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Do you have a dog? Do you have dog outfits for him or her? If you answered ‘yes’ to these last two questions, then you are not alone. Over the last several years, the pet clothing industry has boomed as growing numbers of people have begun dressing their four-legged family members. This trend was no doubt sparked by the increased frequency of well-dressed dogs such as Chloe from the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Bruiser from Legally Blonde appearing on the silver screen. Today, a dog doesn’t have to be a film or television celebrity to be well-dressed. As a matter of fact, everyday dogs are becoming fashion-conscious these days!
It wasn’t so long ago that people would never dare be caught in public with a dog dressed similarly as themselves. To do so would no doubt have brought verbal teasing, annoying looks and outright laughter. But today, people take pride in bestowing upon their dogs the very best garments they can find. Visit almost any pet store and you will surely find at least a small selection of dog outfits. Larger stores and specialty dog boutiques often have extensive selections. Even colleges and universities are getting in on the act by offering dog outfits and accessories emblazoned with the school’s mascot or logo for sale in the school bookstore.
As with human clothing, the development of clothes for dogs was originally intended as protection from the elements. The most basic of all dog outfits is the always-functional but ever-fashionable dog sweater. Once only knitted by mom or grandmother to keep the family’s Fido warm in chilly temperatures, sweaters for dogs are now so attractive and elegant that keen, fashionable design has replaced the original, homemade feel that made them so popular to begin with. Soon, thick dog coats and dog raincoats were added to the mix which helped even dogs with short or thin coats of hair to stay warm outside in snow and rain. Now, you can even find shoes and boots for dogs to protect their paw pads from extreme temperatures ranging from the scorching heat of asphalt pavement in Phoenix, Arizona on a hot, August afternoon to the bone-chilling cold of the Alaskan tundra in the dead of winter.
Today, the only limit to the number and type of dog outfits is your imagination. People are so keen to have their pets as true members of their families that they often treat them like furry children, lavishing them with entire wardrobes consisting of sweaters, coats and shoes, as mentioned earlier, as well as shirts, vests, dresses, pajamas, special occasion outfits, sports jerseys, and accessories like sunglasses, fancy halters and hats.
If you have a dog and haven’t yet explored the world of dog outfits, you are in for a real treat. Because of the wide range of options available these days, clothes shopping is now a fun and enjoyable activity we can share with our dogs.
write by Alva