why do clothes calm cats? ›

Though this initially may sound like a strange, abnormal behavior, it's actually quite common both in pets and humans! Often when animals experience anxiety, clothes can help to provide comfort and a feeling of safety that helps to calm them down.

Do clothes help dogs with anxiety? ›

In addition to keeping smaller breeds or older dogs warm in damp or chilly weather, the sensation of wearing clothes may calm and console a dog who is anxious or nervous.

Why do clothes make dogs calm? ›

Besides keeping your dog warm, clothing can also help with anxiety. The sense of security that comes from a snug-fitting vest like the Thundershirt can be soothing for anxious dogs.

Do dogs like their owners clothes? ›

One big reason why your dog's probably sleeping on your clothes is that she finds your scent comforting — you're her favorite person after all! According to Benson, if you find your pup snoring on a pile of your clothes in the middle of the day, just know she really, really loves you.

Do clothes irritate dogs? ›

Clothes may cause painful friction or rubbing on a dog's skin. Dogs with short hair or skin conditions may be more susceptible to skin irritation than others. Clothes may cause a dog to potentially overheat and become sick. Always keep an eye on your pet when they are in clothes indoors and in warmer climates.

Are clothes toxic to dogs? ›

The cloth itself is not harmful or toxic, and as long as it's small enough, it's likely to pass right through. Problems will develop when the cloth is too large to pass.

Why do cats sleep at your feet? ›

When a cat sleeps at your feet, they keep your feet warm, but they may also be seeking warmth from you. Sleeping by or on your feet lets your cat be close to you, but also gives them the security of an easy escape when near the foot of the bed, couch, or chair.

Why does my cat follow me to the bathroom? ›

One of the most plausible and sweetest reasons why your cat “follows” you even into the bathroom is that he loves you. The cat wants to take advantage of every second of your presence and every possible opportunity to spend time with you! He adores you so much that he will follow you everywhere in the house.

Why do cats lay on your shoes? ›

' Cats will gravitate to things that smell like them and like the ones that they love. Sleeping on your shoes is simply your cat's way of saying they are comfortable in your company, are put at ease by your presence, and love you!

Do animals like being kissed? ›

People know that a kiss is a natural way to show affection to other people, but we sometimes forget that our dogs are not human. You may be surprised to learn that many dogs actually dislike this common human behavior.

Do animals like human touch? ›

Scientists pinpoint special sensory cells that respond to gentle touch. Social beasts—humans, elephants, chimps, dogs, and cats—seem to enjoy being caressed. Neurobiologists have now taken a step toward pinpointing neural circuitry underlying this pleasant sensation.

Do dogs like getting kisses? ›

Dogs are good at reading us, and they usually know when we are being affectionate, such as when we kiss them. Because they love affection from us, most dogs do like being kissed. However, they don't like the act of being kissed but rather that we give them attention and show affection.

Do dogs like when you look at their eyes? ›

Eye contact happens naturally; it's part of normal body language. However, staring is considered rude and it's scary to most dogs.

Do dogs like you being in their face? ›

Much like hugging, dogs tend to dislike it when humans get in their faces. Think about how it would make you feel! Avoid putting your hands in a dog's face, towering over dogs, and rushing towards them. This is especially important if the dog does not know you well.

Why do dogs sit when you look at them? ›

Let's face it: Dogs love their owners, but when they stare expectantly, it's not usually because they're trapped in a reverie of devotion. Rather, it's because they're thinking they might get something.

Why pets should wear clothes? ›

Even if most canines possess fur coats that keep them warm, they still benefit from wearing apparel like sweaters and customizable dog t-shirts. Clothes not only look great on your dog, but also promote better health, hygiene and safety.

Why does my dog get sad when I put clothes on him? ›

It's called “learned helplessness,” and it's quite sad. Your dog flops over because she's utterly helpless to avoid the stimuli of being touched all over at once by the clothing. She's learned that falling down will make you stop this awful feeling, and so she just goes motionless until you fix it.

What are clothes for dogs called? ›

Dog coats are most commonly used for protection against the rain and cold and to provide extra warmth. Dog coats are also used as fashion accessories. Dog sweaters are both functional and fashion accessories.

Does a messy house stress cats? ›

Stressful Situation 1: Changes to Your Home

Here are some changes that often cause cats to stress: Rearranging or purchasing new furniture. Renovations and remodelling. Clutter and mess.

Do cats like being in a closet? ›

In a Closet

Cats love this space because it has sturdy, secure walls and an abundance of soft fabric to cuddle. The clothes also smell like you, and your scent can be a great feline stress buster.

Do cats like their owners clothes? ›

"Their [owner's] clothes often carry their scent, which in the cat world they use to recognize their owners," Dr. Murithi explained. "They would therefore prefer to lay on their clothes as they feel safe and comfortable, as they see the clothes as their own or part of their family."

What is the best way to calm a stressed cat? ›

Think food puzzles to engage minds and bodies, vertical space for climbing and surveying their domain, scratching posts, safe outdoor access (like a catio), window perches and interactive play. “Play is an important part of relieving stress,” Delgado says. “It helps cats release those feel-good hormones.”

What calms anxiety in cats? ›

Creating a relaxing environment for your cat, with access to toys, scratching posts, and a safe space away from potential threats, can help reduce anxiety. Playing with your cat and providing them with interactive toys, such as wand toys and puzzle toys, can also reduce anxiety.

What calms a scared cat? ›

Close the curtains and try playing music or the TV.

If you notice your cat seems anxious, try shutting the curtains and putting on some music or the TV so they can relax somewhere safe and cosy, especially if your cat is scared of things you can't control or loud noises like fireworks.

Why do cats calm down when you put a blanket on them? ›

For Warmth and Comfort

Blankets provide warmth and comfort, and cats often seek out the reassuring touch of a blanket as a form of protection from threats. Cats may be more relaxed and less stressed when covered by a blanket, which can help them get better sleep.

Why do cats hate closed doors? ›

Because of their territorial nature, cats believe they actually own your house. When you close a door, it is no wonder that many cats will try to open, scratch, or attack it in every single way. They may simply find your attempt to close a door as a sign that undermines their absolute reign of the territory.

Why do cats hate being dressed up? ›

To a feline's sharp senses, a Halloween costume emanates a pervasive scent that smothers ambient odours. The unfamiliar scent of a costume also masks a cat's personal smell. In a household where several animals coexist, the others can perceive the dressed-up cat as an outsider!

What calms a dogs anxiety? ›

Dog massages, snuggles and a good brushing can help distract a dog from its triggers and make it easier for them to feel safe and at ease. Mentally stimulating toys can provide a distraction for pets experiencing anxiety, hyperactivity and boredom.

What calms a stressed dog? ›

As with humans, exercise can be a great stress reducer. Physical activities like walking or playing fetch help both you and your dog release tension. It is also good to provide your dog with a safe place in the home where he can escape anxious situations. Everybody enjoys a calm place to retreat.

What reduces dog anxiety? ›

Teach your dog the sit-stay and down-stay commands using positive reinforcement. This training will help them learn that they can remain calmly and happily in one place while you go to another room. Exercise and mental stimulation are critical to reducing anxiety and stress.

Why does my dog lick me so much? ›

One of the most common reasons why dogs love to lick their owners is simply to show their affection. Since you're the one taking care of them, you're essentially their world! When dogs lick, pleasurable endorphins are released into their blood which makes them feel calm and comforted.

Why do dogs sleep on your feet? ›

Your dog's urge to sit or lie down at your feet is one of their natural, instinctive behaviors. They like to stick close to you as their pack leader. It makes them feel safe, and it is also important for them to maintain their “ownership” and connection with you. Closeness lets them mark their territory.

Why do dogs lay on you? ›


In most cases, dogs lie on top or sleep snuggled into your side because they want affection and want to show you the same. Smaller dogs might even lie on your lap as they fall asleep.

Do pets like to be dressed up? ›

Some pets are okay with wearing clothes, while others may not be as comfortable. For example, dogs who are outgoing and enjoy being around people may be more likely to tolerate wearing clothes than shy or anxious dogs. Cats who are independent and non-social may be more likely to dislike pet clothing.

Why do dogs lay on your clothes? ›

This is because he is trying to redistribute that 'pack' or family smell back onto himself. Your scent is also a feeling of safety for you pet. Another cause of this behavior may be due to your pup loving soft things. Clothes, whether dirty or clean, give your dog a soft, cushiony spot to lay down on.

Why do cats calm down when you put clothes on them? ›

Though this initially may sound like a strange, abnormal behavior, it's actually quite common both in pets and humans! Often when animals experience anxiety, clothes can help to provide comfort and a feeling of safety that helps to calm them down.

Why don't cats more when you put clothes on them? ›

Your cat's fight or flight response is hardwired into their DNA and that cute and colorful sweater you want to put on them isn't going to change that. For your cat, clothes typically freak them out because they're strange, constricting, and restrict their movement.

Do dogs like to be looked at? ›

Staring Can Make a Dog Feel Challenged

For a dog, a stranger staring at them might be seen as a challenge, threat, or something to make them uneasy. They may even fear you could be trying to take a resource, such as a toy or chew, away from them.

Do dogs like to be covered up? ›

Dogs notoriously love their blankets. Whether it's at home or on the road, it gives them a place to snuggle up and be comfortable. No matter your lifestyle, this is an easy investment that every pet owner can make to improve the quality of life for their animal.

Why do dogs sit on your feet? ›

It's one way a dog shows affection. Think of your dog sitting on your feet as the canine version of a hug or cuddle.” Puppies and adult dogs of any age, size, sex, or breed choose this place to plop because they want to stay close to their new owners.

Why does my dog smell my dirty laundry? ›

The real culprit is the scent of pheromones covering your dirty laundry. All mammals, including humans, possess sweat glands known as apocrine glands. These glands release pheromones that your pup finds irresistible and because it tells them all kinds of information about you via their enhanced sense of smell.


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