I like to put stuff on dogs. I try to find real reasons to put stuff on them, but sometimes, I just like to wrap them in a towel and put their paws in my husband’s Doc Martins. Sue me.
My favorite stuff-on-a-dog site is Gator the Deaf Circus Pittie’s Facebook page. Gator is the dog seen at right. He is good at having stuff put on him.
All silliness aside, there are some really helpful things to put on your dogs.
So, in no particular order, here’s a list of Stuff Your Dog Should Wear If…
They have a lot of energy: Backpack
If your dog is high energy and healthy enough to carry some weight, consider a backpack. Wearing a properly fitted backpack, loaded with a couple of soup cans (and by soup, I might mean beer), will help your uber energetic dog work twice as hard on the same stretch of terrain. That means you don’t have to work any harder, but your dog does. Nifty, eh? If you have one of those never, ever tired pups, the added weight will help them burn more steam and tire them out faster during your regular walks. Make sure to start off slow – introduce the backpack first, then add the weight gradually and top out at 25-30% of their body weight. Backpacks are also helpful: if your dog is calmer when they’re wearing their “working” gear, for turning your dog into a sherpa on hikes, and for carrying around litters of hitchhiking kittens.
They need a confidence boost: Thundershirt
If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms then a Thundershirt makes a lot of sense, no? But these slim-cut tops are also good for helping dogs feel more secure, which makes them helpful for some reactive, anxious, and fearful dogs. So don’t keep the shirt on hold for storms and fireworks, go on and bust it out for daily dog walks too. Thundershirts are also helpful: if your dog needs some help during vet visits, for dogs that need barf bags during car trips, and for creating a svelte silhouette for dogs who are self-conscious about their pooch.
They need skin protection: T-shirt
If your dog sunburns easily, try covering them with a t-shirt (in addition to dog sunscreen) to give them some extra skin protection. Or if your dog has environmental allergies, consider putting them in a t-shirt for their trips outside. When you go back inside, take off their t-shirt and you’re taking off the pollen or whatever else they’re allergic to with the shirt (wipe them down with a damp cloth too). If your dog is really itchy or has a skin infection, try putting them in a t-shirt to protect their skin from their teeth or nails. Healing skin needs air too, so be sure to take it off and let them be nudists on the regular. T-shirts are also helpful for: telling people to back off, covering up big nips on mama dogs, and hiding a bad hair day.
They are your co-pilot: Doggles
If your dog likes to hang their head out of your car window, Doggles will protect their eyes from flying debris. That pretty much sums it up. Doggles are also helpful for: dogs that ride in side cars, dogs that are blind and walk into things (it protect their eyeballs), and for any dog that likes attracting a lot of attention at stop lights.
They are scratching themselves raw: Baby Socks
If your dog has bad allergies and is scratching himself to pieces, try covering his paws with baby socks. Allergies can take a really long time to sort out (both the cause and the solution) and dogs who are itchy will sometimes scratch their skin into ribbons, causing secondary skin infections. Try covering their paws with baby socks (size 0-3 months with sticky tread on the bottom usually works), then secure the socks to their ankles with no-stick vet tape. They’ll still scratch, but their covered nails won’t cause so much damage. Baby Socks are also helpful for: dogs that chew their paws, broken toe nails that are healing, and for dogs that can’t stop reenacting that scene from Risky Business.
They just had surgery: Pro Collars
If you have a dog that is recovering from surgery, the vet may send you home with the plastic e-cone of shame, but most dogs can’t stand them. It messes with their peripheral vision, scrapes against things, and freaks them out in general. Plus, it’s cheap plastic that probably smells and feels yucky. If your dog will need to wear a cone for a bit, like after ACL surgery, buy a Pro Collar. It looks like a hemorrhoid cushion or a neck rest for travelling (are those the same things?) but it works. The best part is that your dogs can still see in every direction, they can pick up toys and food, and it’s comfy for them to rest their heads on while they sleep. For dogs that are afraid of a regular cone, this is much less scary. Pro Collars are also helpful for: dogs that have rashes they shouldn’t be licking, little dogs that squeeze through fences, and dogs with hemorrhoids who need a soft cushion to sit on.
They need to get adopted: Tutu
If you have a foster dog or a shelter dog that isn’t getting a lot of interest from adopters, put a tutu on them and take them out on the town. Ridiculous though it may be, that dog is about to get more attention in one walk than it has in a month of “adopt me” vest outings. Be sure to bring business cards with your dog’s photo and info to hand out to anyone who stops to swoon over your pup. Yes, this is for boy dogs too (who cares about gender? this is about getting attention!). Tutus are also helpful for: dogs in parades, dogs doing humane education work with kids, and dogs that dream of starring in the Black Swan remake.
And that’s not all! There are muzzles, wigs, boots, sweaters, and plenty of other stuff dogs can wear. I already feel a Part 2 coming on…
What stuff does your dog wear? I want to see photos of them wearing their favorite stuff, so post photos over on the DINOS Facebook page for me to squeal at. Please?