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Aren't Dogs Born With Coats?

Kathleen Thometz

Posted on February 3, 2019 18:36

2 users

Everywhere you look, dogs are wearing coats, but do they really need them?

A Chilean Stray Dog

I belong to the Chicago Doodles Facebook page which has about 4,000 poodle-mix owning members. On the eve of the Polar Vortex, many were scrambling to get coats and boots for their doodle-dogs.

Those who were able to procure winter gear were then complaining that their dogs refused to do their business while wearing these get-ups. I’m not sure what they were thinking-dogs come with free coats when they're born. While for all of one second I thought about jury-rigging coats for my dogs, I took a risk and let them out naked in the -21° weather and watched anxiously while they frolicked and ate snow.

So, what’s with the coats? I don’t remember seeing clothes on dogs when I was growing up in the seventies and eighties. But people also didn’t walk their dogs, they just let them out. I guarantee you that no dog owner upon opening his front door, ever said, “I wonder if Fido needs a coat, or perhaps some booties to protect his feet.

I think that coat-wearing-dogs came about when people were required, by law, to pick up their dog’s poop and use leashes, sometime in the 1970s. Perhaps dog owners started noticing that sometimes their dogs shivered, and assumed they were cold, or maybe they just wanted them to look nice on their walks.

A number of years ago, I was standing outside my house adding books to my Little Free Romance Library, when my neighbor approached with her three small dogs.

"I've been meaning to drop you a note to tell you how much I love your library."

"That's so nice! Have you been enjoying the books?"

"Oh no. I have no time but I love walking past and looking at it."

It was winter and I glanced down at her three dogs. They were all wearing coats and shoes even though there was no snow on the ground. I thought, "If I had to wrestle three dogs into three coats and don twelve shoes, twice a day, then I wouldn't have time to read a book either.

Now, she didn't own three Chinese Cresteds—her dogs were pretty furry, so I wondered why they had coats on. But I never felt comfortable asking, especially when the answer was obvious, she clearly felt they needed them.

I kind of get the shoes on snowy days, because sometimes I find myself bent over, gloveless, digging around for a chunk of salt or ice stuck in between my limping dogs' footpads. But I'd rather do that occasionally then try to get them into shoes before every walk.

So, what do the experts say? Unless your dog is tiny with short hair or bred for warm climates, adding clothing inhibits its ability to regulate its temperature. And while you're at it, dressing your pet up for Instagram and various social media can cause your animal distress. So let them go au naturel!

Kathleen Thometz

Posted on February 3, 2019 18:36

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Source: Mashable

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