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Do Dogs Like Wearing Clothes? Vet-Verified Facts & Preferences

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog wearing red christmas sweater

Do Dogs Like Wearing Clothes? Vet-Verified Facts & Preferences


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Some dog owners love to dress their pups in canine outfits. Whether for Halloween, Christmas, or some other event, there is undoubtedly a market for doggie clothing; the global pet clothing market was valued at over $5 million in 2021 and is expected to increase to roughly $269 million by 2030.

However, have you ever wondered if dogs like wearing clothes? The answer is not a simple yes or no and generally depends on whether your dog is accustomed to wearing clothes; otherwise, they likely do not enjoy wearing them. However, some weather conditions may warrant doggie clothing. We’ll explain if and when you should dress your dog in clothing and how to spot if your dog is stressed while wearing clothes.

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Is It OK for Dogs to Wear Clothes?

Three cute Pomeranian puppy dogs playing on the floor at home
Image Credit: Stefan foto video, Shutterstock

Typically, there is no harm in dressing your dog in a cute outfit if they don’t mind it as long as the clothing is not restrictive (more on this later) and you supervise them while it is on. Some dogs may not care for wearing clothing but love the attention it brings, and others absolutely hate it and may even freeze with it on.

However, some situations warrant putting clothes on your dog, such as sweaters for warmth for short-haired or hairless dogs or a life jacket in water for the average swimmer, regardless of whether your dog likes it. On the other hand, unnecessary garments, like Halloween costumes or hats, are purely for human entertainment.

It’s imperative to understand if your dog is tolerant of wearing clothes. If wearing clothing stresses your dog out, you should skip it altogether unless the clothing serves a purpose.

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Signs Your Dog Hates Wearing Clothing

So, how do you know if your dog tolerates wearing clothing? Knowing the signs your dog is stressed or anxious while wearing unnecessary clothing will help you determine if you should subject your dog to the idea.

If you notice these signs, your dog probably hates clothing:
  • Pawing at the clothing
  • Trying to remove the clothing
  • Panting (could show your dog is hot or stressed)
  • Tucked tail
  • Flattened ears
  • Turning their head away from you
  • Being vocal and restless
  • Yawning (could be a sign of stress)
  • Excessive lip licking

What Kind of Clothing Does a Dog Need?

dog wearing a coat and playing in snow
Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

Some dog clothing is important, regardless of whether your dog likes to wear it. Booties, for example, may be necessary to protect your dog’s paw pads while walking on rough terrain or hot pavement.

Your dog’s breed can also factor into whether clothing, such as a Greyhound living in cold climates, may be necessary. Greyhounds have very little protection from the elements due to their thin skin and scarce body fat, making wearing a sweater outdoors beneficial in cold weather.

Here are some examples of dog clothing that may be necessary in certain situations:
  • Dog booties
  • Sweater and coats in cold weather
  • UV-blocking sun shirts (excellent for dogs with thin or light-colored coats)
  • Life jackets
  • Vests (reflective vests for visibility, thunder shirts for anxiety, cooling vests)
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How to Choose Doggie Clothing

Before buying your dog clothing, there are a few considerations you should be aware of. For example, choosing clothing that does not hinder your dog’s mobility in any way is essential. Let’s look at how to buy appropriate clothing for your dog.


kevalr fabric carbon fiber
Image Credit: Composite_Carbonman, Shutterstock

Ensure the clothing is comfortable, durable, and safe from the elements. Avoid wool because it will be itchy and can cause irritation. Clothing with seams may also cause your dog to itch, which can provoke your dog to chew the clothing.

Cotton is a good choice for its breathability and stretching abilities, but it also doesn’t dry well when wet. However, it retains warmth and allows air to move freely, keeping your dog cool. In short, it’s best to choose a material that suits the elements your dog will be in.


Some dog clothing comes with Velcro straps or buckled adjustments so that you can adjust the clothing appropriately for a perfect fit. However, avoid clothing with zippers or buttons since they will entice your dog to chew them off and could become a choking hazard.


cute brown dog being measured by a man
Image Credit: SvetikovaV, Shutterstock

Taking measurements is necessary to ensure you buy an appropriately fitting garment. With a tape measure, measure your dog’s chest girth, neck girth, and the length of the back to the tail while they’re standing to ensure the clothing fits snugly but not too loosely or too tightly.

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Final Thoughts

While it may be adorable to dress your dog up in clothing, not all clothing is deemed necessary. It’s OK to dress your dog in a costume to celebrate a holiday or event if they are used to it and don’t mind. However, avoid this if your dog doesn’t tolerate it well.

Remember that some clothing is beneficial, like sweaters or jackets in cold weather or booties for hot pavement or rough terrain. Also, before buying clothing, take the appropriate measurements to ensure the clothing does not restrict your dog’s mobility.

Featured Image Credit: Ryan Seth Nau, Shutterstock

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