Whether to dress or not to dress our furry friends is often a hot topic when pet parents come together, and the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you would think.

Concerns about whether it is right to dress pets may raise questions such as:

  • Do pets feel comfortable in clothes?
  • Is it ok for my dog to wear a sweater?
  • At what temperature does a dog need a jersey?
  • Should dogs sleep with clothes on?
  • Do cats like boots?

You will quickly notice if your pet is uncomfortable in clothes. It is important to remember that you are the parent and know your furry baby best. Listen to your gut when it comes to selecting or even considering clothing for your pet.

There are however a few things to take into consideration when dressing your pet such as:

  • Our pets have different personalities some are extroverts, and some are introverts. The extroverts thrive on attention and love the fuss of being dressed up whilst the opposite is true of the shy introverted dogs.
  • Ensure there are no hazards. A scarf could be tied too tightly, an accessory could cause your pet to choke if they swallow it so ensure that the garment is safe to use on your pet.
  • Smaller, lighter, and less furry dogs are more comfortable in a jersey or sweater. The same goes for dogs that are aging or sick. Dogs that are bred for cold weather have extra insulation and might get too hot with another layer of clothes on.

To ease your mind, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is your pet able to move properly with the clothes on? Is it not restricting them or interfering with their daily activities such as grooming, running, and playing?
  2. Are the clothes making your pet stressed? Cats might become aggressive, and dogs might start panting to show their distress, so watch out for these signs.
  3. Can your pet still communicate? Communication is read between dogs by body language. Some clothes might disguise the body language which makes it difficult for other dogs to read your dog and might cause stress.

Bear in mind that some pet clothes are useful and help keep our pets warm, comfortable, and safe.

Winter coats or boots

When your dog is small, frail, or has very thin fur, a coat could keep them warm against the cold.

Boots for dogs are very helpful when your dog is recovering from an injury or has cuts and scrapes on their paws. Some dogs enjoy having boots on to prevent their paws from getting cold when being taken for a walk on an icy day and some cats love to be snug in boots when they are brought into the house.

Surgical vests and therapy tops

After an operation, it is quite common for a vet to recommend a surgical vest to prevent your dog or cat from licking their stitches.

Hi-Vis jackets

Working animals wear high-visibility jackets to keep them safe in dangerous situations or where they are working close to roads.

Snug-fitting vests

Hunting dogs are often kitted out with snug-fitting vests that protect them from sharp objects and insects when they run in the woods.

During the pandemic, the rise in pet ownership in Australia was the catalyst of a new pet culture taking over. New and old pet parents had more time to shower their pets with even more love and attention, accessories, and fashion. It is safe to say that the spend on pet clothes, toys, and pamper sessions skyrocketed in Australia and is rising year on year.

If the clothes are not designed to keep your furry friend safe or warm, then why do it? They do, after all, look perfect the way nature intended.



Insurance issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (AFSL 241436), is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (AFSL 420183) (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed PetSures Authorised Representative (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPLs authorised distribution partners. Terms, conditions, waiting periods and exclusions apply. Consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before deciding if the product is right for you. PDS and Target Market Determination available at petinsurance.gholab.com.au.