If you're buying a gift for a dog -- or for a devoted dog parent -- you have plenty of options for presents. There are dog treats, dog toys and even doggie "bling" available today. However, dog clothes can also make an excellent gift in the right situation.
Clothes With a Purpose
Some dog clothes have a specific purpose, like protecting your furry friend from the elements. A warm winter coat can make an excellent gift choice for a dog who lives in a colder area, especially if he spends a significant time outside. For dogs who live in very hot climates, a cooling vest may be a good gift. These vets will absorb metabolic heat and help dogs maintain a healthy body temperature when they are in extreme heat. Dog boots or "booties" can be helpful for pets who have paw injuries since they prevent the pet from licking or aggravating their wound as it heals. Boots can also protect paws from very hot pavement, or from snow and ice.
Clothes for Fun
Many dog clothes are purely for fun, and are created more for the owners than for the dogs themselves. These types of clothes include cute doggie t-shirts with slogans on them, doggie dresses or even bathing suits for dogs. You can choose a dog outfit for nearly any occasion. If you see cute puppy clothes that bring a smile to your face, it's a good bet that the dog's owner will also love to receive it as a gift -- especially if you already know that the dog is no stranger to wearing clothes.
A dog shirt, dress, or other items can be absolutely adorable -- but if it is ill-fitting or makes the dog uncomfortable then it just won't work. When buying dog clothes as a gift it is important to have a good idea of the dog's weight, as well as some general measurements like the dog's length and height if possible. Follow the size guides provided by the dog clothes manufacturer, but also keep the specifics about the dog you are buying for in mind. For example, if you are buying a dog coat for a 50-pound greyhound -- which is an unusually deep-chested breed -- the dog may not comfortably fit into coats normally made for pets of that weight.
Dog clothes may be just adorable, but they don't make much of an impact if the dog never gets to actually wear them. Essentially, you should keep the climate where the dog lives and the dog's lifestyle in mind while shopping. A California or Arizona dog may not get much use out of a heavy velvet coat that is lined with faux fur since "coat weather" is fairly rare in those states. If you are shopping for a dog that regularly attends adoption events with its owner, a lightweight and easy to wear shirt may be just the thing to thrill both the dog and owner. A dog who is elderly, or who spends a lot of time sleeping in bed, may appreciate doggie pajamas that are appropriate for its climate.
Knowing Your Recipient
Ultimately, it's not up to dogs whether they wear clothes or not: It's the owner's decision. Some dog owners dress their dogs up every day while others find the notion of dog clothes silly. It's important to know your recipient and be aware of their feelings on the topic of dogs in clothing. If they hate the idea, it's not the right gift. However, if they have dressed their pups up in the past you just may have found the ideal puppy present.