Cute Dog Clothes – Why People Dress Their Dogs Up

Cute Dog Costume

Before I had small dogs, I used to think it was odd that people would dress their dogs up in different outfits. I would often see them walking outside or in stores and feel bad for the dog that was subjected to wearing what their humans would throw on them. In my mind, I was thinking, “Why would you do that to that poor dog? That dog looks miserable.”  Well, I’m here to explain more about cute dog clothes and why people dress their dogs up.

I have 2 small dogs, one of which is a teacup Chihuahua (though some would argue there’s no such thing as a “Teacup” dog of any breed, but that’s the only way to describe her), Buttons. She is a whopping 2.5 lbs wet, long white hair, tiny little black eyes and a black button nose. Buttons loves it when I dress her up in clothes and she actually prances around after I put her in some random tutu outfit that others’ laugh at.

So why do I dress Buttons up?Buttons Petticoat

Why I Choose Cute Dog Clothes.

My dogs are my best friends and go everywhere that I go when I leave the house. Not all 4 of them mind you, I have a 14-year-old dog that has a tough time with stairs and getting in and out of the vehicle, so she stays home. I also have a male Chihuahua that is the very definition of “Chihuahua”, barking at everyone and everything and despises strangers. Buttons on the other hand loves people and loves going for car rides and so does Atlas, my 50 lb Pocket Bulldog that strangely enough, loves to be dressed up as well.

After trying on loads of outfits, I find that my female dogs actually like being dressed up. They get all kinds of attention when we go out, people always want to pet them saying how cute they look, or adorable, where did I find that outfit, etc. Not being the Dog Whisperer or anything, but based on my dogs wagging their tails and getting super excited at all the attention, I’ve figured out that they love their outfits.

Where Do I Shop For Clothes?

In one of my previous articles, I mentioned big dog clothes since they’re definitely harder to find over the small dog clothes. Buttons is easy to get clothes for since she’s extremely small and almost all local pet stores carry the small clothing. Bigger dogs like Atlas are harder to shop for since the stores rarely carry size XL or they’re often out of stock.

So how do I find bigger dogs cute clothing? I shop both at human outlets and online for Atlas. Often, I look for clothes that will fit a dog with a wider body than most dogs since she is a Bully Breed, so her stature is very wide. I also look for clothes that stretch versus just standard polyester that rarely has any give to it. Since she’s a short body dog, being the pocket of the breed, I also have a hard time with the length of her clothing, so I usually have to rely on short sleeve items for her to fit, or I customize them from home and simply hem them up.

Online can be tricky to find good clothing. I would advise staying away from sites like Wish for your dogs if you have a large breed. Some sites I suggest from personal experience are:Atlas in Sweater

  1. Amazon
  2. Petco
  3. Bitch New York
  4. E-Bay – sometimes. You can get lucky every once in a while on E-Bay but it’s like sifting through a Value Bargain store for clothing.

Determining Your Dogs Clothing Size.

In order to know whether your dog will fit certain clothing, especially if you’re shopping online, can be a challenge if you haven’t bought clothing before. Properly measuring your dog is important so you can avoid the hassle of having to return items. Anyone that has shopped online for themselves knows that returning items online can be rather difficult and not all companies have a free return policy. Losing packages in the mail can also be very frustrating and a total loss of money if you’re sending things back, so measure, measure, measure.

The following is a check list for how to measure your furry friend before purchasing:

  • Measure your dog from neck to tail to determine their length.
  • Next, measure the largest part of their rib cage to know their width.
  • Then, measure their neck to determine the size needed for collars, coats, vests of other sweaters that wrap around their neck.
  • Measure from the top of their head to under their jaw if you’re buying hats or other head-based items.

You don’t need a measuring tape for the above measurements by the way. I use a piece of string and simply wrap it around them, and once I get that measurement, I then compare it to the tape measure. I only do this because I lack the tape measures that aren’t stiff, often used in construction (my husband has all the tools). If you have the measure tape that’s able to wrap the body, use that of course!

Will Your Dog Even Let You Dress Them In Cute Dog Clothes?

Here’s the kicker with this part! Not all dogs like clothes….some will fight you tooth and nail to not be subjected to putting on anything at all. My male Chihuahua hates clothes, costumes, hats, anything at all I try to put on him. I don’t waste my money buying him clothes because he will just bite it off, rip it off, or not even let me put anything on him and run for under the bed instead.

I haven’t had much luck over the years with male dogs being happy about clothes. My females on the other hand usually love the outfits, but again, all dogs are different. Try something inexpensive first for your trial run. If your dog is receptive to the clothing and lets you dress him/her and keep the clothing on for a period of time with no fuss, then it should be a go for you. That’s when the website Wish can come in handy. Find an extremely stretchy T-Shirt for your dog first, and run with that. If you have a large breed, a kids T-Shirt works perfect too. Try that. Small dogs are more difficult and will need the actual pet clothes over humans though.

After Trying The Above Methods, Your Dog Should Be Good!

Now that you’ve measured your dog, found a piece of clothing they haven’t attempted to eat before wearing, and they feel comfortable and are wagging their tails at you, you should now have a fashionista friend. Remember, it’s important that your furry friend is comfortable and happy in their new cute clothes. I don’t subject my dogs to anything they hate unless it’s of dire importance and for their health and safety. Coats and sweaters for example in cold Alaska is necessary, so they have to endure that when I take them for walks.

But just a day out with my gals, I do love putting them in cute clothes that makes them feel pretty and loved. People pay attention to them more, they comment on how cute they look and of course, they always get extra treats everywhere we go. I want my pets happy and to feel loved, not unhappy and uncomfortable.

Sticking to what they like will keep them feeling like they’re part of the family and not just a side show. One thing I always think about, is that my dogs mentality is like a childs. Sometimes, they simply don’t like certain things and that’s OK; they have feelings and I put their feelings before my own personal wants. Remember, animals feel too; they have their personalities that make them unique and special in our hearts. Keep their feelings in mind when picking out clothing.

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4 thoughts on “Cute Dog Clothes – Why People Dress Their Dogs Up

  1. Buttons looks super cute when she wears the clothes that you prepared for her. I used to have a male labrador who doesn’t like to wear any cloth that I put on him, so I gave up in the end. Maybe I was like what you mentioned here, and I may not take good care of his feelings or ignore some signals that he tried to express. For the next time, I will consider what I learn from your post and do better.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Hi Matt,

      Most males are the same with clothing, at least in my experience as well. My females have always been different, they love clothes. I have a male right now, and he hates when I try to put him in clothing, so I know the feeling. I have some friends down the way with a male and they dress him up, but they’ve been doing that since he was a puppy, so he’s probably just accustomed to it by now.

      If you get a female in the future, they might feel different. Kind of like human women – I’d imagine female dogs like clothing as much as human women do! 🙂

      Thanks for reading!


  2. This is such a cute article, I must say!
    It is lovely to see how people dress up their dogs when I go for my evening walks.
    Happy to see you even gave recommendations on where to find dog cloths! Awesome!
    I plan on getting a small dog for the family next year and will come back for lots of useful ideas from your site. Many thanks for sharing.

    1. Ekufaa,

      Anytime! Small dogs are always cold, so I usually have to put sweaters on mine through most of the winter. Even now on a fall day, they’re sleeping under thick blankets since it gets chilly up here. Even my big dog gets the shivers sometimes and if we’re lying in bed, I’ll throw the covers over here to warm her up.

      This winter, I’m actually looking forward to the snow, but I imagine it’s because I have loads of cozy sweaters for myself, and some new ones for my dogs! I just love the first parts of winter and the fluffy snow that comes with it. My dogs love playing in the fresh snow too, so I make sure they’re warm!

      Glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for reading!


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