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Naked truth on dog attire

Updated: April 19, 2011 5:23AM



Q. I recently read a pet advice column regarding cold-weather attire for dogs. The response was some breeds do need winter coats (for example, Italian greyhounds) and other breeds, such as Huskies, do not.

The columnist also said most other breeds fall in between somewhere and that it was up to the owner to decide if the dog needed a coat or sweatshirt.

A while back, a reader asked you if clothes were necessary for dogs, to which you replied “no.”

I have pugs, so I’m very careful when the weather turns (both hot and cold). But I typically don’t put any additional covering on them if they are just going out to go potty.

I am wondering what your opinion is of this recommendation.

A. The official “Ask Dog Lady” opinion is that dogs are happy nudists.

They’ve lived for hundreds, nay thousands, of years subsisting on raw meat and raw elements. We humans domesticated them to live in our homes, sleep in our beds, eat our leftovers, and — drumroll please — not wear our clothes.

Clothes on dogs are all about the human not the dog — except for booties on winter salt and snow. Sure, maybe we feel better when we clothe Italian greyhounds or Yorkshire terriers or pugs because they’re smaller and more vulnerable to the cold.

Certainly, in a blizzard or below-zero wind chill, these dogs should be protected and never left outside.

Ever see a dog struggling to shed a coat or sweater? They rankle under the constriction of clothing. A coat on top of natural hair or fur feels unnatural to them.

Although there are lovely outfits for pugs, the rags are not required.

Pet perplexed? Follow the “Ask Dog Lady” fan page on Facebook. Write askdoglady@gmail.com.



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